MY "bEST seLF"

Veerle van Wijlen | Master Industrial Design | TU/e

Welcome to my Masters Industrial Design portfolio!

My name is Veerle van Wijlen, a second year Master Industrial Design student at the University of Technology Eindhoven (TU/e), The Netherlands.


In my work, I aim to empower and socially integrate people who are affected by mental health issues and as a result restricted to participate in everyday life—I want to enable people to be their "best self" in society.


Make sure to check out my main design (research) interests, expertise, projects I have worked on and highlights of my current work.


I have mainly worked on projects that addressed service design, design for mental health support, and personalization design processes. Therefore in my past projects and courses I have gained expertise in these main areas:


In previous projects I have collaborated with several non-profit organizations in the field of mental & social health and elderly care.

Moreover, I have done two internships, one as design intern at a design studio in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and the final one, my own design research project as preparation on my final master project, at the department of clinical psychology and psychotherapy in Giessen, Germany.

Furthermore, recently one of my designs has been exhibited at the online exhibition of the Dutch Design Week at the Drivers of Change from the TU/e. Some examples are:

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Multi-Disciplinary Design Research
Supporting Mental Health


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|Design Research Portfolio

Talki Talkie On Dutch Design Week

"Talki Talkie is a product-service system that empowers elderly to communicate their opinions through voice agents."

Recently one of my designs, Talki Talkie, made together with design partner Chia-Hsiu Liu, has been exhibited at the online exhibition of the Dutch Design Week at the Drivers of Change from the TU/e. 

Talki Talkie is a product-service system that empowers the elderly in care homes towards choosing what they eat. A personal voice agent gives notifications of the food production process. This raises transparency and enhanced communication. Through a non-intrusive and slowly breathing light ring, the elderly get to know the circumstances of their food. Sound playback and voice recognition enable easy communication about food choices. Additionally, caretakers can provide feedback on the residents’ choices through a corresponding digital platform.

Skills learned in this project:

  • interactive experience programming

  • leading co-evaluations

  • creating service blueprints

  • quick prototyping

  • context inquiry and service related user research methods

  • visual presentation


A Physical, Expressive and Multisensory Drum Tool Changing The Perspective on Relaxation for People With High Levels of Anxiety

RELAX-CHANGE is my most recent project which I am currently investigating in the context of clinical psychology and psychotherapy in Germany. 

Within the context of mental health, and especially within the anxiety spectrum, a common ‘mental issue’ is worrying and rumination, in other words, repetitive negative thinking. This highly restricts these people in daily functioning, each in their own way, such as in sleeping or concentrating at work. Current methods, focused on calming/soothing relaxation techniques, do not suffice for everyone to break their anxiety cycles.Therefore, there is a need for accessible tools that support relaxation in a “different” way than existing methods, to help a larger group of people within this anxiety spectrum. RELAX-CHANGE is a physical drum instrument that provides a new and specific way to support people with anxiety in relaxation, on a daily basis. Therefore, with RELAX-CHANGE, people with anxiety can flow into relaxation in a very expressive way, through expressive drumming on the instrument, in which they are supported by light and sound in the drum that engages them in play, keeps their attention and triggers their multiple senses. By building up towards a peak in expressive drum play (building up tension), and releasing their created tension (de-stress), the design allows for optimal distraction, letting go of negative thoughts and emotions, and leads to a relaxation state. The design has the potential to be used at home or in therapy sessions.

Skills learned in this project:

  • more in-depth experience and interaction programming

  • leading focus groups

  • in-depth knowledge about designing for mental health, psychology and psychotherapy interventions

  • concept development for complex, multi-stakeholder problems

At this moment I investigate the design opportunities of RELAX-CHANGE within the context of psychotherapy practice, research and other fields of clinical psychology. I am researching its added value, tension fields, unexpected opportunities and the chances for future implementations of design in this specific context. 

So far it has been found that, it is important to notice that I have discovered that the design does not only have the potential to support people with anxiety in relaxation, but that it also fulfills the need for relaxation of people with other ‘mental problems’ (such as depression, bipolarity, traumas etc.). Furthermore, the drum not only has potential to support relaxation, but also to support (emotional) expression and communication, with which people with all kinds of mental problems struggle on a daily basis, so not only people with anxiety! In this way, RELAX-CHANGE, can help even more people through supporting in more than relaxation, in an accessible way. Besides that, it turned out that the design also has potential to create awareness and discussion around dealing with mental health issues, and so potentially can be used as an “educational object” within education, and for example design thinking workshops or online discussions.

What are the potential opportunities, positioning of, and benefits of designs like RELAX-CHANGE, within the multi-stakeholder clinical psychology / psychotherapy research and practice contexts?

Other project highlights

In the last 4,5 years I have worked on many projects within the design field of mental & social health, elderly care, and education. But also on some other projects to increase my knowledge and skills in the areas of experience design, materiality & tactiles, and design for behavioral change. Do you want to know more about this? Click the button down below. 



Interested in one of my projects, expertise or would you like to collaborate? Please, don't hesitate to contact me!

© Copyright | Proudly made by Veerle van Wijlen 11-2020