At MMID, every designer works within one of the following five Fields of Expertise: Functionality and Systems, Producibility and Assembly, Electronics and Software, Look and Feel, and User eXperience. In this series of interviews, we speak with MMID designers from each of those Fields of Expertise to give a small peek into our work and culture. For this week’s peek, we interviewed Job Bahlmann, who interns in the fields of Functionality and Systems, and Producibility and Assembly in Delft.
Hi Job, could you tell us a bit about yourself, and how your journey at MMID began?
I am Job, currently in my second year of the Master IPD at Industrial Design Engineering. To explore working in a real design company, I wanted to do an internship. I like to work with my hands, so for my internship I looked for a company that has a practical approach in addition to the conceptual work. MMID was listed as a partner on the IDE faculty website, and their description fit perfectly with what I was looking for. I sent an email with my motivation and resume and got an interview, after which I quite quickly heard that I could start in February!
What do you do as an intern at MMID?
As a Functionality and Producibility intern I mostly work on models and mechanical solutions. I do this by sketching and brainstorming with colleagues, modeling solutions in CAD and by prototyping and testing physical models. CAD modeling is my sweet spot, and with the support of my colleagues my modeling skills have progressively improved throughout my internship.
What have you learned so far during your internship at MMID?
One of the great things about working with specialists from all fields of expertise, is how it expands my understanding of how design aspects come together. For example, I learned to keep potential production methods in mind when I am in the process of designing parts, as well as proposing the most optimal one for the part at hand. This requires an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of milling, injection molding, 3d printing and other production techniques.
Apart from the variation in activities, I also like the variation of topics to work with across projects. Throughout my internship I’ve been working on a variety of projects, products, and aspects of products. This variation helps me to explore directions within the industrial design space that I might want to pursue in my professional career.
What do you like most about working at MMID?
The thing I like most is that MMID challenges me in different ways. In practice, that means that I can explore the designer I am and want to be, by contributing to many aspects of the projects. For instance, I am looking forward to visiting our offices in Essen and Lubeck soon to help out in some of the many extensive prototype tests that are done within MMID.
Another thing about working at MMID that I appreciate a lot, is that the culture is super open. Even though there is of course a hierarchal structure inside the company, it really feels like it isn’t there and you can speak to anyone. Everybody makes jokes and works hard together on the same meaningful projects. I feel like I am valued as a normal employee and not as an intern. I can give a lot of input on projects and work on the real thing, while having the support of a super nice mentor and the space to work on personal development goals.
What does your average day look like as a Functionality and Producibility intern?
Usually, I go into the office around 8.30 or 9.00, then I prepare for my cluster meeting at 9.30. In the cluster meeting, we discuss what everyone is going to do today. If someone has issues or wants to know how he can help others this is the time to do it. It is a nice and relaxed way to see what everyone is working on and to keep an overview of the projects. After this my day can vary a lot, sometimes it mostly consists of meetings and sometimes it consists more of modeling and working in CAD software. Besides working on projects, I also spend time on the personal development goals that I set up at the start of my internship. For example, one of them is to learn how to make appealing renders. To do this I followed a rendering masterclass to get familiar with materialization, lighting, composition, and rendering techniques, which I later used in my work. I work on projects until lunch, which I preferably have outside if the weather is nice. At 13.00 I continue my work on the projects until it is 17.00, then I fill in my hours for the projects I worked on and go home.
Can you tell a bit about a project you are most proud of?
For about 10 weeks I worked on a medical project of which the functionality was already set, but the internal layout was not. One of the things I had to work out was how to fit the PCB, motors, actuator, sensors, and other parts in the expected functional shape while considering the order of assembly and the production method of each part. In essence, it was a big digital 3D puzzle. After about 10 weeks the parts were ordered. It was very cool to see the parts when they came in. Something about seeing my work get tangible in the real world makes me really satisfied and this is what motivates me to work as a designer on products that fulfill a meaningful function.
What do you do next to your work at MMID?
Next to MMID, I like to do some sports. I play volleyball and beach volleyball. During the week I have two indoor practices and one beach volleyball practice. During the weekend I have a volleyball match. Next to that, I like to coach beach volleyball teams, which I do once a week. When I have time, I like to go cycling, also with the MMID colleagues!
If you would describe MMID in 3 words, what would it be?
Collaboration, Physical, Variation
Why those three words?
Collaboration because you do everything in consultation with each other. Of course, sometimes you work alone, but you know that someone is always there to help. Together we think about making the decisions, resulting in MMID being one big collaboration. This collaboration is super good; even spread over different locations, you can always get several insights to work on something.
Physical because we do make tangible products that we test. At MMID we prefer to do this physically in the real world so that we know how things react and feel too.
Variation because of the variety of projects you work on and the people we work with. This makes it interesting to work at MMID because it is different every day!