Experiments for the day after tomorrow

We will only get better if we’re bold and try out new things. In design in particular, extraordinary ideas are swirling around in our heads every day, and we don’t know yet whether they can be realised at all, or in which context they may prove useful. At the Phoenix Design Academy, we are looking for answers to questions we deal with in our work as designers.

The Phoenix Design Academy sees itself as a platform for visions and studies crafted by our entire team. Here, we have the leeway to carry through creative experiments, to test concepts and to work on entirely new aspects of design. A leeway that allows new things to evolve, quite apart from deadlines and other specifications – directed towards the future, innovative, aesthetic, functional. No matter whether it’s about a new approach, a visionary design or a new technology: each project provides the studio and our clients with new creative impulses.

Only recently, two of our designer built a Tesla turbine in our workshop, quite on their own initiative. Why? Out of curiosity, inventive genius, inquisitiveness … and simply because they can!

One pillar of the Phoenix Design Academy is its intensive support of upcoming new talent, a field we have been taking care of for many years now. In this sense, the Academy is also an innovation laboratory, in which students and designers are working together as peers in order to realise and share their visions. Together, we are designing solutions for socially relevant issues of today, and products of tomorrow. As one team: our young designers work together with Phoenix experts from all design departments. As project leaders, they can come into their own and plan the entire design process independently and take responsibility for it – starting with finding the first ideas via prototype iterations in our model building workshop all the way to the finished product ready for realisation.

These days, practical experience is everything when it comes to starting your career. But it’s not only a mandatory hard skill asked for by employers, it also holds true for the students themselves. Learn how to be courageous, to execute your own ideas, to benefit from the exchange with seasoned designers. Maybe even finding yourself in the process: where are your strong points, which work area is particular fun?

But in the beginning, there’s always the idea. How do we manage to deal with food in a more conscious way, and which role do networks play here? How can I move about safely at night in areas without street lights? Over the years, these and similar questions have resulted in visionary concepts, some of them even honoured by German talent awards.

A case in point: “Juicy Bites – the Personalised Smart Snack” by Lun Yeh, who wrote his diploma thesis at the Academy and who today works as one of the first Product Designers at Phoenix Design Shanghai. Juicy Bites is a concept using a 3D printer and conveying values in terms of how to handle and treat food. The ingredients for the Smart Snack are fruit and vegetables which no longer live up to conventional aesthetical concepts and that have thus been rejected by the market. Depending on the respective daily task, the snack gets personalised and will supply the most important vitamins which otherwise might be left out in a normal everyday diet. In 2016, Yeh received the third prize at the 3D Pioneers Challenge.

In the area of Interaction Design, Vanessa Woznik has conceived “The Stuff for Flying”. In her diploma thesis, she deals with Wearable Technology for Parkour athletes. In this type of sports, it’s all about finding the direct and efficient route across urban space. The focus is on a type of shoe developed particularly for this discipline. There are sensors integrated into the cushioning sole whose measurements may be called up in and analysed by an app: routes, heights, as well as load parameters and information about community members. Today, she’s heading Automotive UI Design projects for our clients.

It remains exciting to see what our designers, thinkers, and drivers will think up over the next 30 years …

Sven Feustel
Sven Feustel

Design Team Manager

Sven Feustel reorganized the Phoenix Design Academy and has been managing projects for several years now from its very beginning. He studied Industrial Design at the UAS Design & Media in Hannover. After working at BOSCH Telekom and Isao Hosoe Design, he is with Phoenix Design in Stuttgart since 2001. His focus is on the design and creation of brand-specific and user-centered product strategies.