When I was about half the age I am now, I wanted to be a composer. I was told contemporary musicians use Apple laptops to make all sorts of interesting sounds. Because I could not afford an Apple computer, I built an electronic instrument that could be played by touching a real apple (the fruit), which was serving as a variable resistor.
A lot has happened since then. Instead of writing notes, I started writing code. My love for building interactive objects grew and was joined by a passion for science, experimentation and creative research. This lead me to study Audiovisual Media (BEng) in my hometown Stuttgart (Stuttgart Media University, Germany) and subsequently Media Technology (MSc) at Leiden University in the Netherlands. My studies went hand in hand with playing self-build instruments in experimental music ensembles and presenting both scientific as well as artistic projects at conferences, festival, contests, concerts and exhibitions.
Currently, I am about to finish my PhD research at Leiden University. In the course of my research, I have studied the relationships between the virtual and the real in augmented reality (AR) and in particular those new and unique AR experiences that don’t exist in the purely physical realm. During my PhD trajectory, I have built AR scenarios in which virtual and real objects interact in novel ways, as well as invented a new, non-visual form of AR that allows participants to experience the presence of virtual objects in real space by means of touch and spatial audio.
Aside from doing research, I work as a lecturer at the Communication & Multimedia Design program at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and develop courses for the User Experience Design & Research study program.
While I still like to play with low-cost electronics, I own an Apple laptop by now. However, my early experiments have taught me that creating something new is a matter of imagination rather than of hardware or software. For me, imagination is fueled by experimentation. I believe that in order to create new experiences and interactions, we do not only have to think outside the box. We also have to invent the box, build the box, shake the box, play with the box, break the box and observe how others interact with it. That’s why I am looking for a place where I can combine my theoretical and critical considerations with hands-on, practical and playful research projects.