It’s amazing to see that Utrecht’s last edition of This Happened was already the 17th one, given that this event that was founded in 2007. Organised by different people in a few cities around the world, it has its own format: a maximum of 5 speakers, talking for 10 minutes followed by Q&A discussion. Each city has its own curators, which means people don’t usually request to be a speaker, but instead they are “chosen”. You don’t have to pay to join it and if you feel like having one in your city, you could contact the founders and start one. Sounds great and works great!
TH Utrecht #17 was my first time joining it. Definitely, it won’t be the last. Everything was very well organized, the speaker’s timing was perfect and there were very nice Q&A sessions. People of various ages were there, and it seemed like a good environment for the creative type. The speakers were relaxed, happy about their jobs and hard working people. The quality and variety of topics was very good. These are the speakers who were there:
- Manuel Kerssemakers
His project was Reus, a game by Abbey Games. It was released this year on Steam, GOG.com, GamersGate and Desura. In this game you are God and can control the whole world, but man kind.
The main contribution of his presentation was to see how an idea can be developed by people who believe it. In the beggining artists and other professionals had to work for no money and still they did a great job. You always hear about this kind of situation, but to hear from someone who actually lived and overcame it, is totally different. Now everyone who believed it has a job that appreciates and is making money out of it. Great!
There was also this part when Manuel was talking about how to work with feedback/bugs and what they did after it. That is interesting because it would be frustrating to launch a game or even product, having people who buy your idea, but not knowing how to learn after their reaction or deal with new situations.
- Marrije Schaake
Marrije’s project was about Joy. She literally used the word “joy” in all of her slides. It is so because the website she and her coworkers created was not a “real job”, they just thought that would be nice doing it. I think it’s important to have in mind that being passionate about something is sometimes enough to develop a sense of and optimize work and organization.
By the way, she was talking about Onzelootjes, a website that manages christmas or sinterklaas present exchanging. It helps a lot of families and she also talked about working with feedback. It was incredible to see a real example of how many situations you can forget to predict when creating a tool for people of all ages. For example, she received feedback about not all family members having an e-mail account. She then showed us how they might solve even situations like this. Inspiring!
- Mieke Meijer
Mieke presented her work in collaboration with Peugeot. Together they created a concept car interior design. The highlight of it is the material used for some of the interior’s parts. This material was produced after recycled newspapers. The methodology includes glue and a super secret engine developed by her team. It is an expensive, yet simple, process and definitely inspiring for who enjoys learning about crafts and new materials.
- Rick Companje
Doodle3D project! What a nice enterprise. Interested in art, science and technology, Rick and his team developed a super fun app PLUS a hub which connects one tablet to a 3Dprinter. In the app, you can come up with any simple 2D drawing, then it will make all the work to deliver a 3D object after it. The goal here was to hide all the complexity when printing your own drawing, which estimulates creativity. But still you can watch and learn about the 3D printing methodology. For example, people will realize how everything starts with a simple, unpretentious, 2D sketch. Apart from all the enchaiment with the 3D process, Rick also gave us some insightful tips about Kickstarter, which allowed all this project to really happen. There were other nice details like the project’s pop up store located in NY and the wonderful Amersfoort FabLab, where it all started.
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