articles with #human centered design


Do you have children? If not, no problem, because you might recall these yourself: the parent conference days! This ‘running-around-at-the-school-campus-and-looking-for-the-room’ where teachers are waiting for parents and their school-kids. Depending on the pupils’ ‘performance level’, the numbers of meetings were few or many and likewise torture or purely a matter of duty.



The room was slowly filling up with the employees. One after the other they took their seats and didn’t look too pleased: the speech that I was about to be holding did interrupt the longed-for transition from their dinner to a well-deserved drink at the bar! So this left me with the task to ensure that those snaring away during my talk would not animate the others to follow suit.



They made the appointment together, father and daughter, in order to find out what the bachelor in design management is all about. Apparently she was looking for a study program in which she could follow her affinity towards creativity, whereas dad seemed to have something in mind, which would lead to a solid job qualification, and would be of real value in the economy as he knows it. That’s why the ‘management’ in the program’s title seemed to ease him a bit and accordingly he was very curious to find out what the heck ‘design’ had to do with it.
If it was their attempt to find a compromise between themselves that brought them in my office I cannot tell, but during our conversation, it became clear to me that she was there mainly because of the design, and he only because of the management.


design focus

It was a terrifying sight: a clutter of cables, tubes and pipes was hanging down from the ceiling and gave the scenery the impression of a torture chamber, just like you know from these old b&w horror movies – hello from Dr Frankenstein!

Somehow it seemed that the grim atmosphere had no influence on the personnel working there: they were completely focussed on preparing the patient for an intervention. As I had still to learn: with ‘the patient’ they were referring to the medical case, and not necessarily to the person himself – a subtle but crucial difference. more…

can designers save the world?

Risk-avoidance is the topic of concern, even more so, since we do all now fear that the same fate as to those poor people in Japan could happen to us as well. The collective angst, which predominantly finds fertile ground here in Germany, is in line with one of our basic needs – security: we do want the world to work according to our desires and vision – safe, in order, fair and fortunate.

That’s why politicians will do everything to ensure us that they can protect this state of heaven – and with that, hope for our vote.


design driven innovation

Speech held at the Fraunhofer Innovation Forum:

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

We need innovation to progress.
We need innovation to keep our economic cycle going, which is still based on consuming and renewing.
We need innovation to help us climb the ladder of human needs, on our way to reach the final step… Innovation is there to bring us this advantage: Like a seed, it holds the key to continuity. For our economy and society, it creates value and prosperity, and in our economic system, it‘s a measure to sustain against the competition.


please strip!

Have you ever been to an orthopedist, maybe because your knee hurt?

Then it might have occurred to you, as it did to me: you had the diagnosis on the symptom, which was unequivocally identified on the x-ray, but the cause of your problem still remained in the dark.
Once outside, after the clearance, it hurts like before and you still don’t know how to get rid of the pain (but now you might know it’s exact location).
But the orthopedist’s job was thorough: he quickly could find the spot causing the pain thanks to his experience and specialized equipment (in my case a dislocated knee-cap), and then he gives advice on the following step to be taken – we have to operate!