Problem solver, analytical and functional designer Samuel Kernan Freire is chosen as winner of this year’s Bluedot competition. The master student has a dual nationality of Irish and Portugese but moved to The Netherlands a few years before he started at the university in Delft. Here, he first did the bachelor Aerospace Engineering, but this turned out to be too theoretical for him, so he switched to Industrial Design. It was a great choice, he describes it as a multidisciplinary study, where you see the whole picture, including the user of the product.
The outside, green, and the plants in his room were the first things that came to mind for Samuel when he heard the theme of the competition ‘calm and chaos’. He participated in the elective course for the competition and won 1st prize with his ‘Misty’. Misty is a product that can humidify the air inside it, making the growth of moss possible. The idea of humidifying a space came from the dry winter air in his house, which is not optimal for plants or people. Samuel links the materials and calmness to Japanese Zen gardens, where water, moss, and rocks are placed in chaotic cities to create a calm space. Misty makes it possible to do the same inside your house.
For Samuel, the competition was a great practice opportunity. Designing Misty taught him that iterations are very important in design, especially doing a lot of little tests during the process. Also, he learned that having a story behind your product engaged people to it, he thinks this is one of the reasons Misty won the contest. He still has some additions for Misty in mind, he wants to make it bigger, so that it does not only humidify the product itself, but also the space around it.
But for now, Samuel is not focussed on further development of Misty, because he is busy with his graduation. This is about a completely different topic: smart manufacturing. He is working on a digital assistant, like Siri or Alexa, but for the manufacturing industry. It is a lot more digital than his Misty project, there is less of a physical aspect, but more focused on things like conversation design and artificial intelligence. With his wide area of interests, he doesn’t know exactly what he is going to do in the future. But his designer dream is to be involved in developing products that have a positive impact on people and society.