Jakov Habjan

Background, Research & Process

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by the relation that emerges when I am using a tool.  I question: How intuitive is it? How do I understand it? How does it empower me to create, and how do I take care of it? In my research I looked into user-object attachments, using the bicycle as a case study. Cycleship explores how the process of bonding and building a relationship with a bike stimulates longevity and care. I question how attachments can be designed as an antidote to planned obsolescence. How can I facilitate a process of co-designing one’s bike, through which an emotional bond between the user and the object is cultivated? How can creativity play a role in turning an ordinary object into an exclusive one?


In the first semester of the second year (from September until January) students are asked to develop their initial research questions and develop their research in a ‘research document’, which then leads to their graduation work in the second semester.

Research document: ‘Cycleship’ 

Values and principles that the bike entails can be very valuable in rethinking the relationship towards using everyday objects. We live in a complex world, one which sometimes feels like we have no control over it. More and more objects in our surroundings, from mobile phones to washing machines, became increasingly intricate and harder to understand. They are not necessarily designed to be understood, but to be used with little effort and thought. At a moment when something inevitably goes wrong, the user is left out, with no power over the destiny of the object. This combined with the fact that capital is easier to acquire by selling new than fixing old creates quite a distance between the average user and an object. A similar case can be observed in the context of bikes, and initiatives like Swapfiets are booming to get around this situation.

This map offers an insight into the way the research trajectory evolved throughout the year: the questions that have been raised, the people, the books and the references involved, the methods used, and, finally, the materialization of the project.

︎︎︎Download Process Map