On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) became effective. The daily overdose of cookie pop-ups appearing on our computer screens is a direct result of this regulation. However, we hardly realize what happens when we simply press the button 'I accept/consent/agree/understand'. Through the technology of cookies unknown entities get access to your browsing behaviour. In itself the data that are retrieved might not be so valuable but combined with the data of thousands or millions of other individuals, patterns will become manifest.
Several incidents have shown, however, that the data are also used for other purposes. Democratic election processes have been influenced through the access to personal data. Additionally, it has also been shown that companies don’t take their security measures too seriously, resulting in data leaks and access to sensitive and detailed profiles to be used by anyone without or with malicious intent.
The Cookie Network is an attempt to open up the opaque and closed infrastructure that enables companies to track us, using cookie technology. This project is not an attack against the technology itself nor the usage for advertising. However, during my research, companies have done their utmost to keep me out of their networks. If we want to be able to change this obscure system of tracking and profiling, we first have to understand its current dynamics.
The internet became into existence to fulfill our need to share and access information. Initially built as a way to more easily share information between research institutions, now it is an integrated part of our lives. For the first time in history, information is a commodity and capable of creating revenue. However, the process of turning data in a commodity happens in the background, without the audience on the internet being aware what exactly is happening. Several example show that it goes beyond what society deems acceptable. This thesis researches how the tools given by the GDPR function and to what extent they open up the processes we normally don't see. The research shows that the tools available to individuals are not enabling them to take control over their privacy, nor do they help the individual to understand the complex network of companies only gathering as much information as they can. The internet fundamentally changes how information flows, therefore we have to redefine what flows we deem acceptable and which not, as society, not only determined by companies, as is the case now.
The publication Metropole Ruhr tells the story of an area that once was the industrial metropolis of Germany. After the heydays of coal mining and steel production, the region had to reinvent itself. Niek researched the economic history of the region. He found an interesting story that chronicles the transformation of the Ruhrgebiet from coal and steel to high-tech powerhouse: the number of newly opened mines and universities since the 50 's.
Why does footwear have unified sizes, while every foot is different? Not even your left and right foot are exactly the same. Around 200 million Europeans are estimated to suffer from disabling foot and ankle conditions. Europe’s health services spend over €300 million each year treating many of these patients with foot supports, typically worn inside the shoes or as splints. With all the technology innovations this should be a solvable problem. SoleSaver is a project focused on solving this issue. From a perspective of providing ready to be used services, SoleSaver offers shops selling footwear the possibility to personalize their shoes, using the SoleSaver algorithms.
SoleSaver is a system using images, made by a smart phone, as input to create a personalised contour. This contour can be used by footwear designer to create fully personal footwear, for each individual customer. Using technology available to most, makes this service accessible to a broad audience. This offers new innovative footwear designer and manufactures to cooperate with SoleSaver to create a new way of producing footwear, finally getting away from the unified sizes.
SoleSaver is part of the Perflex project. Perflex has received a grand from Design United and has been presented at various locations, including Dutch Design Week 2017 and 2018.
During my research and free time I develop tools and random projects. They serve to aid me in the research process with for example automated data gathering or sorting and creating order in the chaos, or as visual try outs to make sense of all the information in front of me.
Hi I'm an Eindhoven based information designer with a strong focus on data infrastructures. I create tools which help to understand and use data infrastructures. I mix graphic design with a technological background to create a mixture between digital and physical tools. In case this random selection of work interests you or for any other reason you can write me on the address below.