Yiwen Shen (CV)

- Specialization Track:
Research, Design & Development (RDD).
- Primary Expertise Areas:
User & Society (US), Technology & Realization (TR).
- Secondary Expertise Areas:
Math,Data & Computing (MDC), Creativity & Aesthetics (CA).

Professional Identity 

‘ For me, a brick and a sensor are equal, both are simply elements in my toolkit ’ 

---prof.dr.ir. M. (Masi) Mohammadi

I have great interests and passions on both interaction design and smart buildings. Therefore, I envision myself to become a cross-over designer in the areas of smart buildings and automation systems. In the past, I have majored several different studies, my educations and experience allow to become a cross-over designer. Hence, I consider myself have a unique professional identity. Here I would like to give a brief introduction: 

------- China | Suzhou -------

  • In 2013, I achieved my first diploma in Landscape Architecture at Suzhou University from China. During my internship at EIH Architecture & Planning, I aroused my interests in emerging technology and architectural visualisation, additionally, I also raised interest to study abroad. 

------- the Netherlands | Enschede ---------

  • In 2017, I obtained my second bachelor diploma in Art & Technology at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, where I gained a lot of practical skills to produce digital products for the market. For example, 3D visualisation, digital product and graphic design. 

------- the Netherlands | Eindhoven --------

In 2018, I started exploring opportunities to combine architecture and technologies in the context of Industrial Design at TU/e. I framed my learning activities by following several electives, generally in two specialised areas: 

  1. Smart Home System: A designerly perspective on IoT; Exploring 'Co-Performance' in both Constructive Design Research and Research Future Everyday. 
  2. Parametric Design: I followed electives (both at the Department of Industrial Design and Built Environment) related to Parametric Design and Generative Arts. For my research project, I designed a Tangible User Interface for parametric designers and non-experts to collaboratively perform design activities. 

From 2019 to 2020, I explored further my professional identity as a cross-over designer through a completion of minor package as well as the graduation project at the Department of Built Environment, TU/e. Besides my graduation project, I am also working (part-time) as a draftsman (tekenaar) at PAI Electric. 

I specialise in two areas:  

Parametric Design 

Grasshopper3D for me it not just a tool, it is a platform where I can learn and share computational design projects. With its numerous plugins that allow me to understand logics, data, mathematics, programming, fabrications and much more. It breaks down barriers between different design fields and allows me quickly to adopt different design roles. I can discuss patterns with fashion designers, facade with architects, 3D visualisation with animators and VR / AR with developers.  In the future I want to develop my own plugins, adding my creative brick to the parametric building. 

UX / UI Design 

User experience plays aspects play an important role in the design of smart applications and systems. In the context of smart buildings, new types of applications and user interfaces are delivered via smartphones or tangible devices (thermostat) that allows users to operate and monitor HVAC system in order to obtain a healthy and comfortable indoor climate. 

Vision on design

The world is facing an energy transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy, which demands that everyday environments become more and more sustainable and intelligent. The current social and technological development are gradually shaping the role as well as the function of a smart building. The demand for smart buildings is thus increasing.  Besides accommodating a comfortable place for people to live, work and study, smart buildings are also performing learning activities, driven by the Big Data, smart devices and automation systems, seamlessly integrated into buildings that collect data from multiple sources. 

User experience aspects play an important role in the design of smart buildings. It is gaining more attention because besides achieving good energy performance, a smart building should also deliver good user experience in terms of thermal comfort, good lighting quality and interactions, driven by seamlessly integrating the smart systems and technologies. I am a strong believer that by involving users’ behaviours and their activities, smart systems are able to learn from users and shall improve their overall performance. 

To create a natural connection between the smart systems and user and create a good user experience with the smart products and systems, to do so, I strive by: 

Designing with the user

Created with Sketch.

The design of everyday artefacts are not always user friendly and intuitive, and sometimes it can even frustrate users. The essence of design is to facilitate people's lives and create meaning for their daily lives. Good interaction and user experience are shaped by one's feelings, motivations and behaviours (Hassenzahl, 2001). In order to design a product that provides functions and superior user experience, designers are required to have a deep understanding of the user and their contexts. 

Designing with data

Created with Sketch.

Data has become an important part of people's lives. Data-driven design can provide designer insights to assist with their design process. For technology companies, users, products and data are always intertwined. Companies can collect data from users and then optimise their solutions to meet their design goals while ensuring that their decisions meet the desires of stakeholders. Using data to design can take the design company to the next level.

Designing for aesthetics

Created with Sketch.

Aesthetic quality is important to industrial design. It increases the level of user commitment to the product, also creates an engaging and intriguing experience. Aesthetics exists not only in the form of products but also in their interactions and functionalities

Designing for respect

Created with Sketch.

The users of the product are human, when designing systems or products, the design process always involves the whole human being, the designer should always respect human skills: cognitive, perceptual-motor, emotional and social skills (Hummels, Djajadiningrat, and Overbeeke, 2001). In my future work, I aim to take the user as the starting point and their skills as the radius. All this is used to establish a harmonious relationship between people and artefacts, to maximise the potential of human beings and thereby to improve user experience and possibilities. 


1. Hassenzahl, M. (2018). The thing and I: understanding the relationship between user and product. In Funology 2 (pp. 301-313). Springer, Cham.

2. Hummels, C. C. M., Djajadiningrat, J. P., & Overbeeke, C. J. (2001). Knowing, doing and feeling: communicating with your digital products. In conference; Interdisziplinares Kolleg, Kognitions-und Neurowissenschaften; 2001-04-24; 2001-04-26 (pp. 289-308).