About me

Hi and welcome to my online portfolio. I’m Hugo Rinsema and I’m a designer. I live in Barcelona but am from the Netherlands where I studied both Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design. I consider myself part of the Dutch Design stream, characterized by terms like experimental and minimal, with the occasional “designers joke”.

I studied in the Netherlands where I first completed my bachelor in Mechanical Engineering at the Hanzehogeschool Groningen before going for my master in Industrial Design at the University of Twente, which I finished in 2009.

Theory & Practice

It’s fundamental for a designer to have a good understanding of the workings of a design on different levels. Practice usually shows a bad connection between the design and the function of a product, even though modern design theories and standards are successfully applied. But in a good product, design and function are seamlessly integrated. It takes a combined development of these two, as well as a smart approach to get to a properly successful product.


Designing should not be only about pen and paper. It should not be bound by lack of a 3rd dimension or by a single sense. A design should be seen, touched and heard (as well as smelled and tasted in some cases). That’s why I try to give all my plans and ideas some kind of physical shape. In my opinion it’s very important not only to proof the concept but also to be able to touch it, feel it and play with it. This usually results in better ideas, inspiration for other concepts or sometimes in a total flop :-S.

So I always try to physically conceptualize my ideas and get them to work. This does not only mean model making but also electronic conceptualizing and sometimes code developing. To do this I have a small lab with a set of tools with which I’m able to do all this. If it’s possible and feasible I always prefer to develop and build my own tools. Once I’ve added that capability to my database, it inspires me to design and build concepts using that method. Some of those projects are featured on this website.

On my build / buy wishlist are still the following machines:

  • CNC xyz table, standard equiped with a HS router but I plan to add a low powered laser head to cut thin materials and a 3d printerhead (with heated bed)
  • Hot wire foam cutter
  • Vacuum former


As one can see, my interests are mostly product design, history and engineering. Though I have a huge interest in architecture as well, I tend to also spend some time working on and driving my car and motorcycle. Things I design I like to see as studies, that’s why I normally also build them so I can test them in real life. My goal is eventually to put some of those products for sale.