Introduction: YOURdesign

For designers, all stages in the design process have their own function to help the designer developing a new product or service. Because the design process can be very chaotic, it is important to have some structure and some guidance.

This solution will help you as a designer to guide you and give structure in the design process.

The final product is a modular map with different sheets and modules that can be brought separate or all together.

The instructable below will show you how to make your own modular design map.

Things needed:

- 1,5 (or 2) white Polypropylene sheets of 1 mm thick from 1000 x 700 mm, you can use another color, if you make sure the spray paint color that you pick is not the same.

- 10 or more PVC pipes with 16 mm diameter and length 45 mm

- Some split pins (around 25)

- A see-through Polypropylene sheet of 1 mm thick (this is necessary to make the see-through module: a presentation display, of course, if you don’t want this, it is possible to leave this behind)

- A textile bag from 10 x 14 cm

- Some paperclips (how many depends on what you want to use)

- A spray paint color of choice (in this tutorial it will be blue)

- Optional: other modules like calendar, to-do notebooks, remember notebooks, post its etc..


- Cutter knife & Cutting mat

- Painter’s tape

- Pencil and ruler

Now that you have all the materials needed, let’s start!

Step 1: DRAW & CUT the White PP Sheets and Modules

Take the white PP sheets and draw the following


- 2 times A5 format sheet

- 4 times A4 format sheet

- 2 times A3 format sheet

- 1 module paper holder

- 4 modules corners

Dimensions are given in the pictures in mm.

If you have sheets with dimensions 1000 x 700 mm, you
can place these formats like the pictures that show recommended placements.

Of course, if you later want some more sheets or modules, there’s a possibility to also cut them out of these sheets.

If you are done measuring, you can start cutting with the cutter knife. We recommend first cutting the overall dimensions (for A3 format for example: 504 x 356 mm) , and later cutting all the incisions for the connections.

Step 2: DRAW and CUT the See-through PP Sheet

For the presentation board module, you’ll need a see-through

PP sheet, so that you can easily show your mood board or other things you want to present.

Draw and cut by the measurements given in the pictures.

Step 3: Spray Paint the Sides of the PP Sheets

Because it may be unclear what side of the PP sheets you can connect to each other, you can easily add a color.

Take your painter’s tape and tape of every side where there is a distance of 178 mm between the incisions. Leave the other sides (where the distance between incisions is 126 mm) white.

As you see in the picture, we chose for some extra protection by placing a newspaper to cover the rest of the PP sheet. After this preparation you can shake the spray can and start spraying (front and back of the PP sheets as you will use both sides).

Make sure the sheets are completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Choose Your Composition

Now you have all the necessary pieces for your map, you can start putting everything together!

First choose a composition of what sheets you want where, then put the PVC pipes in the connections.

Some pictures can give you an idea of what one of these compositions could look like, already with modules attached (next step will show how to add modules).

Step 5: Add Your Modules

Take your modules to add them to your chosen composition

- 4 corner modules

- 1 paper holder module

- 1 see-through presentation module

- Textile bag

- Other modules you can buy yourself such as ‘to-do’ or ‘remember’ notebooks, post-its or calendars.

First, choose what module you want to place where.

Place them in the correct place you want them to be, and take your cutter knife. Cut a small line through your module and the white PP sheets. The line has to be +- 6 mm so that your split pins and paperclips can fit in these cuts. For some modules you can already cut a cross, if you would want to change the direction of the module (horizontal or vertical) later on.

Do this for every module and put the split pins through the module and the PP sheet. Bend the legs of the split pins over to secure that the modules stay put. It is possible to add 2 modules with the same split pin, one on each side of the PP sheet.

Note that for the textile bag it is not necessary to cut in the bag, you can just push the split pin through it.

Add every module that you want and your Design process map is done!

Step 6: Use Your Own Map to Structure and Document the Design Process of Your Project!

Use the map in all of the stages of your design process:

- Place your project description in the corner modules

- Write your to-dos and ‘remembers’

- Add your own planning on a calendar or some pictures and hold it with paperclips

- Add the post-it module to an A3 side and use it to brainstorm

- Place some draft sketches or calculations in your paper holder

- Present your prettiest sketch or mood board in the see-through presentation module

- Put some samples to prototype or for inspiration in the textile bag

- Finally personalize by writing on the front sheet your name and the project. Tip: If you want to erase later, use some nail polish remover and a rag to wipe it clean.

Because of the modularity of this product, you can easily take a module from one place and put it somewhere else by just cutting a new line in the PP sheet. Don’t worry, the PP sheet will not tear easily.

Feel free to add your own modules and creations to this map, the goal is to make it YOURdesign! ?

This design was made by Nathan De Baets, Charlotte De Vooght and Michelle Vervenne, 3 students that study Industrial Design Engineering Technology at Ghent University for the course ‘Material and Process Oriented Design’.

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