BIO

Avid surfer, American-educated design manager, nature-inspired thinker, visual language user, adventurer & sushi lover.
I specialize in user experience, design research, interaction design, effective visual communication, accessibility research, design strategy and inclusive design.
My passion is kinesthetic creative engagement, observation methods, design thinking, collaborative workshops, sustainable solutions, wave stand up paddling and Japanese cooking.
I was previously a user experience research intern at KU Leuven, Meaningful Interactions Lab.
I graduated with a master's degree in design management from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015.
I enjoy being exposed to different cultures and abilities. Thanks to my ability, I observe with my eyes and think with my hands. #deafgain
What #hearing people write about my #ability  #deafgain
Sean Poynter • Top athlete Stand Up Paddling  • USA team SUP surfing • Gold medalist
I quickly learned that Johan was not handicapped by his position, I actually preferred the type of communication we had (with the written word) because it made your questions very precise and effective, I was so impressed by his level of discipline, his level of unique communication with me and others, his action towards his surf design research.
Karin Slegers • Assistant professor & senior researcher KU Leuven • meaningful interactions lab
Johan has opened our eyes concerning our belief that being disabled not only requires accessible products but that a disability can also provide valuable inspiration for new products. He taught us about being deaf from a so-called deaf gain viewpoint instead of from a disability viewpoint. Based on this deaf co-design viewpoint, we are now considering to set up new research projects using disability as an inspiration that may facilitate many other users besides users with a disability.
Prof. (FH) Regina Rowland, PhD • Systemic Innovation, Leadership, and Organizational Design
Working with Johan was a wonderful learning curve for me personally and professionally as well as for the students. Since Johan was enrolled in an online program and we performed live classes and exams via synchronous programs such as Adobe Connect we found ourselves in new territory and dealt with American sign language interpreters, students, and instructors logging in from a variety of locations. What we learned was the following: in this situation we all needed to stretch our patience, empathy, flexibility, and time management approach in order to adjust to the circumstances (the usual routine simply did not work). Johan may have to go through this learning curve with many people and in each circumstance anew because if learned for the first time, it takes the actual experience of failing before thinking about alternative routes. During these experimentations, Johan always kept his cool, his smile, and attitude of flexibility, and it was a pleasure to work with him through these challenges. I suspect that he will often have to be the teacher as we are far from being ready for users with all kinds of abilities. His input will help many to fine-tune their communication channels. 
Back to Top