Blog 08-04-2021

A coffee with Kay Hooijmans

Written by
The Valley

We have some fresh faces at the Valley, and of course, we’re curious to (digitally) get to know them and introduce this talent to you. Here are four burning questions for Kay Hooijmans, our Design Lead.

So why design?
Design makes my life more pleasant. I’m highly sensitive to poorly designed things; they stress me out. So It feeds my well-being when I find myself surrounded by the well-designed. To have an impact on this, I push myself to create and contribute to better work. It’s a view of the world that I find inescapable.

What is role design?
We need design “that really matters”, like solutions for removing plastic from the oceans. But we should not lose track of the benefit from better everyday design, improving all the ‘mundane’ interactions that people have daily. Badly designed things that we encounter every day scream at us, don’t treat us as humans or are just clumsy, cluttered and stressful. If bad design were a person, we would eventually remove them from our lives. Some people say, “it’s just design,” but in the end, everything is design. That’s why reducing the amount of daily contact with lousy design is a crucial factor to people’s well-being.

How does design work its way into your everyday life?
I use my choices to avoid being surrounded by bad design. So in everyday life, I gravitate to objects and activities that reinforce how much good design is out there. From my wardrobe to the services I choose, I want to minimize my need. And to the things I feel I need, I give my full attention. Curating a limited amount of items and experiences that I love. It also affects my approach to life. Doing, taking action is what I have learned from working at agencies. Of course, there is the thinking aspect, but it lives or dies by the action you take. We are so in love with thinking and discussing, but we need to create movement. Writing a blog post or making a small project might seem small, but it really, really isn’t. Doing small good things consistently,
drives you forward. It’s what separates you from the experts you respect. And this is the danger of design thinking, where the thinking receives more attention and worship than the doing.

With these thoughts, what is your intention for The Valley?
What I want is when a client comes in, or we approach one, all our brainpower is focused on the right direction for them and their company. Then it’s about executing each little step along the way with the attention it deserves in that moment. We keep taking the steps and keep giving each step our unbroken attention. This focus will radiate out of the work and infect all of us and our partners. We are contributing to a culture that draws like minds to The Valley.

Want to join our ongoing conversations on design contact Kay here

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