Tom Cobbenhagen

A business card and portfolio

Hey there.

I’man industrial designer.an entrepreneur.a manager of a non-profit.an inventor.a volunteer.a passionate nerd.

I specialise in user-centred design and iterative design processes.

I am passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation and mobility.

EXPERTISE

HUMAN-CENTRED DESIGN

Not only limited to iterative design cycles, but also in decision-making or problem-solving.

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Nurturing and spotting business opportunities in all activities.

PEER LEARNING

Naturally being a creative person, applying it to all aspects in my work.

TEAM LEADERSHIP

Being an active leader, managing all processes, and encouraging others to grow personally.

PREVIOUSLY WORKED WITH

 

 

 

MY WORKS

President at EYP NL

President at EYP NL

Crisis Aware Business Model Canvas

Crisis Aware Business Model Canvas

RelivRing

RelivRing

Secretary at EYP NL

Secretary at EYP NL

OPWIS

OPWIS

Rotterdam 2018

Rotterdam 2018

Designing for a ritual

Designing for a ritual

Aesthetics of Interaction

Aesthetics of Interaction

Personalised Learning

Personalised Learning

Embodied Social Interaction

Embodied Social Interaction

Carsense

Carsense

SOMNUS

SOMNUS

SensUs promotional video

SensUs promotional video

Noxxi

Noxxi

Conduct 2016

Conduct 2016

Bachelor Degree

During my bachelor studies, there were several main focus topics in my activities. I foremost focused on User-Centred Design, mobility as well as entrepreneurship. Whilst entrepreneurship is currently my main focus, it was not as prevalent in my bachelor’s. The bachelor in Industrial Design mainly focused on the development of my vision and identity. I explored a lot, by taking on different types of projects and courses to eventually be able to see what kind of an engineer I wanted to become.

Next to the major topics in my studies, I also followed auxiliary courses that were both explorative and deepening, to become a more multifaceted designer and develop my skills and competencies.

Instead of looking for an extracurricular learning activity in my third year, I decided not to and focus on a long-lasting project I had been working on for two years; the Rotterdam 2018 conference, which can be seen in my portfolio here.

User-Centred Design

A very major focus was the science of User-Centred Design (or Human-Centred Design [1])  and Computer-Human interaction. The sparked interest led me to follow a string of interlinked courses (USE-line) focused on this subject, which helped me to deepen my understanding of how to design for and together with users. The unexpectedness of a user’s interaction or behaviour is vital, as different interpretations of a system or product can lead to a completely different experience. To further understand theory behind behaviour, I also took on an introductory Psychology course, offered by another faculty, to further develop my knowledge.

Mobility

Mobility was the main theme of my Final Bachelor Project, which was in cooperation with the Dutch Railway (NS). Next to that, I also collaborated with Volvo to develop a solution for their unreleased autonomous vehicles. What I found fascinating about working on mobility, is the extremely wide user group that can be attained. Instead of working for a specific market segment, mobility can be used by all, making it a very interesting journey to devise an appropriate solution.

Entrepreneurship

As I mentioned before – although I touched upon the subject in several courses, entrepreneurship was not an integral part of my Bachelor Degree. However, outside my curriculum, I set up my first company with two study friends where we took on project work in filming. This was a very educative experience, as it allowed me to put my skills into practice and gave me a lot of responsibilities that I wanted to take on.

Before that

Before I started studying in Eindhoven, I went to a bilingual high school in The Netherlands, where we majored in both Dutch and English. Whilst taking joy in courses such as physics and mathematics, I also had a profound interest in more social sciences, where I could improve my rhetoric skills and worked on analysing parts of society. Apart from the regular curriculum, I also partook in extracurricular activities, such as joining several Science Olympiads, participating in the Public Speaking Contests, joining the European Youth Parliament, managing the 3D printing programme and briefly being part of the Student Council.

 

References
[1] Norman, Donald A. The psychology of everyday things. Vol. 5. New York: Basic books, 1988.

The Present

Currently, I am halfway through my master’s degree of Industrial Design and in pursuit of an internship between February and July of 2021 in the field of strategic design development or service design.

Within my studies, I have taken upon myself a focus-track called “Design Leadership and Entrepreneurship”. Within this track, I intend to expose myself to different styles of leadership and their applications, as well as analysing entrepreneurship in large and medium scale companies. With that, I want to further develop my style of leadership and become a more multifaceted leader – being able to apply methods corresponding to the right situations. Furthermore, I want to enrich my knowledge about entrepreneurship, study cases, and get involved. Therefore, I am currently working within an interdisciplinary team tackling key mobility issues around the Eindhoven Airport at TU/e innovation Space. My ultimate goal with this track is to become a multifaceted entrepreneur and leader.

Next to that, I am still the President of the European Youth Parliament in The Netherlands where I mainly focus on easing the organisation and its activities through the pandemic, as well as forming a structurally sound 5 year strategy plan for the organisations growth and development. More about that can be find in this portfolio entry.

The Future

After my Master’s degree in Industrial Design, I intend to follow it up with a Master’s degree in Innovation Management at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, as the study at this university opposed to the TU/e has a business background, rather than a technical one. Adding this study to my curriculum will allow me to reach my goal of becoming a multifaceted engineer and entrepreneur. by combining my knowledge of creative problem solving, user-centred design, technology entrepreneurship and leadership.

Concluding my education-career, I aspire a management/leadership function in a technological development firm. I see people such as David Kelley as a huge source of inspiration, looking at their contributions to the field and style of innovation development and management. By getting the industry’s knowledge in my bachelor’s degree and Industrial Design Leadership & Entrepeneurship as well as Innovation Management in my master’s degree, I would be well prepared to take on such a role.

Secondary to that, I still want to be able to have an impact. I want to stay involved in society and be able to contribute to the development of my surroundings. This does not necessarily have to be politics, but rather staying involved in things I feel passionate about and using my experience to help that development.

Taking a user-centred approach to solving societal and technological topics.

Vision

When looking at my past activities, my vision can be divided into three separate pillars: mobility, entrepreneurship and societal impact through education.

Mobility

At the moment, mobility is often seen as a way to get from A to B. Whether by public transport, personal vehicle or a shared vehicle, the ultimate goal is to get to the destination. For the most part, that is true – although a very abstract definition. However, the detail that is often omitted is that mobility can also be a pleasurable experience. 

My vision for the future of mobility is not to strive to make mobility more efficient. We see trends around the world where metropolitan areas want to put a heavy focus on shared vehicles, but I strongly believe that the future of mobility is not only more efficiency. What I want the focus to shift towards is to make mobility even more enjoyable. The idea that mobility results in ‘time lost travelling’ is out of date – moving from one place to another can also be an enjoyable, productive or entertaining experience.

Impact

Having been involved with the European Youth Parliament since 2014 has shown me the deep roots informal hands-on education can have on people. Although I have never been fully interested in politics, I always admired the way this extracurricular organisation has been using problem-based learning. When I started working at TU/e innovation Space, I saw other ways that challenge-based learning can have a great societal impact.

Knowing and connecting these two organisations, I wholly believe that the role of education is shifting – it is no longer the source of knowledge for young people, it is becoming a way for young people to get involved in society and contribute. Education is already starting to shift away from standard classroom-settings and I envision this to happen more. Growing up won’t mean acquiring all the knowledge before an impact can be made – growing up will mean an iterative process of gaining knowledge and applying it directly in a hands-on setting, such as with challenge-based learning.

Entrepreneurship

The power of Industrial Design is that we devise systems and products that are intuitive to use; that engage you, that give you feedback or feedforward. I believe that the same kind of thinking that we use in these design processes can definitely be beneficial in the management of companies, even if they are not involved in Design.

By regarding the company as such a system or product, I believe it is possible to apply certain frameworks [1] that we use in design to iteratively improve the processes of the company itself, its hierarchy or even it’s work-ethic.

Identity

I have always had an intrinsic curiosity to explore. Whether it was to see the world, or by taking apart almost all electronic devices to see how they work inside. Next to that, I have always been a creative individual; from a young age I was already building websites, or simply solving everyday problems in creative ways. All of this, paired with a passion for technology and innovation, was the reason why I also chose to become an Industrial Designer.

User-Centred Design is a large aspect of my identity; in all concepts and ideas, I aim to include the user as much as possible. Paired with my vision, this an important aspect, as intuitively relates closely to usability, which is defined by the user. Through iterative design processes, such as the Reflective Transformative Design Process [1] or the Double Diamond process [2], I aspire to develop concepts which are intuitive and enriching to use.

I flourish as a team leader; not only in my studies, but also in professional circumstances I am comfortable and capable with taking the lead in the process. Managing tasks, managing team morale and taking on the responsibility are roles that I assign to naturally, which is why I aspire a master’s degree in Innovation Management, too.

I have an entrepreneurial mindset. I always seek new opportunities and challenges to be able to reach my goals. I hold a position in several different types of organisations where I can use as well as develop all of my professional skills, such as my team leading skills, project management as well as developing my sense of cooperation, communication and strategic development.


References

[1] Hummels, Caroline, and Joep Frens. "The reflective transformative design process." CHI'09 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2009.

[2] Nessler, Dan, and Dan Nessler. “How to Apply a Design Thinking, HCD, UX or Any Creative Process from Scratch.” Medium, Digital Experience Design, 19 May 2016, medium.com/digital-experience-design/how-to-apply-a-design-thinking-hcd-ux-or-any-creative-process-from-scratch-b8786efbf812.

LET’S GET IN TOUCH

Tom Cobbenhagen

Tom Cobbenhagen

tom@cobbenhagen.com

084 884 0804

innovation Space 1.350, Groene Loper 10, Eindhoven

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EDUCATION

2019-

Master Industrial Design

EINDHOVEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Focusing on Design Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Published “RelivRing” at CHI’2020.

2016-2019

Bachelor Industrial Design

EINDHOVEN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Currently focused on Human-Centred Design and intuitive user experiences. Final Bachelor Project in cooperation with the Dutch Railway (NS).

2014-2016

English Language and Literature – Higher Level (HL)

International Baccalaureate
2010-2016

Bilingual Education (TTO) on VWO (Dutch University Preparatory Education)

PORTA MOSANA COLLEGE MAASTRICHT

Graduated in bilingual education (NL/EN) within the Dutch curriculum profile of N&T (Nature and Technology). Courses included in the profile where physics, chemistry, calculus, advanced mathematics, business management, European & international studies, Culture and art development, Science for public understanding as well as German.

WORK EXPERIENCE

2020-

President of the Board

EUROPEAN YOUTH PARLIAMENT THE NETHERLANDS FOUNDATION

I took a seat in the 2020-2021 board of Stichting Europees Jeugdparlement Nederland as the president of the foundation. I am responsible for the organisation’s strategic development and representing the organisation internationally to develop continent-wide policies and strategies for the entire European Youth Parliament network.

2019-2020

Secretary of the Board

EUROPEAN YOUTH PARLIAMENT THE NETHERLANDS FOUNDATION

I took a seat in the 2019-2020 board of Stichting Europees Jeugdparlement Nederland as the secretary of the foundation. I was responsible for overseeing the management of multiple conferences, the foundation’s data administration, school recruitment, volunteer management and strategic development.

2019-

Student Assistant – Resources Management

TU/E iNNOVATION SPACE

The TU/e innovation Space is a community and facility that supports interdisciplinary hands-on education, engineering design and entrepreneurship. At this institute, I am responsible for a majority of its graphic formgiving and facilitating Challenge Based Learning.

2017-2018

Chief Media

UNiD MAGAZINE

I was the leader of a small team of ~10 people responsible for all the photographic content of the magazine. The UNiD magazine is released thrice a year, containing time-pieces about industrial design. Over the last few years, the magazine has featured interviews with remarkable people such as Donald Norman (author of Design of Everyday Things), Jamie Hyneman (Mythbusters) and Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine).

2017-2018

Project Manager – Rotterdam 2018

EUROPEAN YOUTH PARLIAMENT

Project Manager for two years for the 88th International Conference of the European Youth Parliament that took place in Rotterdam in October 2018. The event hosted 300 participants from all over Europe that discussed issues and matters on a European and global level. This event was of high standing and supported by people such as Philips CEO Frans van Houten, former Prime-Minster Jan Peter Balkenende and many more.

2017-2018

Co-Founder

38 HERTZ MEDIA GROUP

A filmmaking business I started with two like-minded peers. During our teamwork we have worked with several organisations at the Eindhoven University of Technology, such as the Department of Industrial Design, Team FAST, Plugged Festival, Study Association CHEOPS and Study Association Lucid. The business later split up into two separate companies, one focusing on filmmaking and the other, my latest venture (KEI Creatief) on design.

TESTIMONIALS

LUC VORSTEVELD

LUC VORSTEVELD FORMER PRESIDENT | STICHTING EUROPEES JEUGDPARLEMENT NEDERLAND

Tom is a very pragmatic, efficient, and professional worker. He makes sure that he is able to do his work in a structured and well thought through way. He is also very strong at helping others and cooperating in teams. Tom makes sure his opinion is heard and he is not shy to reach out when he wants to implement changes or when he believes he can be of assistance. Tom has a practical view on problems and decisions, which makes him a very valuable asset when it comes to group work.

ROY COBBENHAGEN, MSc.

ROY COBBENHAGEN, MSc. FOUNDER | SOLAR TEAM EINDHOVEN

Tom delivers. And no matter what you would ask him to deliver, it will be of high quality. Often seen with a camera in his hand, he is used to looking at things from a different perspective and analysing what aesthetics means. This thirst for design is possibly only surpassed by his hunger for technology.

VIEW MY LINKEDIN PROFILE

If you want to learn more, see my commendations or connect with me, head over to my LinkedIn profile!

MY LINKEDIN PROFILE