Living with the Sun

Boudewijn Buitenhek

Background, Research & Process

As a designer I examine the systems I work with and seek forgotten alternative perspectives on the problematics that these systems create. I question why certain ideas were abandoned, what they can teach me, and how they can be used to improve the current system. In this research, I focused on the energy grid. With my project, I aim to contribute to current developments in transforming energy systems into sustainable sources. 

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: A Time Traveler’s Toolbox

Every designer is a time traveler. When I design, I build upon the work of my predecessors. The form and functionality of products have been solidified throughout time, forming deeply rooted habits and expectations for people who interact with them. These habits and expectations also reside in me, shaping my imagination, which I employ when I design. 

In this research, I collected and analyzed tools used in the wider field of future studies and speculative design. Through case studies, I inquired who is responsible for creating future narratives and how those narratives implicate people and their current realities. I e

xplore how designers can effectively use the potential of hindsight as a concept and a tool to develop frameworks for design, which can become a foundation for envisioning preferred future realities.

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