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Author: anouk

The future is data

The future is data

The more I find my way in the digital landscape, the more I start to realise how much data becomes part of our daily live.

Without releasing most of our choices are made by data. Not only Google serves you what they think you need to see (based on your data), but also most of the websites and apps you daily visit.

Based on what you’ve seen before, they will serve you a website/app that shows you what you want (at least what they think you want). But not every algoritme servers the user what they want. Take for example YouTube; lately users (content creators and viewers) are unhappy about the new YouTube algoritme. The algorithm doesn’t show their favorite channels anymore and content creators are losing views because of it. “The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction.”

So how does the algorithm work?
YouTube does not reward videos with the most views. Instead, videos with the most watch time are ranked more highly on the algorithm. This metric is important because it more accurately measures how engaging users find a video. This seems pretty fair, but its sounds better than it actually works. I don’t know how they can do I better, but I do know that as an user (viewer) I don’t get the videos suggested that I would like to see.

But not only YouTube has unhappy users, Instagram has the same problem, booth platforms try to optimise there algorithm for their users, not always for the better. Although it’s kind of has to do with what type of user you are. Most of the problem are for the creators/influencers. Booth platforms are mostly created for viewing (and some interaction), not realy for creating content big times and making lots of money on it.

The reason I wanted to right this post is just that. Data creates types of users where algorithms react to, but most of the time that is a bigger part of the users or a view specific target groups. Because of that a lot of other user are left out. Websites like try to help you by optimising the website to your needs, but do they really know your needs??

We are humans, not computers. Most of our decisions and needs are based on emotions and feelings, an algorithm can’t barely read. With the help of psychology and lot of testing where are getting closer to letting algorithmes read emotions based on a lot of measurements but their are definitely not there jet. I want YouTube to know what videos make me happy, and when I need that video (on an off day).

Lately I started working more as a UX’er and I find myself struggling a lot with the fact that there are not just a view user groups. Me as a person likes to please everyone, but I know that as UX’er that is close to impossible… Or is it?? I hope in the near future UX’ers can create user experiences for all user, based on data, with stuff like feeling and emotions being part of that. I think UX’er should become more data visualizers/translators making the best experience for every user. Giving them what they really need.

And as long as we are not there jet, internet please let me make my own choices.
(people love searching and discovering, so let them)    



So I failed my graduation, but I have to say I wasn’t sad for lang. I saw this failing as an opportunity to do better. And also I failed not because I sucked but made the wrong choice.

I hoped that they would appreciated my technical effort more than an shiny story, but they did’nt. They liked my plan B of a prototype en a chase movie more than, my simpler but really working platform. I guess that is what advertising mostly is; presenting and selling a shiny story and then making it real. Deep down I knew that I was making the wrong choice, but for myself I wanted achieve the technical prat more than the story. Now that I have the re-do I have the chance to do both. But failing also means, no expo, no graduation ceremony and no last school holiday.

But I was mostly sad about the no expo, it supposed to be a stage for students to show their work to the world. Failure is a big part of art. So why does the academies remove the failures completely from their graduation shows??

I think that is wrong, and shows weakness, I think that failure is an important part of art school and shouldn’t be hide away, but shown. That’s why I want to give failure a stage.

Me and some fellow failures are trying to organize an expo for the failures of the WDKA, where we can show our new and improved work (that is probably even better than most of the work you will see at the graduation show) and we can show the world; that failing art school is not something to be embarrassed for, but something that is part of your learning process.

The expo is called Finald_def_2 (the designer will recognize the name), our second change to do better.

The end is near

The end is near

So after my last post I kind of broke down. I was in a constant fight with what I wanted, what worked well and what was technically possible with my skills (basic HTML).

I choose that for me the important part was that I could make it real, and that it wouldn become a video or a prototype. But that it would actually work.

During my minor I clearly saw how much I was grown, and on that part I felt ready. But for myself I wanted to make something that really worked. With the AD AR project we got that far and that made me really happy, but the technical part was mostly on my team mates shoulders. So for my graduation I really wanted to do it myself. And that’s why I killed a lot of my darlings during the proces.

So what is my final project??
It called conditional creativity.

Conditional creativity is a way of showing that conditions are not always a bad thing for your creativity.

As a art student you not always see the positive side of the conditions the teacher give you, but they do it all to help you create your own personal toolkit. A toolkit that excites out of your own personal vision, your skills and your human perspective.

We recreated this toolkit into a platform to give the users an insight on their own creativity.

First we need to figure out the user’s personal vision, we do that by asking them question based on the 16 personality theory. These personal data go’s true an algorithm that creates an symbolic skills set for the user. Exciting out of three shapes in there own personality color.

On expo’s and open day’s user will receive their data printed on a receipt so they can take there toolkit home.

With these shapes the user need to create a tree, we choose a tree because it is a simple object and will let the users human perspective comes to outing.

All these threes together will form a data visualization, showing the beauty of creativity.  

Go visit


Human system

Human system

I figured out my “why me”, it’s my fascination with the system, any system.

The system I was looking for in the graduation the system, the human aspect in the “lo and behold” system (the internet), panopticon the system of being watched, the circle (movie)

and also the system I was looking for in a project in the second year on income inequality (I toughed that the power created the inequality, but we as humans need that overlooking system to function.)

So the conclusion is, every human needs a system (whether it is to break free from or to live by), and every system need a human to function. And that was why the graduation system came to me, it’s a system made by humans, to guide humans. And I want to bring that system, to the other system (the internet) to let other humans form it to the next level.

Every time I found the motivation in my project back, it was because of the clashing between human and system (digital, or designed by human, but again digital is also designed by humans). One time was when I figured out that a computer could not see, and that we had to tell it what it see’s. The whole internet together as one is telling the computer what a dog is or a cat, and what that cat is doing [link]. And by researching that i figured out that on almost the same time the human brain was figured out, the first idea for the computer was there [link]. So I had no idea what i was researching but apparently it was the relation between system and human, and human and system.

So what I do as a data designer is trying to bring the system to the front. Giving humans a insight on what is going on, by showing the system (and mostly it’s data). I did that with my inequality project, my wifi project and even with my first data project. My vision as a creative/designer is that; giving people the tools to figure out their own conclusions and most of the time I do that by building a system or exposing a system. And this time i’m gonna do booth. Building a system that will expose the system, and people can than figure out by themselves if it is a good or a bad thing.

I want to end this by letting you watch this video on how computer can be creative.


Connecting the dots

Connecting the dots

Thank god, i’m back at my original idea. It maybe sounds strange, but “kill your darlings” is not something creative people like to do. And i’m most definitely one of those people. I killed my first idea (i’dont know) four weeks ago, and i’m so happy it found it’s way back to me 🙂

So how did that happen you might wonder? Well I guess I “connected the dots” and filled in the blank spot, thanks to my research. Yesterday evening when I couldn’t sleep, I wonder off and started writing down my thoughts in my phone (see picture).

I was thinking “I don’t want to break the school system, but the creative/uniek student system”. Because “panopticon”, we will act differently when we are being watched. And that is what happens to students graduating, students will still keep in the back of there mind that the will be grated. So they do whatever to fit the bill. So there is some sort of system a student learned. They learned how to make choices, create their own vision and translate that both to their work. This system is called a curriculum.

It’s funny but two days before this I interviewed the dean of my school, and he asked in the and what I was hoping to hear from him, I told him that is was looking for a system, but couldn’t found one. He immediately react, I think there is a create system the curriculum. And my response to that was no more like a graduation system, and he was like; “oh yeah, we don’t have that”. But as you can see his first response was wright, the curriculum is the system I was looking for.

So what am I going to make?

1) A learning algorithm, that creates a graduation project together with the internet.
2) The algorithm is based on the curriculum
3) The algorithm learns from the people of the internet (a students learns from their surroundings)
1.2) The output is: Research question, anwser to that question, personal vision and a image/concept or idear.
1.3) the system creates a grade based on the amount of input from that day.
2.1) Why the internet? Because one student needs ±4 years to graduate and learn, and with all the input from the internet we maybe need four minutes.


Ups and downs

Ups and downs

So I totally lost my motivation and passion for my graduation project for the last couple of weeks. This because I already tried recover from a blockade that made me start this blog as a result, but that wasn’t enough to get me back on track. And now I hit a very low in motivation and passion. The down started with me realising I underestimated my idea. The research is way more than I had guessed in the beginning and the insight where i’m hooping for to find, to build the rest of my project on, is not falling in it’s place what makes it hard to take the next step (the building part). And than I want to much, and maybe other people want to much of my project. The bar is ferry high for this project, myself and people I talk to see potential for my project turning into something awesome. But because of that I shut down, I always had that, when people expect something of me, i’m afraid of letting them down and then I shut down and do nothing. But also with this project I want to much myself, this project can go so many places, and because I don’t know what I really want to achieve with this project I don’t know which direction I have to push it.

Before my assessment and after the talk with Ruben I realised how important the “why me?” question is ferry important. And I have trouble answering that, I don’t know where the passion for this subject came from. Somewhere in the third year I already wanted to do my graduation project about graduation it self, and I wanted to research on how my classmates were graduating to graduate with that. Than this year I came with the idea of letting the internet create my project. So what does this say about me? That i’m lazy and I like other people to do my job?, or that draw inspiration out of other people’s creativity?, or that I find the process of creativity it self interesting? Or that I belief that everything happens for a reason, and that even do we want to control the outcome, the bigger system will make the choices for you, and you will do something that is expected of you anyway? Or that I always wonder why, because why is the school system the way it is now, how do other people work under that system? I guess it could be all of the above.

Starting this project made me already understand more off myself and what the school system want’s. I feel that my way is the ultimate way of graduation. I think about every step that I take, and compare it to my classmates. And see which steps are normal to struggle with what the system want from us, even if the system doesn’t know it does that to us. Like this down i’m having, ‘m not the only one, almost every classmate struggles with this on this moment.
So whats next? Well I guess I will keep on struggling because that’s part of the process. And I need to talk to the system of the school, and see what they hope the outcome will be for alumni. And see how they see the process, and how they try to control the outcome with the proces.

Internet of things day(s) – Lorna Goulden

Internet of things day(s) – Lorna Goulden

These last two days I were the internet of things day(s) in Rotterdam. Sadly I could only go one day, and here’s what i learned.

The first day was about Privacy & Security and Date & The self, we started with an introduction lecture from Lorna Goulden, called; “Iot: Are we being smart?” She talked about the value of things on the internet and that are connected to it. The internet once was made to give us insight but lately we’re giving it more insight, by putting all our data out there. She showed a part off the video underneath, where they explain the internet of things, where there are almost more things connected than people.

Lorna says that the thing give the internet data but what is even more important is the people. So to make the internet of things relevant we need to change the way we think and most definitely the way we create. We need to design it for the users, make everything understandable and adjustable for them. If we let the user be creative on/with the internet, stuff can be created that right now we can not even imagine.

But that is of course all the good for the users, there is also the bad, she calls out adblocker en advertising. What makes me as a advertiser think “are we the bad guys of the internet?”. Do I as advertising need the think on a way that people don’t say advertising as a bad thing. For me I feel that power lies in giving people the most insight of what we’re giving them and why. With data and the internet of things we can make advertising is little annoying as possible. The funny thing is after disliking advertising Lorna talks about this new privacy policy where the government is working on; GDPR (general data protection regulations), it’s a new law that will protect our data. Than she tells us how she thinks that user should get more insight on the data that is taken from them. She refers to the book “Weapons of math destruction” by Cathy O’Neil. The book is about most of us dont understand algorithms but they do start controlling our lives. She show’s dis video underneath the perfectly shows how the algorithms do that and how we can change that around for the better.

So a thing that I think is already important for my graduation project is showing the user how my algorithm works. How it collects data, how it makes choices and then put them into action. For me is giving that kind of insight to user was already very important, but hearing it from a person who knows way more of the internet gave me a feeling that I was on the right track and I need to put my drive into my work.

She ended her presentation with people trying to cheat the internet, starting of with a story about a primary school where kids got bracelets that tracked there stepps. And every 1000 steps a amount of money wash donated to kids in africa. So when the interviewer came to the school to see how the kids were doing, the kids found lots of ways to cheat the system. The children he talked to were waving the hand with the bracelet on it, and some actually made little machines from lego that shufelt the bracelet along. The kids were eager to help the children in africa but not by being more active like planned, but by being very creative. The last example Lorna gave was maybe the best. It’s this video of a elderly men how needs to watch his health, in order to do that his kids gave him all kinds of smart stuff that will track his habits when they’re not there, and well that didn’t worked out as planned.

If gradution was a pie chart

If gradution was a pie chart

I know that as a data designer pie charts are off the charts 😉 but this time I felt it was the way to go.

I asked myself (with the knowledge I gain in the last couple of month’s) “What is graduation?” and this is what came out…



Coming to the conclusion that, graduating is not just one big important thing but assembly off everything.




Meeting day

Meeting day

Today I had a meeting with my teachers, first with my advertising teacher and after that with my research/data design teacher.

The first meeting was very interesting, the teacher has trouble following my process but respects what I’m doing. What most of the time ends up with me leaving more confused, than I already was before, but I think that’s also an important part of the process. Today I introduced him to my blog and talked about the lecture from last night. And talking out loud about what I have done the last two weeks (since I last saw him) made me realize how all over the place I am in my research. Because of my blog I realized that I maybe don’t want to make an algorithm that’s going to create my graduation project and I also realized that I need to focus more on the research on the school/law system for graduation than the actual technique. I saw in the teachers face he was struggling what to say about my struggles, sow he came with the smart idea to ask a random girl that was passing by “what do you think, what type of graduation project she is going to make?” (I don’t know the girl at all) and she answered “uhmmm I thinks something rebellious” Then he asked; if you had to ask her two questions on what she’s going to make what would that be?” (I saw where he was going to with this question, because I really don’t have a form yet) and the girl struggled to find the questions and she answered “sorry, no idea”. But the question already helped me; I needed a form. And that’s where we ended the conversation with, he told me to draw on a big piece of paper every visual idea I came up with, till I would find a form.

Then up to my research/data design teacher. I told her that I was a bit struggling with my research because I was all over the place. I was kind of on two research tracks, the technical part and the researching of the school graduation system. She said that the other data design theater also said that I’m doing two things. My research on the school graduation system is a project on its own, and the crowdsource idea is also kind of a project on it’s own.

She drawed up what I’m doing right now (see my version of the image down below). The pink circles show the things I’m researching right now and the rest are possible outcomes of that research, with a dot on the and showing my goal, that isn’t there yet. She told me to focus for 80% on my research on the school system, and let the technique serve on the background.
1.    Meta ‘niveau’ (level?) research
1.    Primary data
2.    Overall school system
2.    Sampling (make it smaller/scoping)
1.    Only advertising
2.    ‘Drempel’? (Doorstep?/barrier?.. iets anders?) price nominees
3.    Enquete (inquiry/investigation/poll??)
So thats what I’m going to do now.





Lecture BNO IMG LAB #63 Vormule – Het Nieuwe Instituut

Lecture BNO IMG LAB #63 Vormule – Het Nieuwe Instituut

Today I decided to go to a lecture mathematical/algorithmic design in Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam. The invited four speakers, each of them did something computer generated design. So i’m going to tell what they talked about and how I’m feel about their work.

Pieter Schreurs – parametric design
Pieter is some sort of an artist/architect who designs his work with the help of math algorithms and programming. He first worked for seven years at ONL and now he works at RHDHV.

The first project he talked about, was a project he’s now working on. He programs this project in the program Grasshopper. Grasshopper is a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3-D, you can 3D model your design and gather the data out of tests to see where your design needs work. (He’s working on this project for RHDHV).

Then he talked about the “Parametric climbing wall”

This was also first made in grasshopper, where they could see which constructions worked the best. But they wanted to co-created with their clients, so they build a tool where they could adjust the model in meetings with the client. Later on they turned the tool into a web-app, so their client there clients could do it easily themselves.

Julius Horsthuis – visual effects designer and fractal artist
Julius has his own studio where he creates Fractal Architecture whith the help of the program called Mandelbulb 3D. Mandelbulb 3D is a free software application created for 3D fractal imaging. Developed by Jesse and a group of Fractal Forums contributors.

The program creates a space world where you can direct yourself through the world with the help of some 3D programming skills. Julius comes from the film world so that is why he also created tripie videos and on his website you can also see them in VR.


Rogier Arents – Graphic designer
Rogier was the guy hwo made the work I actually hoped to see at the lecture. He is a designer hwo makes pretty stuff by programming it. He started his presentation with chalk line. []

Chalk line is created with the use of a simple (not programmed) tool for construction workers, the tool is only a string of cotton and chalk, putting the string where you want the line and pull the string back and tada.. a line. Then he showed us his graduation project he made at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2012 called Secret Signals.

This is such a cool project, inspired by nature, designed by a human on a computer and printed with a plotter. First of the story of the film is pretty cool, it’s about how the tomato plant sends out a scent if they have a plage (nature is awesome  ). I don’t know what else to say just watch the video  . The next project he showed was the Hearth Bloom, also a very good project based on data, made with pretty design.

“Heart Bloom is a participatory live-art installation, which offers the audience a biofeedback experience through mechanical movement, sound, and artistic visualisation. Only when you experience excitement or fear you actually feel your heart beat fast inside our chest. However, without you being aware of it, the heart is continually changing its frequency. Biofeedback is a technique that measures physiological processes, and rapidly gives back the data to the users, helping them to be aware of their physiological conditions. Each heartbeat triggers one movement, creating a line or a dot. The variation of the heart rate is demonstrated by the pen’s behaviour in real time. The overall heart rate variability is reflected by the visual characteristics of the generated drawing on paper. Let the heart lead the brush!”

They also now made an app together with the Dutch Hartstichting. I love how this project is a good design together with advertising and data giving people a new insight on there own earth. And now they also made it digital, so everybody can use it, wouw!

Rinus Roelofs – Artist
Rinus is a lover of art and mathematics inspired by Escher, he makes the most complicated designs. []

I have trouble explaining what he exactly does, but like the first speaker he uses Grasshopper to make is art. He mostly told us that like the image you see above, it looks like it has two layers but if you look really closely you can see that the layers are connected and it is exactly one. I wish I could explain better in text what he does, but you have to actually see what he does to understand it (that was what he was saying during his presentation too)