Bespoke Design – a booklet

Posted by Katrien on Wednesday March 2nd 2016 at 14:45

IMG_20160226_101803After almost 3 years, the PD project Bespoke Design (Design op Maat in Dutch) is finally finished. The insights we gathered during this trajectory are translated in a booklet.

Starting from the everyday experiences of living with type 1 diabetes,  we developed self management tools for and together with one person. In contrast to the common medical and top-down approaches, wherein a ‘universal’ tool is designed for a large group of users, the participatory approach is more in line with the fact that people with diabetes use these tools 24/7, and are thus experts in dealing with this chronic condition.

This booklet gives an insight into the overall design process of Bespoke Design, the challenges involved, the participants and designers who collaborated in this process and the prototypes that were developed. Besides this, the aim of the booklet is to clarify the project’s contributions to the field of participatory and open design practices. The first chapter illustrates how we documented the project, and how sharing this documentation with others allowed these processes and results to transcend this particular project, the participants and team involved. In the second chapter, we assess how participatory making in a FabLab can be a way of extending participation in the making phase, instead of being restricted to the conceptual phase of a design project. Finally, the third chapter describes the need of setting up, maintaining and nurturing long-term relationships and the designer’s role in these processes. We conclude by stating that the changing practices of documenting, participatory making and infrastructuring within Bespoke Design demand a different role for the designer.


Call for participants

Posted by Katrien on Monday April 29th 2013 at 09:17

The research group Social Spaces and FabLab Genk invite you to participate in a workshop for the project Bespoke Design (Design op Maat).The project ’s goal is to (re-)design self-management tools for diabetes type 1, specifically focussing on the design of tools and the interactions with these tools.

In this way, the project aims to complement current tools that are predominantly developed from a medical perspective.Self-management in diabetes is of vital importance, but is also very difficult and radical. People often relate diabetes to older people. However, diabetes type 1 it often starts at a young age. Consequently, we value the integration of these tools in a person’s daily life.

How can we redesign the glucose meter for use in public places?
How can we design a modular toolkit for self-management tools in order for people to adjust it to their own needs?How can we design for motivating self-management?
How can we use smart technology to support self-management (sugar supply, remembering to always have the tools at hand, remembering to measure blood sugar level)?

The workshop will take place on May 28th from 11am to 6pm at FabLab Genk.

We provide for sandwiches at lunchtime.

We follow an open philosophy. This means the designs that are developed in the workshop will be shared openly on the blog. By doing so, we want to stimulate other people to re-use everything that is made in FabLab Genk.

If you are interested in participating, please register for May 20th by sending a mail to r designopmaatgenk[AT]

NIVA TO NENETS picnic-quiz at PDC’12

Posted by Rosanne on Monday August 20th 2012 at 10:06

Rosanne van Klaveren presented her interactive roadmovie NIVA TO NENETS at the Participatory Design Conference in Roskilde, during a picnic-quiz. In three questions she asked the motivated group of participants about their opinion and concerns related to some side-effects of bringing help to an indigenous people (in this case the Nenets, a semi-nomadic reindeer herding people in the northwest of the Russian Federation). The answers to the quiz-questions were connected to colourfull picnic-blankets with matching picnic-snacks. A Lada Niva made from wood and felt stimulated the creative minds and the feeling of togetherness.



Workshop on Human Values

Posted by Rosanne on Monday August 13th 2012 at 10:30

On Sunday 12th of August a workshop on Human Values within Participatory Design was given during PDC’12 (Participatory Design Conference, Roskilde, Denmark). For a whole day long, approx. 24 people exchanged their experiences with the topic and develloped an approach for a specific case study. Although ‘being human’ is always a main aspect of Participatory Design in general, a specific focus on Human Values leads to interesting discussions and valuable outcomes. Especially when inclusion is one of the goals…



NIVA TO NENETS picnic-quiz at Danish Art Workshops

Posted by Rosanne on Friday August 10th 2012 at 10:50

During a working period as artist in residence at Danish Art Workshops, Rosanne van Klaveren discussed some aspects of her interactive roadmovie NIVA TO NENETS within the format of a picnic-quiz. Rosanne asked her audience five questions, while the participants positioned themselves on the picnic-blanket that resembled the answer of their choice. While matching snacks were served, some interesting discussions on paradoxical aspects of bringing help occured. For the artist who addresses this paradox within her roadmovie, these discussions were very usefull. For the people who participated the picnic-quiz, this afternoon was joyfull and inspirational.

The Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secreatariat wrote a nice arcticle about this event:

And so did Danish Art Workshops: (only in Danish…)

More information about the NIVA TO NENETS project:



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