Welcome! My name is Ulysse van Duinen,
Experimenting my way to innovative products that make sense to the target users.
Currently studying product design at ENSCI Les Ateliers in Paris. Here is my portfolio:
Out of Breath - Vacuum Furniture 2019
Chairs have a way of representing the societies we live in. As shopping online becomes more natural, and we no longer feel like we have to live in the same place for very long, it becomes apparent our furniture are not adapted to this new lifestyle. This led me to study flatpack furniture.
I started with very exploratory prototyping to understand the form-language drawn from the contrast between rigid structures and soft materials. I then sought to see how this language could talk about comfort and seating, before making a 1:1 scale prototype.
This UI/UX project is the result of a four months long entrepreneurship training program, where we took into consideration the overall viability of the project through different means.
We created an environment that invites people to have more thoughtful interactions around content they actually care about, instead of being reactive to the endless stream of current events. We modeled this environment on Book-clubs, where we are able to overlook the differences in between people because we are gathered around the same passions. The platform was modeled in Figma.
Straps - Plane Storage System 2019
Planes are notoriously uncomfortable, in part because of their lack of adaptability to the traveler’s needs.
In a group with Donatien Lenoir, we freed up the space in front of the user by moving down the tray table to where the seat pocket is usually located, and turned to elastics as a way to create a very versatile storage system. This not only lets the user store all types of things, it also ensures he keeps access to his belongings even when the tray table is unfolded.
Overall, our product is a simple and elegant answer to the plane’s complex environment.
Images by Veronique Huyghes
TapTap - Connected Object 2017
What would it mean for a company like Alessi to make a connected product? Building on their long heritage of crafting friendly and even relational products, I approached the prompt with the idea of relationships in mind.
How to entertain a connection with someone through a device? Too often we resort to our phones to tell people we are thinking of them, but words sometimes feel cumbersome. My proposal is to bypass words, and create more of a presence. TapTap is at the entrance of your home, so that when you arrive, you can see that the other person is thinking of you through the light pulse of the device. To respond, you can choose to put your keeps on the long side of the key bowl, or on the shorter side to stay incognito.
Images by Veronique Huyghes
Aluminum Jungle - Modular Space Separator 2019
For this project during my exchange in Montreal, AluQuebec asked us to devise modular systems to showcase the beauty of aluminum.
This project explores the precision and simplicity of the material, through a modular space separator the users can build as they see fit. It comes in three part: the aluminum extrusions are assembled through tight fit to the desired length, and the cast rings are slid around to allow the different branches to be attached to one another. Small plastic caps are placed at the end of each branch to make the structure more stable.
Graphic Design and Branding 2018
I first discovered graphic design through a course where we were prompted to choose an artist and make both a poster and invitation cards to a fictional exhibition of this artist’s work. This is a project where I explored decomposition as a reflection of Damian Ortega’s work.
Since then, I have been working with two startups to develop their brand identity and marketing material, from packaging design, logos, and social media posts.
Algeo - Toys for Children 2020
The Centre Pompidou has been trying to bring the artist’s point of view to children, through workshops and kids sessions, and now through toys and games. For us, this means pushing children to see things a little differently.
Together with Giulia Bennedetti, we turned to ice as a material that can bring a wide variety of shapes, perceptual effects, and gameplays. By freezing small objects like seashells and flowers, in different types of molds, along with small cork shapes that help guide the narration of the final object, the child can reinvent the toy perpetually.
The ice always has to disappear, which adds a level of magic and excitement, while making the toy more environmentally friendly.
Biomimicry - On Mars 2018
Biomimicry on mars, or how we can learn from nature here on earth to better adapt to a new planet.
First studying the many challenges of colonizing mars, my partner and I focused to trying to make better solar radiation protection system, notably that it be independent of humans and use only ressources readily available on the red planet. After talking to experts from the CNRS, it became apparent that dust would be our best bet. Many projects exist to use the dust as a 3D printing basis to build protective habitats, but we would be using dust storms as a mechanism to cover our structure with 100 millimeters of dust. We looked at many filtering system existing in nature, from a whale’s baleen to termites ventilation systems, and build prototypes that allowed us to test our solutions.
Workshops - Wood, Metal, Plastics, and Video
Ensci les ateliers takes a hand-on approach to design. We are always confronted with material as the first step towards making a product. We learn to work with these materials not only for their aesthetics, but also for their mechanical properties. We also explore form for what it is, without a need for function, in order to explore creative possibilities.
Here, you can find samples of my productions.
Images by Veronique Huyghes
Blind Galileo - Curiosity in Science 2017
How can we make difficult scientific concepts less intimidation? This project, which resulted in a functional, fully coded iPad platform, tries to answer that question.
The project aims at sparking curiosity by representing scientific concepts with images that are somehow related to that principle. Graphene is therefore shown as a roll of tape, echoing the way the material was first produced, and a flower echoes how pollen was first used to prove the existence of molecules. The platform lets you filter what kind of discoveries you see, with tags like “Size of the discovery” or how dangerous to mankind the discovery was. Each principle is then further explained, showing an explanation of the chosen representation, but also ways the discovery enabled new technologies, and a feed of the latest mentions of the discovery in the news.