Martijn Veenstra

1991, The Netherlands

Graduated in Graphic Design in 2016

Education and Work Experience

My journey into the world of design started with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design at the University of Technology in Eindhoven. During this Bachelor’s programme I also did an exchange semester at SDU in Odense, Denmark. After graduating I spent a year freelancing as a graphic designer before applying for the Master’s programme in Graphic Design at AKV|St.Joost.

Currently I’m doing a traineeship with the government in Brabant. There I’m researching how I can use design to humanize the government and introduce a more human-centred approach to governance.

Research Question 

My graduation project revolved around creating a tool that helps you prepare your meetings. Meetings are an interesting concept. In a way, they were the first social medium that Homo sapiens came up with. We should celebrate this beautiful invention, but unfortunately meetings have a bit of an image problem. Instead of being motivating and inspiring, meetings are sometimes boring and can feel like a waste of time.

How do we change that? The magic word is preparation. Meetings improve when more effort is put into their preparation—when they are designed. But it’s not only about the amount of preparation, it’s also about how you approach the meeting design process. A good meeting should not only focus on what is being done during the meeting, but also on how it is being done. Meetings should be approached from a holistic perspective, balancing the big picture of the meeting with the individual experiences of the participants.

That is where Firewood comes in. Firewood is a holistic meeting design tool that saves you from the pitfalls of your caveman brain. Through an intuitive and tangible interface, you can use Firewood to create a custom design process for your own meetings. This custom design process consists of multiple modular exercises that will enable you to externalise your thought process, allow you to reflect on it, help identify the assumptions you make, and provide you with new perspectives.