Choices

Choices

Je l'ai choisi. On est ce qu'on veut. — Jean-Paul Sartre
Brussels · Hometown

Controversial in its beauty next to its ugliness, in its divide that is actually only a perception, in its being the capital of Europe but struggling to be the capital of Belgium. It is still the place I call home and where I catch up over a (or more) Belgian specialty beers with family and friends.

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Delft · Aerospace Eng.

Rode bicycles. Studied aerospace engineering (TU Delft). Rode bicycles. Focussed on aerodynamics and thermodynamics. Rode bicycles. Built and fired a rocket. Rode bicycles. Got into material sciences and physics. Rode bicycles. Broke up with my girlfriend… while riding a bicycle.

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New York · Parsons

Parsons has been life changing for me by means of its two summer courses. Living alone for the first time in the city of all cities. Realizing that I needed to take my creative side into account. Understanding that I wanted to be involved in design as well as engineering. Forging an affection with NY that I know will be lifelong.

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Delft · Industrial Design Eng.

Rode more bicycles and really found that I wanted to do something more creative than Aerospace, linking my engineering background to design. Finished my Industrial Design and Engineering bachelor degree at the TU Delft and really developed an interest in 3D printing, mechanics, ergonomics, manufacturing and economics. All this from a solid base of aesthetics, form and design. Loved every minute of it.

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New York · Coworking

Spent two summers living in NY dedicating myself to the development of two projects (dates.io, PlaceList). Set an ambitious work scheme and deadline for these projects, working from the New Work City coworking space. Got heaps of feedback, support, critique and encouragement. Learned to demo product in front of audiences and reached MVP status on both projects. Read my blogpost.

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Hong Kong · Exchange

Life at the crossroads between East and West broadened my horizon. Studied one semester Product Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University sharing the tiniest of flats with a roommate. Made lifetime friends across the world from one single city, understood that eating out is a way of life, that Chinese pile up workload like they load up a bicycle and that working with Chinese is exciting but requires a mindset adaptation.

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Berlin · Coworking

Probably the hippest place in Europe (Jawohl, Deutschland…) and a buzzing, creative place for music, design, art, publishing, startups. Spent some time in Berlin working on Placelist at the betahaus coworking space. Another city that carried my heart away.

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San Francisco · Coworking

Geek town par excellence. Inspiring start-up scene that is incredibly different from Europe. Everyone seems to be into tech (or coffee). The perfect place for coworking and meeting likeminded people. Shame about @KarlTheFog though.

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Chances

Chances

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. — Milton Berle
Technology

Making people's life better when it is applied well. Creates opportunities and can take people out of their isolation. Will continue to define the future.

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Travel

It's not the destination that matters but the road itself. That's why it's only when you get lost that you start to know where you are.

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Languages

My parents taught me to speak Dutch. Our nannies taught me English with local accents from Edinburgh (aye, right!) to Wimbledon (dear me!) and everything in between. With primary and secondary school in French, it's still English that I think and work in most efficiently.

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Family

A bunch of people that don't hesitate to challenge and bring out the best in me. Or slap the truth right in my face without ulterior motives. From them I received: a decent dose of common sense, the understanding that you can achieve what you want if you work for it, that the world is a big but accessible place and that quality, beauty and respect matter. All this held together in an environment of art, fashion, food, business, freedom and responsibility.

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Food

I love good food. I am a foodie who loves to shop for great food, prepare it and eat it. Preferably accompanied by friends, a good bottle of wine or a specialty beer. A true carnivore who considers the fresh green stuff to be input for what will ultimately yield a well-marbled, dry aged ribeye steak.

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Art

Seeking expressions of uninhibited creativity and aesthetics. Finding it occasionally at museums, expositions, art galleries. When you find it though, it can blow your socks off. Put a dent in your skull. Particularly like art fairs: business in super sized museums.

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Architecture

Creativity on the leash of the laws of physics. Good architecture makes heavy buildings look afloat. Like la Cité Radieuse by Le Corbusier in Marseille. Majestic, serene, human, timeless, unique. The French designer Mora-Ito recently bought the rooftop solarium and gymnasium in the picture as a piece of art. Fortunately keeps it open to the public.

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Photography

My visual memory bank and the instrument with which I can freeze and share my most treasured moments.

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Planes

I started drawing them when I was four, building them in Lego at six and in plaster at ten. I went to all the Le Bourget shows since I was twelve. I studied aerospace engineering at eighteen. Their physics never cease to amaze me, even though they failed on two occasions when I happened to be in one of them…

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Maps

My friends refer to me as a walking GPS. I seem to have been born with a Google Maps blueprint in my brain. Mapping, cartography and geolocation fascinate me and I currently have two geo applications in the starting blocks.

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Connections

Reduce prejudice through connecting people by means of technology. Learn from differences rather than judge them. Understand various points of view and come up with solutions that are in the interest of all. Only through communication. Communication by being connected. Connection through technology.

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Party

From Miami to Ibiza, Las Vegas to Hong Kong, Amsterdam to Brussels, Shanghai to Mumbai, the world is a great place to party (after work…).

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Challenges

Challenges

If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? — T.S. Eliot
Global

No borders, no distances, no limits but opportunities, experiences and exchanges. The world is my home and my workspace.

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Design

I'm not just interested in the latest trends, but essentially in what has been designed well; contemporary, modern or vintage. Seeking a balance between form and functionality for me is essential in products, objects, graphics, web or interactive applications.

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Engineering

My state of mind. It is the analytical framework that I use to develop the solutions for an issue. Engineering follows the creative process; it is the perspiration behind the inspiration. It is what turns the spark into a fire.

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Entrepreneurship

To me this means (inter)action, risk, challenge, development and reward. A focus on finding and designing solutions that are beautiful, functional and technical. I'd like to apply my skills and knowledge to any venture that would give me the opportunity to reach a common goal while broadening my horizon.

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Startup

Analyses, decisions, involvement, networking, co-working and a lot of hard work. Bringing people, minds and opinions together to create something new thrills me. I love the fast-paced environment and I can work under extreme pressure. I was accepted for the European StartupBus program in October 2013, managed to get a team around an idea I had, jointly expanded the idea, build the model and the BP and finally got second with the 'Unplanned' app at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna.

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UI / UX

What I want to do. My ambition. What else?

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Mobile

The future is in the continuous engagement of the user with the product; at all time and at all places. The constraints are important, the challenges are huge and the evolutions is fast. Big things coming to the small screen. Hope to be part of it. Front row if I can.

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Teamwork

Is being able to function well in an environment of people with different competences and accepting their differences as a value. I look forward to be part of an ambitious, passionate, multidisciplinary team and share in its synergy and partnership.

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