Updated list of publications

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2008, September). Co-creation: het Nieuwe Doe-Het-Zelf? Product Magazine, 12-14.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2009a). The collaborative Design Lab: The future designer. Paper presented at the 5th World Mass Customization and Personalization Conference: Mass Matching – Customization, Configuration & Creativity, Helsinki, Finland.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2009b). DIY and Co-creation: Representatives of a Democratizing Tendency. Design Principles and Practices, an International Journal, 3(6), 69-81.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2009c). The Implications of Do-It-Yourself. Paper presented at the International Conference on Integration of Design, Engineering and Management for innovation, Porto, Portugal.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2011a). Design for DIY, Beyond the fixed solution space

Paper presented at the World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization, and Co-Creation 2011: Bridging Mass Customization & Open Innovation, San Francisco.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2011b). Doe-Het-Zelf Product Design (keynote). Paper presented at the Design for [Every]one, Kortrijk, Belgium.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2012a). The Independent designer, the Independent User (keynote). Paper presented at the Operae 2012, autoproduzione a Torino, Torino, Italy.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2012b). Sustainability by Do-It-Yourself product design

User design opposing mass consumption. Paper presented at the DRS 2012 conference, Chulalongkorn University Bangkok Thailand.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2015, October 20th-22th, 2015). Implementing ‘Design for Do-it-Yourself’ in design education. Paper presented at the The 8th World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization, and Co-Creation (MCPC 2015), Montreal.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2017a). ‘Chiaroscuro’: drawing light and shadow, workshop. Florianopolis: Congresso Ergodesign/ ISUHC / CINAHPA 2017, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2017b). If you don’t draw it, you can’t see it. In L. M. Fadel, V. R. Ulbricht, & C. Batista (Eds.), Design para Acessibilidade e Inclusão (pp. 59-73). Sao Paulo, Brazil: Blucher.

Hoftijzer, J. W. (2017c). Pastel as a Swift Sketch Tool for Design Education and Practice: a Qualitative Review Paper presented at the E&PDE, Oslo.

Martin, D., & Hoftijzer, J. W. (2017). Implementing a ‘DIY’ product design methodology in fashion design Fashion Design for DIY. Montreal, Canada: World Design Summit.


Study and paper to be presented at the World Design Summit in Montreal Oct. 2017

Fashion design for DIY; enabling Do-it-Yourself to support awareness and responsible consumption

At the World Design Summit, prof. Danielle Martin from UQAM in Montreal and I will present a recent study that is called ‘Fashion Design for DIY’.


The presentation specifically aims to address a cross-disciplinary method of ‘Design for DIY’, and discusses its suitability for both product design and fashion design. Both presenters are experienced practitioners, lecturers and researchers in those fields. The summit session will have a rather visual character, as it is the result of an aspirant-designer’s design experiment.

‘Design-for-DIY’ (DfDIY) projects were run by aspirant fashion designers, enabling amateurs to participate and express their creativity. DfDIY supports people’s awareness and appreciation of how things are made. The experiments helped developing knowledge concerning the Fashion-Design-for-DIY poiesis.


Student work of FDfDIY (Plet)

Paper to be presented at the MCPC conference 2015 in Montreal

As part of the running Design for DIY project I’m conducting, I will attend the MCPC (mass customization and personalization and co-creation conference) 2015. The paper I’m presenting concerns implementing the area of ‘DIY’, more specifically ‘Design for DIY’, in design curricula. The paper builds on previous publications and recent developments and conclusions, partly based on a small range of experiments concerning Design for DIY projects and approaches.

Presentation displayed at MCPC 2015


Design for DIYslide of presentation at MCPC 2015

Abstract of: ‘Implementing ‘Design for Do-It-Yourself’ in design education’

The technological changes that concern the tools for making have an effect on the type of profession designers will have in the near future. The traditional ‘industrial’ relationships between suppliers, manufacturers, designers and users alter rapidly, causing business models to change as a consequence [1, 2], as many economic principles seem to be no longer valid [3]. While many education programs prepare students for a future in a traditional user-supplier relationship context, anticipating the recent changes should probably be considered [4].

The extended process of ‘design for DIY’, that is facilitating non-designers to design and make an object or tool for themselves, by creating a suitable platform and design environment, includes a range of extra design steps, compared to traditional product design: 1. The pre-design stage, including setting the objectives, anticipating the audience, and the initial product design that is to be adapted, 2. Establishing the design environment (including platform, inspiration, etc.), 3. Designing the interaction between facilitator and amateur with the help of the design kit, and 4. The final ‘translation phase’, in which the amateur design result is to be prepared for fabrication. The order in which these steps can be taken varies.

As part of a running research project, a small series of ‘design for DIY’ experiments has been executed, that helped testing specific approaches of how to facilitate amateurs. These test runs resulted in some very interesting insights regarding the exchange of information between facilitator and amateur, and regarding preferences and skills amateurs revealed to have. Conclusions from these experiments help to define the area of expertise that should preferably be integrated into (university) design curricula, and will help to further establish a framework for ‘Design for DIY’ (DfDIY). These experiments help indicate the changing of the design profession caused by technological and societal changes and, most importantly, how to anticipate.

For more information, please contact the author.

Refer to: Hoftijzer, J.W. (2015). ‘Implementing Design for Do-It-Yourself in Design Education’, Abstract , MCPC 2015 Montreal (Canada), October 20th-22th, 2015

“The independent designer, the independent user”, at Operae Torino; Design Autoprodotto

On November 11th, as part of a the Torinodesignweek, Operae (Turin based trade exhibition dedicated to self-made design) organizes a cultural program of exhibitions and talks that cover the subject of self-production, “and its intersection with contemporary culture, economy and technology by offering new insights and by deepening topics and practices. A special area, inside the Cavallerizza Reale, hosts a rich turn of meetings and conferences with the intention of drawing different publics closer to topics such as self-production.”

Two interesting areas of research came together: 1. Self-production in the sense of: product designers fabricating their own designs (in small batches and one-offs), and 2. User led design (or user driven design), referring to the end user who designs and creates his or her own – individually required – products or objects. Both fields – as professor Pier Paolo Peruccio and I agreed upon – have their roots in the territory of self-construction. And both, I would add, are characterized by the fact that technology is the enabler of the – in the end – independence from mass production. It was very interesting to see and discuss the similarities and mutual factors, and very interesting to discuss the differences. I held a short talk titled: “The independent designer, the independent user.” If you’d require more information, I’d be happy to send you some.

Delft station

Presentation at the DRS conference in Bangkok

It was great to have the opportunity to present some of my thoughts on the topic of ‘user led design’ – user led design (or ‘DIY product design’) as an interesting alternative to the traditonal structures of the product design field – to an audience of design researchers. User led design refers to a mindset that goes beyond the boundaries of today’s industrial context. If you’re interested in the presentation, please let me know.

the factor of motivation

The abstract of the corresponding paper called ‘Sustainability by Doing-it-Yourself’:

Refer to: Hoftijzer, J.W. (2012). ‘Sustainability by Do-It-Yourself product design; User design opposing mass consumption’. Proceedings of the DRS (Design Research Society) conference 2012, Bangkok (Thailand), July 1-5, 2012

Sustainability by Doing It Yourself 

User (led) design opposing mass consumption 


Industrialization brought about the 1st consumer revolution (Hudson, 2008). Mass-produced consumer goods entered the marketplace (Achterhuis, 2011), and, since then, people purchased their goods instead of making tools and other needs for themselves and their relatives. Sector A (self-sufficient) communities changed into an industrial civilization (mainly sector B: making for someone else) (Toffler, 1980). Consumption became routine; in many parts of today’s world, people live in this culture of consumption. This consumption society has (had) severe effects on sustainability (Ehrenfeld, 2008), because nature suffers from the consequences of traditional mass-production and from the use and disposal of consumer products. What’s more, passive consumption appears to be highly in contrast to people’s aspirations and needs (Atkinson, 2006; M. a. E. R.-H. Csikszentmihalyi, 1981; Press, 2007). In the past decade, technological developments were the underlying basis for a growing influence by the enduser in the development of user products, resulting in today’s revolutionary ‘user design’, also referred to as ‘Do-It-Yourself product design’. User design, as ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (DIY) traditionally does (Edwards, 2006), represents a convergence of production and consumption. Some examples are ‘Shapeways.com’, or ‘TechShop’. User design seems, considering the above mentioned, to bring forth a sustainable form of product design and creation. Sustainability is considered to concern both domains of human and nature. Through analysis of both literature and recent developments, this paper attempts to validate the assumption that user design as true type of Do-It-Yourself, both as a practice and philosophically, answers today’s urge for approaching product design and development in a sustainable way. The paper will also address ways in which – and why – user design may have a negative impact on sustainability, contrasting to the above mentioned. The paper is part of an ongoing research program in which the stimulating factors and implications of user design are examined.

Abstract of paper ‘Design for DIY: Beyond the Fixed Solution Space’

From: Hoftijzer, J.W.  (2011).  Design for DIY: Beyond the fixed Solution Space’.  Proceedings of the ‘MCPC Conference (Mass Customization and Personalisation & Co-creation Conference): Bridging Mass Customization & Open Innovation’, San Francisco, November 16-19, 2011

Design for DIY: Beyond the Fixed Solution Space

Jan Willem Hoftijzer,The Netherlands

“Design reflects society”. Looking at the “new DIY” from this perspective, an historic analysis clarifies that there are two major factors that paved the path for today’s participation in product design (Atkinson 2006; Press 2007): technology and human motivation (Csikszentmihalyi 1981). Today’s highly connected user does not comply with a “fixed solution space”. Technology catalyzes the enormous growth of today’s user design practices, by means of: customization platforms (Piller 2011); one-off manufacturing facilities (Anderson 2011); the extensive availability of “how-to”-information; and the digitization of consumer prod- ucts. These four aspects illustrate the fact that the traditional gap in knowledge and production facilities, between producer and consumer, is closing (Kelly 2011). This paper attends to the DIY design dimen- sions that should be taken into account – by the designer – when “designing for DIY”. Considering these dimensions (and boundaries) should help the designer anticipate to the changes that happen to the indus- trial design field. This paper attends to the scenario that could derive from the above. After that, the various dimensions and boundaries of customization and DIY will be explored.