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How to follow (digital) objects leaving the design environment?

I got interested in Gilbert Simondon’s philosophical project aiming to reconcile technical culture with the humanities (Simondon, 2017). The recent work of Vincent Beaubois bridges this philosophy to design practice taking an interesting position: designers do not create (consumer) products or services, but create design environments from which ‘objects’ leave and are taken up to become (consumer) products or services (Beaubois, 2019). Ultimately my research will revolve around the problem of responsibility for digital ‘objects’ leaving the design environment. With Master students at TU Delft Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) I discussed how I intend to research both the practical design practice side and the more philosophical and design theory related questions.

After a short introduction, we discussed pro’s, con’s and students’ ideas of how to conduct research.


Beaubois, V. (2019). La zone obscure du design: une pensée des pratiques de conception (d’)après Gilbert Simondon [Primary thesis, University Paris Nanterres]. Nanterre.

Simondon, G. (2017). On The Mode of Existence of Technical Objects [Du mode d’existence des object technique] (C. Malaspina & J. Rogrove, Trans.; 1st ed.). Univocal Publishing. (Du mode d’existence des object technique)

As I teach on co-creation at the Eindhoven University of Technology, I get a question once in a while which papers to read. Herewith a shortlist of papers we’re using in the Elective.

The concept co-creation started to emerge in marketing management literature buy means of C.K. Prahalad and V. Ramaswamy, though using a different term at that time:

Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2000). Co-opting Customer Competence. Harvard Business Review.

A good start with reading is:

Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). Co-creation experiences: The next practice in value creation.

and of course the book:

Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). The future of competition: co-creating unique value with customers. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Pub.

furthermore we discuss:

Frow, P., Nenonen, S., Payne, A., & Storbacka, K. (2015). Managing Co-creation Design: A Strategic Approach to Innovation. British Journal of Management, 26(3), 463-483. doi:10.1111/1467-8551.12087

Mattelmäki, T., & Sleeswijk Visser, F. (2011). Lost in Co-X, interpretations of co-design and co-creation. Paper presented at the IASDR2011 Diversity and Unity, the 4th World Conference on Design Research, Delft.

Morris, M., Schindehutte, & M., A. (2005). The entrepreneur’s business model: toward a unified perspective. Journal of Business Research, 58, 726–735.

Ng, I. C. L., Smith, L. A., & Vargo, S. L. (2012). An integrative framework of value. Warwick Manufacturing Group.

Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2009). Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers: Self published.

Ranjan, K. R., & Read, S. (2014). Value co-creation: concept and measurement. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1-26. doi:10.1007/s11747-014-0397-2

Sanders, E. B. N., & Stappers, P. J. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. CoDesign, 4(1), 5-18. doi:10.1080/15710880701875068

and this paper is used for a definition of a business model

Morris, M., Schindehutte, & M., A. (2005). The entrepreneur’s business model: toward a unified perspective. Journal of Business Research, 58, 726–735.

This Christmas holiday I leased my first jeans ever, of course made from organic cotton! The concept is developed by Mud from my hometown Utrecht. €20 to start with and €5 each month, 12 months long. At the end of this period I can opt for:

  1. additional €20 and wear the jeans as long as I want; get the €20 back when I return the jeans to Mud
  2. a new model from Mud and pay €7,50 switching costs
  3. return the jeans to Mud and it will be re-used in a way that fits the condition of the fabric/jeans at that time

image courtesy to Mud Jeans

image courtesy to Mud Jeans

It’s just an awesome feeling to actually lease your clothing and be sure it’s taken well care of in case I return it to Mud. Makes me think of Desso. They did the same with carpet tiling.

Update per 10th March 02015:

Mud announced they had to change their leasing concept as it appeared to be hard to pre-finance collections. Basically Mud was ‘playing’ bank & they figured that both consumers and retailers had difficulties grasping the concept. The new concept is phrased like: you buy a jeans, we remain owner of the raw material. We want the jeans back in case you want to dispose it. I guess that’s even harder to explain.

A while ago I’ve bought these ultra-cool shoes: OAT. They come with an instruction how to bury them. The manufacturer has included some seeds in a special pouch within the shoe. Why don’t we have more products that raise the issue how to get rid of them in a neat way? It can be part of your brand identity as OAT show. Needless to say I bought the green version. Also needless to say: the shoe is organic. Hemp for the fabric, no glue, all seams are stitched.

Courtesy of the pictures below: OAT Shoes except the lady in Eva’s costume: photographer unknown, taken at Pakhuis De Zwijger, Amsterdam.

oat wallpaper

oat wallpaper 3 oat pakhuis de zwijger Oat Green

The rebound effect is a notorious effect known while considering sustainable alternative product/service-systems [PSS]: due to the fact that a solution has less impact on the environment, people tend to use it in a [non-intended] way causing in fact more consumption. E.g. you buy a LED-lamp but leave it on the entire night ‘as it is so sustainable’.

My own rebound effect is taking place around driving to the forest. I’ve never understood why people drive to the forest with a car using with an engine running gas or natural gas as it makes noise, pollutes the air you want to enjoy, etc. Now that I have access to a Peugeot iOn from Greenwheels I feel no reluctance  to drive to the forest. Before, I’d go by bike or public transport…

Anyway, you feel really purposeful while hitting the brake… you recharge the battery.

Update on 6.1.14: near the end of 2013 Greenwheels decided to quit their pilot with electric driving… No more rebound…

IMG_1473 IMG_1476 IMG_1477

How cool is this ‘car’ [max. 45 km/h] with a number plate ‘IDEA’ [in Dutch ‘IDEETJE’]. Spotted in Utrecht, the Netherlands.


A student at my faculty* asked me to share some sources on post-structuralism. The field is new to me, but here we go for the time-being. This list is not intended to be complete, it’s just a start to dig your own way in.

Open Humanities Press

They are publishing an open access series on new metaphysics a.o. ‘The Democracy of Objects‘ (Bryant 2011) and ‘New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies‘ (Dolphijn & Tuin 2012).

Karen Barad

Her book ‘Meeting the universe halfway: quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning’ (Barad, 2007) is thought provoking. A good start could be her paper ‘Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.’ (Barad, 2003).

Levi R. Bryant

His blog ‘Larval Subjects’ is a good start for his Object Oriented Ontology [ooo]. You can download books through links on the left such as ‘The Democracy of Objects‘ (2011) and ‘The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism‘.

Iris van der Tuin & Rick Dolphijn

Published an open access book ‘New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies‘ and it’s worthwhile to check their papers in a variety of journals.

Missing out here

I did not yet investigate: Jacques Derrida, Graham Harman, Donna Haraway, Roy Bhaskar, Gilles Deleuze, Niklas Luhman, Jacques Lacan, Bruno Latour.

There must be missing a lot of names here.


Barad, K. 2003. ‘Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 28:3, 801-31.

Barad, K. M. 2007. Meeting the universe halfway: quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham: Duke University Press.

Bryant, L. R. 2011. The democracy of objects. Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press.

Bryant, L. R., Srnicek, N. & Harman, G. 2011. The speculative turn : continental materialism and realism. Melbourne, Victoria, S. Aust.:

Dolphijn, R. & Tuin, I. v. d. 2012. ‘New materialism interviews & cartographies.’ Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press.

Eindhoven University of Technology, department of Industrial Design

Groen bloed

Groen bloed

Het lijkt er op dat ik groen bloed heb.

Art is not culture.Soms kan het zo simpel zijn: op het Rabobank hoofdkantoor in Utrecht — in de volksmond ‘De Verrekijker’ — staat bij de wisselende tentoonstelling op de begane grond aangeplakt:

Art is not culture.
Contemporary art criticizes culture.

De solotentoonstelling die de Rabobank nu heeft is van Fernando Sánchez Castillo [1970].


Foto: Sander Mulder, Yppah. Worst[eling]. CC-BY-SA 3.0 licentie.

Soms is de worsteling in je hoofd zo groot dat je ‘m niet meer ziet

You can easily point out a small piece of dust in someone else’s eye, but you can not see the yak in your own eye