Bespoke Design explored the possibilities of a fabrication lab (fablab) and open design in a participatory design approach. Starting from this issue of creating personalised self-care and self-management tools to assist people with type 1 diabetes, we defined the overall goal for Bespoke Design as setting up a long-term trajectory for creating bespoke designs in an open way. During Bespoke Design, we developed different self-management tools for and together with one person. While contrasting the common medical and top-down approaches wherein a ‘universal’ tool is designed for a large group of users, the participatory approach is more in line with the fact that people with diabetes use these tools 24/7 and are thus experts in dealing with this chronic condition. Throughout the project we shared the project documentation with others, allowing these processes and prototypes to transcend the particular project, participants and team involved. Furthermore, we assessed how participatory making in a FabLab can be a way to extend participation to the making phase, instead of being restricted to the conceptual phase of a design project.


  • Katrien Dreessen (project leader, LUCA)
  • Ollivier Piqueray (LUCA)
  • Danny Leen (LUCA)
  • Jessica Schoffelen (LUCA)
  • Niels Hendriks (LUCA)

Research unit: Inter-Actions

Duration: 2012 - 2016