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Willemijn van Paassen

Technical Designer (Junior)

Get to know us: Willemijn van Paassen

After her internship in 2021, Willemijn kept working with us parttime alongside her studies. After obtaining her diploma, she rejoined our team; this time as a full-time industrial designer. In addition to being a passionate designer, she is also a very social colleague with broad interests.

What are you currently working on at Fabrique Invent?
I am currently working on a redesign of an existing glass wall. I'm also designing a completely new product for one of our clients. I am also a member of the official party committee of Fabrique Invent. This means that I organize and initiate events with the team in between design work. In addition to new design projects, I also continue to work on products that I have previously designed. For example, the first models are now coming out of the mold, and I will see whether any adjustments need to be made.

Why did you decide to work at Fabrique Invent?
During my graduation internship I had the opportunity to look inside a completely different type of company. My graduation company was a lot larger, there I found out how product development works at a renowned company. That was fun in its own way, but working there full-time just didn't suit me at the moment. I think it is more important how people interact with each other within a team and how you are treated, than whether the company has a big name.

I chose Fabrique Invent because of its small scale, fast switching, flexibility and the nice people. I also live very close to the office, which of course also plays a role. I also like the working atmosphere and the projects.

What made you decide to become an industrial designer?
I have always been creative in the past. My friends at the time joked: Wil, he's going to be an inventor! When I had to choose a study after high school, the creative combination with the technical aspect appealed to me. I found this in the IPO training. Only later did I discover how broad and diverse the profession is, and how no day is the same. You go through many phases within a project, which I really enjoy.

However, when I started the training I had no idea what the work entailed, I only found out during my internships. When you are included in a company as a full-fledged colleague, you only know what everyday work will look like. I already liked office life then, so I knew I was on the right track.

What would you like to do again in your life?
I would still like to learn to dive. I don't have a specific place in mind yet, but that will be my next big vacation.

When I think about work, I would like to make another really cool invention. Not a Nobel Prize or something like that, but a very good mechanism or product that I came up with. It doesn't have to be something that people think: I really needed this in my life, but more that I can say about it myself; this is really well thought out!

Do I not have that yet with something I have come up with? I feel like it's all on a smaller scale. Now I can think about details: I thought that up nicely, or that's a nice trick. But I want to go from the small Eureka moments to a big Eureka moment. That seems like a lot of fun to experience.

I would also like to see the northern lights. I'm only 21, so there's still plenty to do!

What advice would you give to young industrial designers?
Make sure you arrange a nice internship for yourself. It is very good to look inside different companies and find out how things run in an office. You will also learn skills here that you will not find in the training. How do you find that nice internship? Prepare well. Be on time. The nicest places are the first to be found, so if you start looking in time you have the best chance. Also realize that the company invests time in it, so don't waste it. Look at the type of people who work there or try to speak to them. Check with yourself; do I fit in here?

Be curious and not afraid to ask things. I think that if you want to be an industrial designer you have to be curious by nature. If you don't have the inclination to make or invent something yourself, it may not be the profession for you. And finally: what you give is what you get back. If you give a lot in your curiosity and enthusiasm and show that you enjoy it, you will get this back and that makes it much more fun for yourself.

Which work-related skill would you like to learn?
For example, when Niels has a first meeting with a customer, he quickly has a vision for a product and a series of solutions. I have that vision to some extent, but I don't have much experience and knowledge in it yet. I think it would be great to have a clear vision and self-confidence in my work in a few years. This is also because I have actually just started my career.

Another skill I would like to learn is that I can better explain the ideas in my head to others. In any case, it is difficult to convey ideas well. Between colleagues but also to the customer. You also notice that everyone here has different communication styles, so you have to explain your design in different ways and learn to do that too.

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Willemijn van Paassen

Technical Designer (Junior)

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