Way, way back…
I have always been intrigued by innovators. The fields of aeronautics, physics, biology, and technology have captured my imagination from a very young age. When other kids were lost watching the A-Team fantasizing brute force. I remember watching Griet Tietulaar explaining innovations heading to the market, Wubo Ockels on television explaining all about space exploration, and visiting the Evoluon in Eindhoven for a tech exhibit. I was lost in my own world reading Natuur & Techniek and KIJK (my brother was subscribed to these). I was always enamoured and strove toward this ideal. This outlook touched me and inspired my understanding of the world and I dreamed of the ways innovation could save the day. I spent my time building scale models of jet fighters and ships, taking apart and investigating electronic devices (what's in there, how can I make it faster..), my parents only hoped that I kept my hands off the toaster for my experiments.
When computers became more available to the masses, halfway through the '80s, my life changed. In the beginning, it was predominantly the Commodore64, MSX (with cassette tapes at my godparents' house) and PC's (8088, 80286/AT). Do you remember the so-called Hercules monochrome screen? I was doing all sorts of things, from experimenting and getting acquainted what a computer is and can do. From playing the early Sierra adventure-games, assembling hardware parts and messing with BBS-systems like Telnet (z-modem sometimes y-modem because it was really faster with large text files) and Remote Access (building my own RA-board). By then, the telephone bills peaked to crazy figures (I'm sorry dad). Communicating with other people behind the screen and in early web pages when they first became available with the rise of (Planet) internet in 1995. I had found the vehicle for my voice, a way to channel my interests.
I am a techie with a microbiology background who found my home in user-system interaction. I never desired to compete with graphic designers, that was never my path. My focus and dream are to facilitate technology and innovation, at first by looking to the physical interaction. This focus on interaction was found by following an unusual path. It started with an internship in electrical engineering, which then leads me to industrial design. Through my Masters and post-grad projects, the importance of positive engagement between user and interface became concrete. I have worked hard since to hold true to the principle of positive interaction at every opportunity in my career.
I am very grateful for the amazing mixture of people I have met and worked with throughout the years. It means a big deal to me, to be surrounded with witty, helpful, funny, passionate, educated and insightful people.