My professional vision is how I see the world in its ideal state and the role I believe design should take in this. My professional identity describes myself as a designer and my contribution towards this utopia.​​​​​​​
Inclusive design is a very important area of design, which I incorporate into every project I work on and will further pursue in the future. As Fletcher (2006) describes it:
“It aims to remove the barriers that create undue effort and separation. It enables everyone to participate equally, confidently and independently in everyday activities.” - [2]
For me, it stands for creating with an open mind while making choices that benefit a wide variety of users without making the design too complex. It is important to include users that are otherwise often overlooked by being ‘out of the ordinary.’ In a utopia, all designs will work equally for everyone, but realistically, this is not the status quo. However, I feel that the inclusiveness of designs should greatly improve. But to do so, as a designer, you should take an inclusive approach and not limit your designs to the ideal user. In practice, I achieve this by researching for and with people who experience hurdles in their everyday lives. This can be because of an (intellectual) disability (see: Williams project), a person’s gender, age, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, health (see: Oceanz Internship), and more. Furthermore, I learn about these aspects of identity by reading and discussing them with others, actively immersing myself in other cultures (see: Exchange UNIST), and learning about them.

As a designer, you are responsible for creating designs that add to the world and do not further pollute it, destroy it, or make it a less sustainable place to live. That said, sustainability is a broad concept affecting multiple design areas. On a lower level, you should make conscious choices when choosing and purchasing sustainably sourced materials. Furthermore, you should look into sustainable business ethics and adopt them in your design process. Ultimately, your whole design process and its outcomes are sustainable, a goal that is difficult to reach. In my opinion, it takes practice and experience. With each project, you learn and develop yourself further as a sustainable designer, and those learnings you can implement in the next one. Overall, the most important requirement to be sustainable is to have a sustainable mindset and focus on doing better.

Currently, opportunities for people worldwide are unequal and primarily stem from location and aspects of identity such as gender. This has resulted in a gap between people that is difficult to close. In my opinion, great designs hold the power to bring people together instead of increasing this division. Whether intentional or not, many current designs add to this gap or at least sustain it. To contribute, as a designer, to reducing this gap, you should be aware of the current problems and those that can arise in the future. To do so, you must have a collaborative mindset and believe in the power of togetherness while joining hands to bridge this ever-growing gap. This is not the sole responsibility of designers but of every person who can contribute, which, in my opinion, is anyone and everyone. Only by working together with understanding while sharing experience and knowledge will there be change in today's sociological world.
My professional identity describes me as a designer, my strengths, and how I develop them to become a better all-around designer. 
I see myself as an empathic designer, meaning I can connect with people on a deeper level and feel positive about my abilities to learn the users’ true wishes and opinions. I do so by being myself and being genuinely interested in the other person. I find this important as a designer since, in the end, we are designing for others. I believe the best practice is to be empathic and understanding to ensure a good product-to-user fit. I have learned that I find the design process rewarding when this is achieved. However, apart from using it in design processes, I think it is also a good quality to have in your day-to-day life. 

I am a curiosity-driven person who enjoys deep-diving into an unknown topic and learning as much as possible about it, not only by reading but also by actively reaching out to experts in that field. I believe this is a good skill to have as a designer since you will often come across topics before unknown to you. It takes a curiosity-driven designer to paint a complete picture of the topic. Furthermore, this not only applies to topics solely, but also to (design) methods and the thoughts and views of others on the subject. Moreover, when matched with an empathic identity, it creates a good foundation for user-centered design.
“User-Centered Design (UCD) is a multidisciplinary design approach based on the active involvement of users to improve the understanding of user and task requirements and the iteration of design and evaluation.” - [1]
I feel like user-centered design and utilizing it as an approach should not be noteworthy but should be the standard in the design field. Why design for people without actually including and consulting them?

As a designer, it is important to be meticulous and pay attention to detail. I learned this by experiencing great designs, thinking about what made them exceptional, and discovering that the details made them stand out. Think of products with braille to assist people with bad eyesight and clever food packaging design, such as the standard onigiri packaging. Moreover, being meticulous helps to get your message across since it adds to the consistency of your (brand) image. Whether they know it or not, people favor consistency over illogical designs. By being meticulous and creating a coherent color scheme, typology, and brand expression, it is easier for the customer to trust you and your products and services. It can feel redundant when you have worked on strong designs, but these details should not be neglected. I believe so strongly in this that I do it more and more automatically nowadays because it is very much ingrained in my (professional) identity.
[1]       Mao, J.-Y., Vredenburg, K., Smith, P.W. and Carey, T. 2005. The state of user-centered design practice. Communications of the ACM. 48, 3 (Mar. 2005), 105–109. DOI:
[2]        Fletcher, Howard. 2006. The principles of inclusive design: they include you.
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