1. Perform or utter repeatedly.

The application of iterations is common at Design Academy Eindhoven, as it is in designpractice in general. This is simply because designing involves experimenting and exploring – activities which are performed without a specific planned outcome – and repeating these activities in slightly different ways allows designers to improve their results or find new directions for their work. Designing is therefore often seen as an iterative process – a way of working that is not simply repetitive but constantly improving on itself.

Many iterative processes in design have been described as models – think, for example, of the consecutive stages in user-centred design, in which design proposals are tested in real situations with actual users, often resulting in multiple re-designing. At Design Academy Eindhoven however, we seldom restrict our way of working to a model. Instead, we iterate intuitively through sketching, modelling or storytelling, etc. Iteration may also take place within a more systematic way of working, in design research for example, but this approach is always personal. Thinking through making – DAE’s principal approach to design research – inclines heavily toward iteration as its main way of achieving progress and results. Gaining feedback and evaluation are a necessary part of each iteration in this process, and reflection is a way to do this.

Iterations result in a whole range of outcomes, each of which may be interesting to retain. In design education it is certainly very beneficial to have the results of the various iterations made available, in order to support the discussion of the progress made. It is possible that the full collection of outcomes could become the final result – iterations are not necessarily aimed at incremental improvement and creating one single, best outcome.

DAE examples

  • Michelle Baggerman, Social Fabric, Research Associate in CRISP (Creative Industry Research Programme), Project Smart Textile Services, 2012
  • Mike Thompson, Stressed Out, Research Associate in CRISP (Creative Industry Scientific Programme), Project GRIP, 2012-2014
  • Jetske Visser, Forgotten Memory, Graduation project Man and Leisure, 2011