Bas Kools (1981) Thinking about people: Their systems, situations, and services. Educated in graphic and product design with an MA at the Royal college of Art in London, having done projects in a variety of Western and Eastern European countries, I now focus on designing systems, working in teams of specialists and users.
With a main interest in the systems, situations, and services people find themselves in, my focus is to find out how we can design new ways of living and working together. Through topics like public space, education, policy making, and business innovation, design is a service that has to rediscover its position in society. A designer has to be a person with the ability to redefine the relations between situations, systems, objects, materials and services in our society. Therefor I responds to what I see, hear and feel, offers solutions, alternatives and sometimes provokes with a comment.
Design for me is about people, how they live think and do. Since I finished my master in Design at the Royal College of Art in London (2007) I prefer to see design as a collaboration. A collaboration with experts forming a team to innovate systems, situations and services in a social way.
Questioning everything to find the real problem and increasing the quality of life by changing the daily. It is design but with a social innovation at its core. I figured that I cannot just make objects, there must be a reason, an explanation, and preferably a socially related question. Although material experimentation is a also part of my work, the context, and the why I work on a project always has to do with a social happening. Design in my eyes is a service that has to find its position in our society. And a designer is a person that has the ability to think about objects, materials, situations and systems from a different perspective by asking the right questions.
A nice quote as an approach that almost always brings you where you want to go with charm, risk and appealingly randomness is one of Zaphod Beeblebrox from Douglas Adams, ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’: ‘I don’t know what I’m looking for.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Because … because … I think it might be because if I knew I wouldn’t be able to look for them.’
The changing role of the designer
Today we see that the role of the designer is constantly evolving and expanding. From designing objects to designing systems and services. Working together with experts and users to develop innovative ways of designing and living with products not seen as the goal but used as a tool. This is applicable for all creative disciplines. Designers are in essence communicators, some do this better through objects some better in print or other media. In this process the product is not the goal but the medium. We see that more and more companies, governments and others become aware of the value this role can add to the development of systems and services. To develop long term sustainable solutions that make the experience between service providers and service users more empathetic and engaging. What is key to this kind of approach is the way awareness of the situation is created. This is what most of my projects are about. Creating the right kind of transparency and working towards a more empathic society.
With my experience I am researching and building on how I can contribute to making our world a bit more understandable. This in collaboration with experts and users to capture the spirit of the ‘now’ and push this forward into future scenarios on how we can live together in new ways, providing the steps to work towards a communal goal. Can we convince governments and business to work with creatives to create stunning solutions for our today’s social issues? Is this more human / social approach not the way to make money? My ambition is to lead creatives, business and government in this thinking, helping them find out what this means and how it works I see myself as director of processes where I guide the players of the system to learn who they are and how to do better by being good through finding and doing.
I am a practical Idealist and I experiment to find out how can we work together to design better ways of living together.
I have an extensive list of experience in many different projects from product design to game design and from setting up conceptual frameworks to design entire projects and researches. My experience is best viewed by clicking the button below.
A basic list of my skills that helps me in the project I do.
Project development, Design thinking, Concept development, Abstract thinking, Group facilitation, Understanding people and situations, Project leader /manager, Visualization, Critical thinking, Creativity in almost everything I do, Inventiveness, A generous and positive attitude, And last but not least an urge to experiment…