The Radius: a valuable learning experience

MMID is celebrating its 25th anniversary. To celebrate, every month we will ask one of our team members to select a project that symbolizes the last 25 years to them. Floris Kortekaas, MMID’s very first employee, kicks off the series.

Floris: “It might sound odd, but the project that has made the biggest impression on me is the Radius, the platform lift we developed for Thyssen de Reus (later called ThyssenKrupp Accessibility). The Radius was my first project. I started at MMID as a model builder and 2D drafter, at a time when the development of the Radius was already in full swing. I think after that we continued work on the lift for another four years. It turned out to be an incredibly complex project. The biggest challenge was balancing mechanics and electronics. We simply couldn’t guarantee a robust, trouble-free device. The project wasn’t a success, and the lift was never taken into production.”

Lessons learned

“Knowing what we know now, we would make entirely different design choices. I selected the Radius because it was an incredibly educational experience. The knowledge gained during this project has been successfully applied to the development of the curved stair lift Flow2, in close cooperation with ThyssenKrupp Accessibility, proving we could certainly handle big, complex products. Testing and review of important choices are now built into our workflow. Making a wrong choice isn’t a bad thing, as they will rise to the surface quickly and big loops in the project won’t be necessary. Making a mistake is alright. The experience will be formative for you, as a designer. The Radius project has helped me get to where I am today, and I am pretty proud of that.”