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IDE in Twente

Text: Kurt Blom & Isabel Kuipers Media: Yinying Miao

From virtually the other side of the country, all the way from Enschede: welcome to this little bit of Industrial Design Engineering in Twente. As you might have guessed, I am not studying IDE in Eindhoven, nor am I actually a UNID writer. I am Kurt and I am here to tell you a little bit about how we do things in Enschede. Together with the help of Isabel this will be compared to what life is like in my home province of Noord-Brabant, at the TU/e.


Let’s start with the way the study is built up. In Enschede an academic year exists of four modules a year, two semesters. In your bachelor you will have about two up to five subjects per module, depending on which year you are in. The big difference here is that our curriculum is fixed while you can choose elective courses throughout every year, and a mandatory have USE Learning Trajectory in the second year. 

The main difference with the projects at the TU/e is that our projects only last one module or “quartile”, together with two up to five subjects which are set per module. This means that we generally have less time to finish a project, but on the other hand focus on a specific part of the designing of a product.

Year one

Project one: introduction to IDE. The project is literally what it says, an introduction is made to practically everything an industrial design engineer has to offer. The first project is therefore also more of a “testing the waters” type of project. You get to see almost everything, but you slightly just touch on the subject. The three modules after this go into: ideation and conceptualisation, which teaches more about how to come up with ideas for a product and how to improve and fine tune these ideas into actual concepts. The realisation of a product, where the product is actually made into a – preferably working – prototype, which is manufactured in a workshop through different means that were given workshops in. Finally the year concludes with smart products, which is fairly self-evident. Here we focus on the ergonomics and smart applications of a product.  

Year two

Our second year starts off with an addition to subjects that were already touched upon in the first year. The main focus of this first module is put on ergonomics of products and the production of plastic parts by means of injection moulding, here we also get. The second module introduces graphic design and once more an addition on something we started with in the first year: technical product modelling. Here we basically get an advanced SolidWorks course. Finally we also get some marketing, which is connected to the project, where we have to write a marketing report as an addition to the final report. Where we started off with two basic sketching classes in the first year, we now also get an extended, more advanced course in sketching where we work with drawing tablets. This in general seems pretty easy after normal sketching, but it is something else I can tell you. These are also a few of the examples of aspects where your curriculum is rather different from ours. In terms of focus on specific parts of design.

Year three

The third year is a hard one to summarize, as everyone will give their own twist to it. This is because in your third year in Twente, you will start off your year with a minor. This is, at the TU/e, separated into a Minor, Exchange, Internship and/or Electives. This minor is basically half a year, often the first semester, of following other courses at either the University of Twente, elsewhere in the Netherlands or even abroad. These courses can be IDE related, but students can also choose to go for a – up until a certain extent – completely different course set than the one they are used to. After or during this semester, students will write a report or essay on their experiences during the semester and they will flow back into the IDE curriculum, starting in the third module and this will actually be our final module of “actual” lectures. This means that after module eleven or quartile three (or whatever you call the third quartile of the third year, I don’t judge) we will start on our bachelor final assignment, which you call the Final Bachelor project. Also known as bachelor thesis or “hey look ma, I made it” paper. You know the one.


To also give you a glimpse of the extracurricular activities we all know and love here in Twente, I thought that the best person to tell you about this, would be my great friend and the chairman of our association nonetheless: Maarten Smit. He will talk a bit more about the structure of our association and all the amazing things we do.

 I was asked to write a short text about our association, S.G. Daedalus. First I will quickly introduce myself. I am Maarten Smit, a second year Industrial Design Engineering student at University of Twente and currently the Chairman of the association. We have just started our board year and we are really enjoying it so far. We have many exciting things planned for the coming year and are looking forward to organising them! Besides this one of our main goals this year is to promote sustainability to our members. This can be in the field of design, but also making our association more sustainable. The pinnacle of this will be the Sustainable design weeks, which we will host in November 2020.

But about our association. We were founded on April 8, 2002. Our name; Daedalus, comes from the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus. Daedalus being the first designer known to man. Since this date we have been committed to helping our members make the best of their student time and to help them with finishing their studies. The association is connected to both the bachelor and master programme of Industrial Design Engineering at the University of Twente. The city of Enschede is our hometown, which I can honestly say is an amazing city.

We provide all kinds of services to our members, such as: selling books and sketching materials and we try to connect students with companies. To facilitate this, we organize all kinds of activities like the Study Tour, an international trip which is hosted once every two years, our yearly Symposium and also lunch lectures from companies relevant to IDE students.

Normally we would focus on hosting activities for our members. Ranging from the yearly prom to the Europe trip, formerly Milano trip and other fun, smaller, activities. However because of the developments concerning the Coronavirus we unfortunately had to cancel or move many events. We hope that the measurements taken by the government will have the desired effect and that “normal” life will resume as soon as possible. To continue helping our members and keeping them connected, we are now hosting several online activities. Partially organised by some of our committees, of which we currently have 31!

If you want to know more about Daedalus, you can also check out our website https://sgdaedalus.nl/

We would like to wish all of you the best for the coming weeks. Good luck with the online studies!

Stay safe,
On behalf of the 19th board of S.G. Daedalus,
Maarten Smit

From left to right: Alexander Jansen, Annet Winters, Maarten Smit. Pim de Smit, Evie jansen

That was it for me! I hope this article was interesting enough to help you through a few minutes of your quarantine time while having fun. So long and thanks for all the fish 🐟