Delft makes use of students’ fresh perspective

How can you use smart technology to improve the daily life of Delft residents? Well, there are plenty of possibilities. This was clearly shown on Monday 17 December in a short exhibition by students from the User Experience Design degree programme. The students demonstrated how they can play a role in the modernisation of the Municipality of Delft’s digital agenda.

The exhibition at Delft Town Hall is part of Discovering the Delft City Deal (CDKM). In CDKM, cities work together with a university of applied sciences or university to accelerate the solution of social challenges. This involves researchers, lecturers and students. This was also how the Municipality of Delft came into contact with our User Experience Design degree programme.

Enthusiastic

The city faces many challenges. For instance, how will it deal with water management. Delft is a very low-lying city and has difficulties keeping its feet dry during periods of heavy rain. Another challenge is how to deal with social issues such as waste. Delft would like to raise residents’ awareness to these issues. Residents could perhaps even play a role here.

Ideas

The students got to work following a briefing. They developed many ideas in a relatively short period of time. During the exhibition, they enthusiastically explained the operation and added value of their chatbot, reactive dashboard, exertion game, tool for data-driven working, co-creation tool, and their robots, drones and intelligent cameras. Tim van den Bosch, lecturer in User Experience Design, does not hide his enthusiasm about the various ideas. He beamed as he talked about how the students rapidly developed these fantastic presentations using the Scrum method.

Residents’ perspective

Rajash Rawal, member of the Executive Board of The Hague University of Applied Sciences, is also proud of ‘his’ students. “We’ve shown here that what students learn in the classroom is socially relevant. It is valuable for our students who are presenting their work here to experience real-life problems from the perspective of Delft residents. In this way, students can play a role in solving the real social dilemmas faced by Delft. This needs to be followed up.”

Fresh perspectives

There certainly will be a follow-up if it depends on Delft alderwoman Hatte van der Woude (Education, Youth and Integration). “Delft is pleased with its collaboration with The Hague University of Applied Sciences,” she said. “As municipal government, we want to be as responsive as possible. This requires know-how. We realise that most of the know-how is beyond the walls of the town hall. It’s great to be able to use the fresh perspectives that students have on the world. I have just taken a look around this exhibition. I have seen some top-quality solutions here that are very promising indeed.”