Marco Putzu

Double degree student in MSc Industrial Design and MSc Innovation Management at Eindhoven University of Technology. I focus on innovation management, user centered design, and design strategy. Currently, I am looking for a research internship starting at the beginning of February.

About me

I have learned to make use of an iterative design process and be in charge of my own learning. I face design challenges that have an impact, and base my directions upon research. Having experienced this iterative process, I have grown fond of learning through making. Using a hands on approach and getting in contact with users to determine the next step, examining many possibilities. I am a creative problem solver, focusing on value creation and new product development. I place the user in the center of my design process, aiming to create an experience that flows naturally. I strive for innovation and like to explore untaken paths.


Interdisciplinary Teamwork

The bachelor program of Industrial Design has prepared me for the real work: interdisciplenary teamwork with exciting deadlines.

Design thinking

Starting a project without knowing where to end up. Not getting lost in processes like these can be difficult but I've learned and experienced going through it while staying on the right path.


I have learned how to use research methods both in design cases and in research cases. Using it to your benefit in the early stages of a design process for inspiration, using it in the later stages for user testing or to use it as a tool to research the market potential. A design project without user research is incomplete.

Iterative process

Trial and error is imminent in a design process. Going to the users and confront them with a concept always provides a ton of insights. Whether it suits them or not; if you fail cheap this way, I don't consider it failing at all.



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Design a tangible product that makes use of reciprocal and shape-changing interaction
Time: 16 weeks, 2015

Flow is an interactive alarm clock that helps you wake up in the morning. Our goal was to let the user perceive time without the numerical interface a clock normally has. When you snooze the alarm, you slide the wave to snooze. The longer you stay in bed, the harder the necessary force becomes. the force resistant interaction indicates time in a tangible way.
This project has given me the chance to work extensively with user research in order to determine a sensible, tangible interaction.

Exploring interactions and possibilities through bodystorming opened up new possibilities. Taking the hourglass as the point of origin, a timer with force dependant input came out of it. Later on, this changed into an alarm clock that used the force as a way of interacting and creating dialogue with the alarm clock.

A wave has been created by using servo motors underneath a thin MDF board with slots cut out of it, making is flexible and stretchable. Sensors have been integrated on te bottom of this board; capsense sensors can indicate the hand's position.

Forms have been explored through models using foam and MDF.

It all came together in the alarm clock with two main sides: the speaker side (audio output), and clock side (time output). As the alarm goes off, the wave starts building up at the speaker. The volume increases as the wave grows. Sliding the wave towards the clock side will snooze the alarm, giving the user more time. Dismissing the alarm is done by pressing the wave flat. The interactions have been coupled with the movement directions according to the frogger framework.


Design a tool for a primary school teacher to orchestrate the class
Time: 16 weeks

The class sizes in Dutch primary schools keep increasing and teachers are under more and more work load. The goal of this project is to lower the burden on the teachers. Phil helps children - group 5 to 8 - reflect on theirselves. Once the children feel they have deserved a point, they can turn on a LED on the device by tapping it. After this, they are able to write on top of it why they feel they deserved this credit. From our research it turned out the teacher has a clear overview of the class' progress, whereas the children were honest in their grading. Even though different islands of tables had different arguments for obtaining points, the teacher had a clear overview on the progression of each child. Within this project, I was mainly involved in coneptualization, the programming of the final prototype of PHIL, the set-up, and the analyzation of the qualitative research.

Through contextual inquiries, we saw that the teacher has trouble overviewing the whole class. We came up with a bracelet concept, on which the teacher could reward individual children for their work performance or behaviour. We included PABO-students and teachers in our process and we came up with a concept slightly different than the bracelet, in order to give children a more free feeling. This renewed concept consisted of a standalone device, on every child's table.

A user-test has been set up in order to find out how children would respond to certain types of rewarding. From the test, it appeared that children wanted to write on top of the stickers for providing reasoning why they deserve it. The children were enthusiastic and discussed their progress, which they could also argument. Besides that, the teacher could easily monitor the class' progress and if some (groups of) children were slacking behind.


Gamification for learning during football
Time: 16 weeks

FeetBack provides young football players, aged 8 to 13, a fun way to start using both feet when playing football. Trainers in higher league football teams already train their teams for ambidexterity (using both feet), but find difficulty in doing so. We spotted an opportunity here.
My main tasks in this project were the design of the games, qualitative research and a shared responsibility on prototype, which included physical prototyping, programming the games and sensor and experimenting with different sensors.

To gain insights in the dynamics between the players, we have conducted the contextual inquiry research method and took a look at the trainings at various football clubs. Through discussions with trainers and especially the insights from football clubs PSV and FS Utrecht we have learned that ambidexterity is a good quality to have when playing at higher levels.

A mobile application has been prototyped in order to monitor players' foot preference. In this application, we have implemented some simple games like the Dutch game "Lummeltje", in which extra rules have been added to provoke the use of ambidexterity.

Various game types have been explored, taken from current practices of football training and adapted. This ensues a low learning curve, yet a new dimension to existing games with an incentive to train ambidextrous.

Final Bachelor Proect

Care Quest
Time: 7 months, 2017
Client: Philips Design

The group of people that provide care to their friends and family, informal caregivers, keeps growing every year. In the Netherlands, 2,5 million people are informal caregivers. Over 250.000 of them are highly burdened caregivers with a higher risk of becoming ill. Once they becomes ill, who takes care of the informal careiver?
Care Quest is a system that helps informal caregivers reflect on the way they live their life. Together with the helps of friends, family, and other professionals involved. Together, they create a more sustainable lifestyle.

User research had a strong focus in this project. Through the use of talking groups, cultural probes, and interviews, I got to know the ins and outs of informal caregiving. Even though it is such a diverse group, I initially focused on informal care in which care recipients have acquired brain injury. From this research, the main insight is that informal caregivers tend to recognize they need to care for themselves, but rarely act upon it.

The halfway concept featured a deck of cards with questions upon which informal caregivers could write their solutions. These questions have all been co-create together with informal caregivers. Together with friends, family, or care professionals, they fill in the cards. These filled in cards are physical reminders of promises they have made for themselves.

The strong point in the halfway concept was that everything has been created or validated together with the end-users. However, this concept lacked value in revisiting the cards. Through the use of an online application and a device that outputs cards that have been answered, informal caregivers can get insights from other people who are in a similar situation and tackle similar problems.

Through a two-week user study, 4 informal caregivers have shared their experience using the cards I have created. The respons was very positive. Informal caregivers have stated that these cards have made the concept and burden of care much easier to discuss with their family and friends, yet they did find it hard to write on it as they had a hard time figuring out a "solution."

The final design of the system includes a physical device, that helps in the irregular, physical nudging of the user with a new question card. The mobile application is integrated with this device and acts as an extension; the answers that are written down on the cards come from people the user is already acquainted with. Additionally, through the online platform, users are able to obtain insights and share their care experiences with others.

IDConnect 2017

Fikkie: making energy matter
Time: 4 weeks, 2017

Fikkie is the winning concept of the IDConnect 2017 design case of the Dutch Design Week. Fikkie is a virtual firefly that lives in augmented reality. It helps children aged 6-11 understanding what energy and its value is. Through eating saved energy - for example by switching to LED lighs or turning the heater down - Fikkie grows and levels up. The application of Fikkie is linked to the parents' smart thermostat application, making it a joint effort.

Through questionnaires, discussions, and interviews with companies and users, insights were obtained about the user groups. The main insight that sparked the idea of Fikkie, is that many people simply do not care about the environment. They care about wasting less money. Many smart thermostat users don't consider their energy bill high, yet they would like it to be lower.

Throughout the game, Fikkie slowly gets to know the house. It will learn where the lamps are located and which drawer hides the dish washer. Slowly but effortless, a virtual world of Fikkie emerges and the user and Fikkie will be able to interact

As the children roam the house in order to feed Fikkie, their parents get personalised suggestions to save money on their energy bill. An accurate screening of the house will be done. For example, it will be known how many high efficient lamps there are throughout the house, or if there is a lot of drafts in the house.