Who I am + what I do
Design Strategy + Management
I am Bettina, + I am amazing at
• design thinking,
• simplifying the complex, and
• design that addresses multiple senses.
I create products that are:
I do this by:
• creating concepts,
• developing design strategies,
To sum it all up?
I make people fall in love with products.
… the moment when you fall in love with a person. Notice the feeling when looking at the person + how everything else fades away.
My question for you is:
When was the last time you looked at something + felt this way?
Because when you care about selling a remarkable product, people will love your product + your company.
They will buy more from you, tell their friends + family about it, and that makes your business grow.
16 FAQs about me + my background
I got started with design at age 16 during an internship in a studio for visual communication. I loved it from the first minute. That’s when I decided to become a designer.
The designers at Lahaye Kern told me I was talented and that I should make something out of it. Several years later I enrolled into a four year program at the University of Applied Sciences in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.
In 2004 I graduated with a degree in design and started working as designer.
By train. No seriously. It’s always been my dream to work abroad.
After I graduated in 2004 I wanted to work on interactive products at the intersection where digital and physical boundaries blur.
I had several offers in different countries. One of them in Amsterdam, The Netherlands which was interesting to me, and so I moved there.
Below a short list of brands + companies
I have gained experience working independent, in design agencies, and corporate in-house departments.
I work best in environments that care about design, and provide the environment where design can flourish.
I have experience with various platforms, audiences, industries, and contexts.
What I enjoy most is:
- working with the people I design for
- leading the design in all aspects from inception to completion
- setting standards for systems
- working with other designers
- applying design thinking principles to what we create together
These pictograms depict the meaning of what they stand for so well that it can be understood by any person independent of their educational background or the language they speak. I perceive this as removing constraints by enablement.
I think as designer you have the ability to shape anything into a new language that enables people. This is what gets me up every morning and do what I love to do best.
Definitely my sketch book and my pens. I love Leuchtturm, Moleskin, sharpies Tradio Pentel, and copics.
There are, and they are all related:
- I grew up in Ulm, Germany with its history of the Ulm School of Design, which stands in the tradition of the Bauhaus. That meant I grew up surrounded by Braun products, Nick Roericht’s stackable tableware, Max Bill’s architecture, and the design ethos of the Ulm School of Design. It is design that is practical, systematic, (multi-)functional, has clarity, and is based on design thinking.
- I studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Schwäbisch Gmünd, one of Germany’s leading design schools (which stands in the tradition of the Ulm School of Design). Design in Schwäbisch Gmünd is practical, anticipatory with emphasis on content in various contexts, it considers social, economical, and ecological context, and creates knowledge out of design.
In 2000 I enrolled into a 4 year program called „Information and Media“ at the University of Applied Sciences in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.
I majored in two disciplines:
- Communication Systems (= Communication design and planning)
- Digitality and Virtuality (=Digital + Interactive Media)
The program was set up so that interaction and industrial design students worked together on projects and pollinated each other. That’s how the program was designed:
Some of my professors were:
- Xuan Dam (KMS, known for designing the museum mobile in Ingolstadt)
- Prof. Frank Zebner (IDEO, frog design, and BMW)
- Prof. Günter Hörmann (former HfG Ulm student)
- Prof. Martin Krampen (former HfG Ulm student)
- Prof. Dr. Franklin Hernández-Castro
- Prof. Günther Biste,
- Prof. Michael Götte,
- Prof. Michael Burke (8vo)
- Prof. Hans Krämer (neustart)
I can work with intense complexities and abstract concepts.
At the moment I work in a technical environment on a product that helps Fortune 500s to excel in customer experience. The product involves predictive analytics, and multiple layers with dependencies. This requires the ability to switch between big picture and the detail. The smallest modification will impact the entire system, and so a certain degree of foresight, network thinking, and the ability to work with people from other disciplines (such as engineers, data scientists, system architects) is essential to balance between user needs and what the technology requires.
I think Aristotle’s quote summarises it well:
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Besides, I can switch between being creative and analytical.
There are a couple of things I’d love to do, as long as it involves human senses and requires simplification of complexity, or the design of the process around an experience. In no particular order:
- Design the experience of using the next generation of creative or productivity software for devices that use touch input.
- Design the interior of a space shuttle, because it’s an astronauts workplace and habitat for many months.
- Design the experience around getting access to education in developing countries, because when you show children “how to fish” great things happen.
- My dad, because he saved the lives of the people of an entire village.
- Don Norman, because he makes sense.
- Richard Branson, because of the way he makes situations work for himself.
- All Disney imagineers, because the experiences they create are magical.
- I am credited in two video games: HoopWorld, and Terminator Salvation
- I am the oldest of five children.
- I left home at age 16 to pursue my dream and become a designer.
I will teach internationally design at universities, while also having my own design practice (with workshop) located in a place with lots of sun, the right amount of nature and city, close by an ocean and where it’s most of the time warm.
I like to figure out stuff, and learn new things. At the moment these are:
- Learning Processing for interactive data visualisation
- Puzzle games, brain teasers
- Tinkering on my website, microblogging
- Paper sculpting
Outside of these I enjoy
- attending design meet-ups, workshops, and conferences
- I try to blog regularly, and
- I also enjoy the occasional visit to a museum.
Besides, I try to travel often, as I’m interested in cultures, and seeing my friends who live abroad. This is a map with places I have visited (for leisure, work, or friends + family) and that are meaningful to me:
Download CV (PDF)