design for the future

at the end of november in a podium discussion followed by a question and answer session, five design experts explained numerous aspects of their work. “bergspektiven” -initiator and -moderator christian kalinke made for an entertaining as well as informative evening, which served a good cause.


the panellists included dr. xenia riemann-tyroller, curator of die neue sammlung – the design museum, pinakothek der moderne, the designers swantje rößner (poetic design), martina starke (designworks, a bmw group company), steffen kehrle (atelier steffen kehrle) and andreas huber (f/p design).


christian kalinke has been involved in youth sports activities in his hometown of berg for over 17 years with his “bergspektiven” charity initiative, which also supports youth sports projects in kenya and mozambique. christian kalinke, who heads the emea region of bmw financial services, invites participants several times a year to berg for podium discussions around contemporary topics. the goal of the series of events is to inform, to entertain and to open new perspectives.


what is good design?


this time, the theme of the discussion was design, seeking answers to the question “why is it worth combining form with ethics?”. in the lively panel discussion, the participants shed light on the economic significance of design, aesthetic issues and, not least, the social relevance of good design. among other things, the engaged audience wanted to know how designers got their results and how one could actually know what good design is. the ideas and concepts of the designers around the subject of mobility of the future were of particular interest.


swantje rößner, for example, emphasized that designers always had to consider future developments in their work. a challenge that martina starke and her team like to put forward, because she knows that “designers love change”. andreas huber and his colleagues at f/p design are the users’ advocates. in order to achieve good design, one must always put people first, especially in complex design tasks. steffen kehrle also gets good design results through the direct exchange and the intensive discussion with his colleagues.


how important is functionality?


changes and developments in design are documented by die neue sammlung – the design museum in the pinakothek der moderne in munich. dr. xenia riemann-tyroller reported how new materials can affect the language of form. however, good design, according to the curator of the design museum, can always be recognised due to its priority of good function. in addition, you also want to be able to enjoy and use the objects for a long time. a possible emotional component could also be understood as a function.


is tradition relevant?


andreas huber therefore relies on timeless design, because especially capital goods in the b-to-b sector have to prove their function and their acceptance among the user groups over a long period of time.


and what makes a good designer? for martina starke it is important that the designers are open. also language is of great importance, because finally one must be able to explain and defend his strategy and concepts.


the audience was also interested in the tradition of a product. it is always relevant, according to martina starke, to be clear about historical aspects, to keep the good, but then allow a brand to be developed further.


what do the automobiles of the future look like?


how will new propulsion technologies affect the future vehicle design if no internal combustion engine has to be accommodated. here completely new design concepts are in demand, answered the podium. andreas huber pointed out that vehicles will also be autonomous in the future: “how does one design the interior of a vehicle that you no longer have to drive yourself.”


new design tasks that the automotive industry will have to consider in the future. the corporations and their design departments were probably already in the starting blocks, assumed the audience.


how do medium-sized industries use design services?


but can medium-sized companies afford a design consultation? the designers’ reaction showed that everyone sees this as a matter of course. it was beyond question that good design performance always involves costs. however, the extent to which these services can be called up can be made very flexible. so costs are manageable. for example, steffen kehrle also relies on the specialists in the companies themselves with whom they work together. and andreas huber briefly summarized the individual phases in which a design is developed and which would always be made transparent and tailor-made for the respective budgets and tasks.


after all, pragmatism was the key to solving an urgent task: what would the designers propose to improve the munich underground? andreas huber suggested: “first of all, eliminate the most obvious weaknesses and start with the low hanging fruit.” one must also omit something, it was said. “i still have hope,” was the good-humored conclusion of christian kalinke.


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