Week Five: Competitive Context

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

This week's lecture was in the form of interviews with:

Torsten Posselt (FELD)

Matthew Jones and Michelle Dona (Accept and Proceed)

Wouter Dirks (Studio Rumbur)

Stijn vande Ven (Eden Spiekermann)

Luke Veerman (Eden Spiekermann)

How do you research and identify new industry projects or opportunities that you'd like to participate in?


  • Always trying to mingle between many domains.

  • The most natural way of picking a project or looking into certain kinds of domains of working is a personal preference.

  • You can draw a lot of power from your personal preference.

  • Sometimes it's good to do the opposite and choose something you're not familiar with.

  • By doing something you're not familiar with, you can have a lot of fun by researching whilst learning something new.

  • There's nothing worse than a designer always doing the same thing; you don't see the spots anymore.

  • You need to refresh your eyes and your brain sometimes.

MJ + MD:

  • How can you design for good?

  • How can you lend your design skills to those that are doing good and evoking change?

  • Do a lot of self-initiated projects and passion projects to explore your own interests regarding the questions above.


  • Part of DEPT.

  • Go to a ot of confrences.

  • Attract interest through clients.


  • Work can come to you because people like and have seen what you do.

  • It can be hard to define what you do.


  • Solve business problems with design.

  • In terms of new opportunities, start with finding a problem you want to solve.

  • Make sure the problem you want to solve matches your skillset.

  • Word of mouth.

  • Know about the industries you're interested in working in.

Design Indaba (2013) Mariam Bantjes and Jessica Hische on becoming Successful

  • Education is what you make it.

  • Obsession is a key element of becoming successful.

  • Mentoring is really important.

  • Inspiration comes from environment.

  • Inspiration comes from all around, at any time, anywhere.

  • It's not hard to become successful; it's hard to stay successful.

Design Indaba (2015) Michael Bierut on how to Think Like a Designer

  • Design counts! Design can change the world for good and for bad.

  • You can make simple/limited jobs fun and exciting.

  • Graphic design can be fashionable. Don't look too far when creating a new logo/design. Look at what the client has gone with before.

  • Old and new can coexist.

  • Graphic design shouldn't be intrusive.

  • Listen to the client; you're not always right.

Image: https://www.pentagram.com/work/saks-fifth-avenue/story

Image: https://www.pentagram.com/work/saks-fifth-avenue/story

Workshop Challenge

Creative Conscience

I feel this project is relatively broad, which I like. This project would also allow me to explore my environment more and get to know the community. Wellness and wellbeing are becoming significant factors in a lot of people lives at the moment, and something I don't think will go away.

D&AD New Blood Awards

This is a concluded competition which puts me off slightly. As well as this, I'm not sporty at all, so this doesn't peak my interest. As I live in Taiwan and speak very little Chinese, I feel that there will also be many communication issues when engaging with the target audience.

Live Collaboration

Unfortunately, I haven't worked on a collaborative design project with anyone before, so I would struggle to contact anyone. As well as this, my contacts would be in the UK whereas I'm in Taiwan, which could also be problematic regarding communication. I feel that there would be too many external factors that could go wrong, and with such a short time frame to complete the project, I think it would be too risky.

Science Museum

This brief sounds interesting, and I feel that there would be a lot to learn here. I'm interested in curation, so this project would be a perfect opportunity to explore that further.



Image: Headspace - Home | Facebook

Headspace was founded in 2010, by Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe, with one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. They currently have 30 million users in over 190 countries. Headspace offers hundreds of guided meditations and exercises on everything from stress to sleep and is consistently among the top-ranked Health & Fitness apps on iTunes and the Google Play Store.

Their website is easy to navigate through and is very informative. There are numerous articles and blog posts on mindfulness and meditation on various topics such as sleep, stress and even climate anxiety. As well as this, you can also read some of the 'Headspace Stories', which give you a glimpse into the results people gained from using Headspace. There are also multiple illustrations, mainly of an orange circle with a face looking relaxed and content. At first, I wasn't overly sure what I thought of the illustrations as they're slightly cartoonish; however, the more I navigate through the website, the more I begin to appreciate them. The illustrations are simple and don't discriminate; this service is available for anyone. One thing I did find annoying was the constant request for me to start a free trial; these requests were sometimes a little intrusive, and I wonder how they could be done differently.

Overall, the website is straightforward, easy to navigate and informative. The typography is clean, and the illustrations and overall branding are easily recognisable.

Aventive/Soar Medicine

Image: Physical Therapy Medicine | Website Design & Branding | Aventive Studio, Austin TX

I came across Aventive Studio, an Austin, TX branding agency dedicated to modern and strategic design brand development. They specialise in the health and wellness industry, so I thought this would be a good place to find some case studies. I decided to focus on a project they did for Soar Medicine which specialises in orthopaedic treatment, as this felt pretty close to the direction in which my project would be heading. The branding was clear and easy to read. They included a lot of photography of people, which is a lot different to Headspace. I like the use of photography as it also highlighted where on the body they treat, which are possibly common sports injuries. With this in mind, It's clear from looking at the people within the photos that they are trying to appeal to a specific demographic, which didn't seem to be very inclusive. Going back to Headspace and their illustrations, I realise that it's an easy way to reflect your inclusivity. Although I like photography as it can make a brand more relatable, it can instantly turn people off if not done correctly. However, both Headspace and Soar Medicine are within the umbrella of health, fitness and wellbeing but are on different ends of the same spectrum, so I can't compare them. Still, I've picked up some interesting points from looking at them both that I'll consider in my project.

Mindfulness and Surfing

Image: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Mindfulness-and-Surfing-by-Sam-Bleakley-author/9781782403296

Image: https://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Surfing-Reflections-Saltwater-Souls/dp/1782403299

Mindfulness and Surfing casts a fresh perspective on this popular sport and explores how riding the waves can be the ultimate meditation. Engaging author Sam Bleakley takes us on a soulful journey across the tideline of his personal and philosophical travels. Through lunar cycles and river surfing to the Taoism of nature, he reveals an acute awareness of what the oceans can tell us about our place in the natural world. Meditating on one of nature's most incredible elements – its salty swells, flow and peaks – he shares life lessons in mindfulness that will be relished by surfer and non-surfer alike.

Although this isn't a book, I felt it was relevant to my brief and the angle I want to take it. Although I haven't read this book, I know the author/surfer and am aware of other projects he's involved in. Anyway, without trying to judge a book by its cover, it's clear that it's about the positive impact being around nature and being active can have on one's wellbeing. This isn't news; there's a lot of evidence surrounding this, and many of us already know this. However, I like how this book is presented. I like how the illustrations are ambiguous, a little bit like Headspace, in that they appeal to anyone. The book also mentions that it isn't just for surfers; it's for people that like swimming or other water sports.


I'm slightly nervous taking on this brief but am happy with my choice. After looking at what previous students have created for Creative Conscious, I feel that this brief is best suited to me and that I'm in good company. The workshop challenge definitely helped me focus my attention on the direction I want to go in with this brief and how I can potentially tackle it. Mindfulness and well-being are so broad and can appeal to anyone, which is important to keep in mind when designing. Illustrations are a good way of being inclusive of a wide demographic, but my illustration skills aren't so good, so this could be problematic. With this in mind, I would like to use photography for this project and portraits; I just have to be aware of who my audience is.


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/954/pages/week-5-lecture-competitive-context?module_item_id=56232 [Accessed 20 Oct. 2021].

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Michael Bierut on how to think like a designer - YouTube. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RanfCx18gi4 [Accessed 20 Oct. 2021].

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Marian Bantjes & Jessica Hische on becoming (and staying) successful. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmOPjmJgOs4&feature=emb_title [Accessed 20 Oct. 2021].

Aventive Studio. (n.d.). Physical Therapy Medicine | Website Design & Branding | Aventive Studio, Austin TX. [online] Available at: https://aventivestudio.com/work/soar-physical-therapy-website-design/ [Accessed 26 Oct. 2021].

Headspace. (2010). Guided Meditation for Everybody - About Headspace. [online] Available at: https://www.headspace.com/about-us.

blackwells.co.uk. (n.d.). Mindfulness and Surfing. [online] Available at: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Mindfulness-and-Surfing-by-Sam-Bleakley-author/9781782403296 [Accessed 29 Oct. 2021].

www.quartoknows.com. (n.d.). Mindfulness and Surfing. [online] Available at: https://www.quartoknows.com/books/9781782403296/Mindfulness-and-Surfing.html [Accessed 29 Oct. 2021].

Amazon.com. (2021). Mindfulness and Surfing: Reflections for Saltwater Souls: Bleakley, Sam: 9781782403296: Amazon.com: Books. [online] Available at: https://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Surfing-Reflections-Saltwater-Souls/dp/1782403299 [Accessed 29 Oct. 2021].

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