By Duy Geerinck

January 2017

As a student product designer I learned a lot in the past three years at Howest. At first I didn’t even know this programme existed. But when I toured around the school, my eyes opened when they showed all the products you can make with this programme.

The first year was difficult because it was a totally new learning environment and I had to learn to work with machines that I had never used in my life. But I learned to think differently and that gave me an insight on how we can make the world an easier place by making products that can make a difference.

In the second year I learned a lot more. We had a sustainable product design course that gave me a better look at how a product designer can have a significant influence on the world and the people.

In that course, I learned that only 10% of the world population have access to product design and that is of course the richer part of our world. From then on, I knew I didn’t want to do something else in my life then making things that can help people who actually need good product design – people who don’t even have access to life’s basic necessities.

That’s why I decided to do development internship. When I look around me I see so many products that we don’t need, that only the rich can afford and even when they can afford it, it has no life changing value to it. Most product designers are designing products only to make money. Our world is built on money. And when you have money you always want more and that’s where mistakes are made. Most people who have money don’t care about others because they live well. I don’t want to be like that, I want to give back to the world because I had a beautiful life in a country where you don’t have to worry about the basic needs in life and I want others to have a decent life as well by making products that are life changing for them.

That’s also why I decided I want to design products for those people later when I graduate. I really want to do something else with my life. I want to give something of myself to the people who need it, and not to people who can afford it. I don’t care about money. I care about something bigger -something most people don’t even stand still about it because they think their highest priority in life is to have a big home with a nice car. I care about other people who actually need my help.

Duy Geerinck is a Product Design student at Howest University, Belgium. He will arrive in February for a four-month internship with PSET partner Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya (SIBAT).