Welcome to Vectorious, my design Portfolio!
My name is Katrien van Riet. I’m a designer by day, language teacher by night.
Why the name Vectorious? It’s a portmanteau of vector and victorious, which reflects my vision that design should be bold.
When I was in my early teens, I discovered the vector graphics editor CorelDRAW. This software introduced me to the idea of vectors and it allowed me to design kite templates that I could then tile and print. This new way of working had a profound impact on how I designed, and without it, I wouldn’t be the designer I am today.
I’m an enthusiastic and hands-on designer. It doesn’t matter if the designs are actual physical prototypes, pieces of code, or lesson plans. My passion for design springs from the desire to see if something that exists only in my mind can be made reality. However, I don’t just create purely for the sake of it; I often stop to think about the ethical ramifications of my design (should I versus could I) because I find it important to have a positive impact on the world around me. I try to make this positive impact in both my design and teaching practice.
My versatility and broad interest is my biggest asset when designing.
As a designer, I distinguish myself through my knowledge of engineering: both electrical and mechanical, combined with solid programming skills. I favour an interdisciplinary approach where I don’t need to be at the cutting edge, but where I take elements from various fields and combine them into new designs, solutions, or opportunities. I enjoy staying abreast of current technological developments and devising new applications of older technologies. Coming from a background in literature and language studies, I can easily absorb new information and communicate with others in speaking and writing. I believe good design sets itself apart because it communicates its state, purpose, or even intent to people. This is how I unite the language and design students in me: taking technology and making it into design by adding this communicative aspect.
I believe good design sets itself apart because it communicates its state, purpose, or even intent to people.
I generally have a very positive outlook on life and I’m good at transferring my enthusiasm to others. However, my technologically oriented mindset and motivation can also intimidate people, so I need to be careful to leave enough room for others in teamwork. My intrinsic motivation means I work well alone or in a team, and I prosper in uncertain settings where there is much to discover and learn.
What attracts me to both teaching and design is being able to focus on the needs of the individual and designing concepts that can make a significant impact on someone’s life. To maximise on this interest, I want to focus on making technology humane, which to me means designing products and concepts that improve quality of life, or that enable people to do things that they previously couldn’t. I believe design has the potential to help people live up to their full potential.
I believe design has the potential to help people live up to their full potential.
I think design should be a mentality instead of a product that we develop. I want to apply design thinking to my educational practice, both in how I design education materials, but also what I actually teach my students. With my passion for both teaching and design, my dream would be to pursue a PhD at the Industrial Design department at the TU/e in the field of soft robotics and one day become a university lecturer. This way I can combine my communication and didactic skills with my passion for design and teach and inspire a new generation of designers and engineers.
I think design should be a mentality instead of a product that we develop.
My dream would be to work as a designer in a soft robotics department. My focus would be on material driven, interdisciplinary design that is open to a wide range of applications, but with a preference for the health domain. That way I can combine my passion for humane technology, interdiciplinary design, and my love for teaching.