Max_catalogue image.jpg





Rocker - A new way of kitesurfing

A cooperation with Adidas

"Rocker" is a shoe made for the trend sport "kitesurfing" in cooperation with Adidas. This sport is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Rocker's innovative features such as an innovative closing & opening system and the choice of materials to improve the experience of the user in many ways. In addition, the aesthetics inspired by Adidas sneakers offer a refreshing and stylish alternative to the kitesurfing shoes currently available on the market. 


This is kitesurfing

A relatively young but trending action sport

Market Research

A thorough market research quickly showed the lack of diversity in available kitesurfing shoes. Through personal experience I found out that most of them are uncomfortable, don't offer a lot of adjustability and disturb the connection between the foot and the board.

RCA Rocker1-1.jpg

Ideation & Form-finding

In the ideation and form-finding phase it was important to get a more "sneaker-like look" to the kitesurfing shoe to get away from a purely functional product to a shoe users want to own. As the project was done in cooperation with Adidas, the 3 prominent stripes were built into the new design language.

RCA Rocker2.jpg

Features & Functions

Next to an increased aesthetically pleasing design, it was similarly important to incorporate smart functions into the shoe. The list includes features like a smart lacing system to provide more adjustability smart materials at the right place to ensure both protection as well as lightness.

RCA Rocker3.jpg

Exploded view & Opening-& Closing Mechanism

RCA Rocker4.jpg

Simply Sterile

Simply Sterile

Low cost medical sterilizer for third world countries

Simply Sterile

Simply Sterile

Low cost medical sterilizer for third world countries

What is the problem
with sterility in
developing countries?

Rural clinics in developing countries provide primary care for 3 billion people but most of them are not able to sterilize their equipment.
1 in 5 wound injured patients suffers from healthcare associated infections. Reasons for this include lack of sterilizing equipment and inadequate behaviour


Understanding to problems to ask the right questions




In the beginning I reached out to as many professionals working in developing countries. To get a better understanding, I conducted interviews and discussed the core problems with them.


Concepts presentations:

The interview candidates were not only useful to get first insights and to understand the problems. They also helped to find the most suitable and helpful idea: During multiple sessions various concepts (like the ones on the left) were presented to them and their feedback was gathered and evaluated.


This process led me to the last idea/concept:


The rough idea:

There had to be a way to easily sterilize medical equipment so that the hospital staff in developing countries can reuse their tools again without the risks of infections.




After the initial concept about a low cost medical sterilizer was fixated, I started conducting first experiments and made first prototypes. 


By testing, failure & success, the prototyping phase
guided me into the direction of the final concept:


Simply Sterile

A mechanical, low cost sterilizer for medical equipment


Simply Sterile is low-cost mechanical device which turns a high variety of pressure cookers into affordable autoclaves and therefore empowers health care workers to sterilize their equipment.


The benefits are:

  • Local health centres & traditional healers are able to sterilize equipment at low cost

  • High availability of pressure cookers 

  • Low acquisition cost

  • Simple construction ensures long lifetime, easy installation and easy repair

  • Required time: Only 10 minutes

  • Kills all forms of microbes

  • Environment friendly

  • Works on all heat sources


To make the sterilization process as easy as possible, the instructions are printed onto the device. This also ensures that with a change of staff the knowledge of how to sterilize their equipment doesn't get lost

(1) First you pour water into the cooker and add a tray for the medical tools. (2) Wrap the tools in a cloth. (3) Put the wrapped tools on top of the tray. (4) Put the lid onto the cooker. (5) Set Simply Sterile to 10 minutes. (6) Heat the cooking pot up. Simply Sterile will automatically start when the right temperature is reached. (7) Wait for the display to change to the green icon. (8) Take out the wrapped tools and let them dry.



Below you see the parts which are necessary to make the mechanical device and the injection moulded outter part. 


Injection moulding:

I contacted an injection moulding company to get a simulation of the injection molding process as well as rough estimates on production costs. On the right you see a short video of the simulation.


With the production costs from different manufacturers across the world, it can be estimated that it would cost roughly 7€ per device when 100.00 device are produced. Since the calculations were made on the basis of the prototype, there is a high possibility to reduce these costs further by optimizing the final product.



Here is a video to explain how Simply Sterile is used, who it is for and what impact it could have:


SIMPLY STERILE - Shortlisted for the Helen Hamlyn Design Award 2016.


Max_catalogue image.jpg



A new tool to maximise the take home pay of gig economy workers. 



A new tool to maximise the take home pay of gig economy workers. 

What is the "gig economy" ?

The gig economy is a work environment where workers complete work in a series of tasks or "gigs" rather than traditional jobs. It is being said (by the executive director of the "Freelance Union", for example) that this economic shift is on par with the industrial revolution.

Most of us make us of the gig economy on a regular basis: Taking a ride with Uber, getting a task done on Handyman, TaskRabbit or Fiverr or simply by ordering food on Deliveroo.  

 Examples of gig economy platforms

Examples of gig economy platforms

What is the problem with this new economic shift?

While it is great for the customers to get access to these services, it is very hard to make a steady income if these kinds of jobs are your only sources of income. While the gig economy platform's aim is to grow as fast as possible to secure more investment and to serve every customer as quickly as possible, it is getting harder and harder for the workers to find enough work.

We partnered with a Uber driver and filmed a day in his working life. We found out that during his 10.5h shift, he only had passengers in his car for a bit more than half of the time (see the video on the right). The other half, he was driving around looking for work.


Max Logo.png

Max is a software/system solution which addresses the issue of income volatility in this quickly growing form of employment.

With predictive analytics software, Max enables gig economy workers to make more deliberate decisions to maximise their earnings. Max helps workers understand where to be and when in order to optimise take home pay after expenses. In the future we envision eventual full blockchain integration, enabling a completely distributed system without the need for a central entity which holds all the power. 


Exhibition design:

For the Degree Show at the Royal College of Art my project team and I didn't want to show "just" a smartphone with the "Max" app running on it. We wanted to show the data analytics and data visualisation work which went into this project. 

For this reason we created a projection mapping display using the NYC taxi data from March 24th 2014. We projected the pick-up and drop-off locations of the taxi rides on that day as well as the most promising locations for ride sharing, food delivery and courier services

Have a look for yourself: 

 Project posters, 2 screens with videos (the Max video and our Uber-partner driving) and the projection mapping

Project posters, 2 screens with videos (the Max video and our Uber-partner driving) and the projection mapping

Project partners:

Janna Fuller:
Yeting Jiang:




Minimalistic transformable chair



Minimalistic transformable chair



The "Twoface" chair has the ability to show two different “faces” depending on the user’s needs. 

If not in use, the chair is a simple, elegant and visually appealing piece of furniture. The “Moiré effect” generated by two layers of fabric creates an interesting structure people want to interact with. On the other hand, if the user wants a chair, it provides and creates the seat for the person sitting in it just when there is the need for it.

Instead of describing it, you can also watch this demonstration video:


The Process:

Before I was able to create the final prototype, I had to test and iterate numerous mockups

(1) In the beginning of the design process, I started out with sketching different ideas and concepts. 
(2) The first mockup was created to evaluate the aesthetics and to refine the idea.
(3) The second mockup was the first full-size one. I quickly made it to test out the concept of sitting on a flexible fabric and to see the proportions.
(4) After testing the second mockup, the third one was built to refine the form and position of the frame which holds the fabric. 
(5) In the next version, I tested out different patterns of stripes to vary with the sitting experience and the aesthetics
(6) The 5th mockup was a refinement of the fourth one where I experimented with stripe patterns. It created a visually interesting effect, but it lacked comfort. 
(7) The last mockup used a different kind of fabric which I found after intensive field research and trial & error. It created a visually interesting effect as well as a comfortable and unique sitting experience. 

Here are some insights in the process of making the final prototype. It was a challenging but extremely enjoyable and rewarding journey where I had to acquire numerous skills (metal-working, sewing, fast & dirty prototyping, etc).

The chair itself:

The chair uses two layers of 4-way stretchable synthetic fabric to hold up the weight of the person sitting in it and also to create the visually appealing moiré effect. In order to hold the fabric in place, three clamps are attached to the frame. This makes sure that the fabric doesn't slide down the frame and it also adds a visual focus point to the design. 


Luckily the Twoface chair resonated well with the public and got some media attention after it got published online: 





Postural support for children with cerebral palsy



Postural support for children with cerebral palsy


The problem

Perception of a person is a key factor

People with cerebral palsy often are perceived as less intelligent or their conditions are imagined worse than they actually are if these people are "slouching" in their wheelchairs.

It helps already to bring people with this disability in an upright position, for multiple reasons: 

  • Their conditions aren't perceived worse than they actually are
  • It prevents back muscles to deform and malfunction
  • It helps the digestive system to work properly

The equipment used to bring them in an upright position often is very expensive, uncomfortable and not adjustable

From our initial research we extracted four key insights:

  • Poor posture generates false impression
  • Assistive equipment is expensive and stigmatising
  • There is a constant need for readjustment 
  • People with cerebral palsy need postural correction every 5 minutes


Generating new ideas based on our research findings


After the initial research phase we brainstormed around the idea of postural changes and how to improve both the perception of people with special needs and also the way they are able to control their bodies

We started with quick ideation sketches and quickly moved from sketching on paper to creating mockups in the workshop. This helped us to test and evaluate first ideas really quickly.


These mockups were then presented back to experts at a school for disabled children. Their feedback was used to create improved mockups which helped us to move from the mockup-phase into the prototyping phase. 



Aergo is a low-cost postural support system that dynamically corrects posture while
relieving irritation and discomfort from being seated for long periods.


It allows for repositioning in a wheelchair without physical manhandling, replacing current bulky, expensive and unsightly existing solutions that often overemphasise a person’s disabilities.

The system’s flexibility makes it possible to undercut alternative solutions on price while offering a higher quality in design and a more mainstream looking product.

Particularly for young users, the need to maintain an outwardly less disabled appearance is enormously important. Aergo facilitates that with streamlined functioning and aesthetics


The app:

Aergo can be controlled manually with integrated buttons or over a smartphone or tablet. These devices work very well for disabled people because they have assistive touch control (e.g. assistive touch - iPhone) and especially teens with disabilities enjoy to own smartphones.

It also uses pressure sensors to report back to the care worker in charge about the usage of Aergo. This information can then be used for further muscle stimulation and training for weaker body parts


The pockets:

Aergo uses inflatable pockets to keep the person comfortably in an upright position and to easily change the posture in case it needs adjustment. 




Here is a video of our work process. It also shows the precious moments we had when we went to a school for disabled children to test our prototypes. 


Our partners:

Thanks to our great partners we were able to work on this project with these amazing people who helped us to gain insights beyond everything we could have imagined on our own. Thank you!


Project partners:

Sheana Yu:
Dan Garrett:

Patent Pending No.1513967.8. Copyright Aergo ltd., Sptember 2015


Human Swarm

Human swarm

Smart personal protective equipment for firefighters in extrem situations

Human Swarm

Human swarm

Smart personal protective equipment for firefighters in extrem situations



What's the status quo and what do firefighters really need?

Field research:

The first steps included interviewing and meeting firefighters in the local area, market research of current PPE (personal protective equipment), online research in depth on functional principles, analysing studies and statistics, current technology, etc. .

This research helped me to understand the basic needs of people working under extreme situations. 

Problems with their current equipment are:

  • A lot of equipment is not fully adjustable
  • Outdated technologies and/or design
  • A lot of different functions also means a lot of different devices

Market research:

To understand what the current state of personal protective equipment was, I analysed the market and also looked at conceptual projects. This helped me to gather first insights of the used technologies and strengths and weaknesses of current systems.


Form finding

How does a future fire fighter look like?

Mood boards:

In parallel to understanding protection products and developing new and innovative system features, I had to find an exciting and interesting design language.


To begin the form finding process I started with making two mood boards, organic shapes and geometric shapes. I decided to pursue the route of organic shapes since it both has a more futuristic look and also is easier to adapt its shape to fit the human body


After deciding for a general directionnumerous sketches were made and evaluated against certain key features (such as big field of sight, modularity with breathing mask, flexibility, etc.) In consultation with multiple firefighters, I selected certain sketches and refined them until I arrived at the latest versions (=the biggest ones in the image shown to the left).

Clay modelling:

Normally I would go into CAD to create a 3D model of the shape I wanted, but since this is an organic shape, it was more complex to build in 3D.
Also, the sketches still left some areas unclear and this is why I chose clay as a perfect prototyping medium. It allowed me to get a better feeling for the shape and also iterate and change the form on the go

The concept:

After an intensive phase of ideation and feedback from my target group, I created "Human Swarm":

It is an array of smart tools embedded in personal protective equipment to enhance the performance of firefighters and also to increase the chance of survival and decrease the chances of injuries.

The helmet:

The helmet is equipped with various sensors and tools to enhance a firefighter's senses. 

The clothing:

The clothing includes multiple sensors to measure body temperature, breathing rhythm and pulse. This information serves as feedback for the firefighters who often are too distracted to pay attention to their vital signs. It is displayed in a small head-up-display which is integrated in the helmet. 


Getting ready:

It is essential to be able to put on the helmet as fast as possible in case of an emergency. In order to enable the firefighter to do so, the helmet uses a 1-click system: The helmet-strap is adjusted only once in the beginning by turning the adjustment wheel. After that, it is possible to open and close the helmet by lifting or closing the lever


During a mission with heavy smoke:

In case heavy smoke appears, the firefighters have to quickly put on a breathing mask to avoid breathing in toxic gas and/or particles.

To reduce any disturbances by the oxygen tube, the position of the air connection dock is at the back of the helmet and not in the front as seen in other systems. Another benefit of this method is that it enables the air to cool the head when passing it before reaching the mask. Due to the reduced dimensions of the breathing mask, the firefighter is able to carry it on his upper arm. In this way it is always available quickly and it's not in the way in case there is no need for it. 


Communication is key!

During a mission it is extremely important for all members of the unit to be able to communicate with each other. Especially for the person in charge this is crucial in order to coordinate the whole mission and to make sure that he knows the position and condition of each firefighter all the time. 

The communication unit consist of ear protection (with bone conducting headphones) and a microphone. It enables the firefighter to communicate verbally with his team members while being able to hear the surrounding sounds.

To avoid any miscommunication, the names of team members who are speaking at the moment are displayed in the top left corner of the head-up display. 

Swarm network

Each helmet receives & sends signals and also acts as a signal amplifier.


The sensors and head-up display:

The sensors are positioned centered in the front of the helmet, so they can detect the same environment as what the user sees.

The sensors are:

  • 1 shared sensor for the 3D camera and IR camera
  • 1 emitter for the 3D camera
  • 1 light sensor for automatic lighting control

The head-up display uses augmented reality with a virtual retinal display which projects the visual data directly onto the retina. This enables the firefighter to stay focussed and his sight doesn't get obstructed.


The user interface:

The user interface's task is to support the firefighter with relevant information of the situation when needed. Displaying the information is situation-sensitive, so it only shows when it really is of importance. 

Residual air: 

The number of green bars in the upper right corner decrease and turn first yellow and then red when the amount of compressed air decreases to a dangerous level. Furthermore, the icon starts to flash and increases in size to grab the attention of the firefighter.

Vital data:

If all vital data sets are good, no icon is shown to not distract the user. However, if some vital data is not at a normal or healthy level, the icon starts to flash, changes its colour, size and position in order to also get the attention of the user. 


Navigation is needed when objects or persons have to be located in a building or burning space where the visibility is very bad. The arrows show the shortest way to the object and navigates the firefighter through the smoke.


Business cards:

For the end-of-the-year show I developed business cards which take the viewer a bit closer to augmented reality.

After the app "Augment" is downloaded (1), it's possible to scan the business cards (2 & 3) which triggers the effect of the helmet floating on top of the business card (4).

Theoretical part of "Human Swarm":

Here is a link to the theoretical piece which is part of the graduation thesis project (unfortunately only available in German at the moment):




Remote health care for Japan's isolated elderly



Remote health care for Japan's isolated elderly

What is the issue?

In rapidly aging Japan, more people are dying alone and unnoticed in a country of 127 million people. One in four people in Japan is over 65 - with loose family bonds adding to the isolation of the elderly. By 2025, one in three citizens will be 65 years or older from 12 percent of the population in 1990, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates.

"Among factors listed as behind the trend are a rise in single-person households and childless households, declining marriage rates and rising divorces.Single-household elderly tend to become isolated from society and as a result some of them may be left unnoticed even after death while others may end up committing crime, the paper said. The white paper also warned that isolation from society makes these people vulnerable to commercial fraud targeting the elderly, resulting in a sharp increase in such crime in Japan."


Why does Shugoshi help?

Due to the fact that many people elderly, or young business professionals often live alone, it is advised that their well-being is watched over so that the families are alerted if something is wrong with their family member. Issues that Shugoshi detects include depression, isolation and also death. It uses ancient Japanese traditions to find more acceptance among elderly people. 

How does it do that?

The device houses multiple sensors (temperature, light, sound, motion and humidity).
All of them together detect the overall well-being and mood to help to decide where changes in your beloved one's lifestyle may need to be made. If you live away from your family, there is no other product that can put your mind at ease like Shugoshi can.

Shinto connotations

A Shinto totem that intimately weaves together technology and spirituality. Your Ofuda, which is a wish written on a small piece of paper, can be placed in the compartment on the top of the device. This makes Shugoshi a thoughtful gift for your loved ones which watches over them for you.


The app

Shugoshi sends the input it gets from its sensors to a central server and then to the recipients
smartphone (family members, friends, etc.). This is usually the person who gave Shugoshi as a gift because he/she wants to know how the other person is doing, even though he/she lives far away.

The app uses weather connotations to display the current state and mood of the beloved one.

  • Sunny: Everything is fine, no need to worry
  • Cloudy: The last hours/days haven't been the best, but there is no major reason to worry
  • Rainy: The mood in the last days was really not very good and maybe there is something wrong. Better check on your loved one.
  • Thunder: There is definitely something wrong. Call your loved one immediately or make sure someone checks on him/her.


By placing the Ofuda (a household amulet) inside Shugoshi, the spirits are activated and look over the owner. The device then monitors the well-being and sends the information to loved ones in form of a weather report.

Here is a short overview / demonstration:




How a failed prototype can lead to a thesis idea



How a failed prototype can lead to a thesis idea


This lamp was born out of the idea to create a lamp which imitates the caustics seen at the bottom of a pool, for example. As the project progressed and certain stages of prototyping failed, it inspired me to see how far I can take this lamp instead of starting all over again. 
The result is an interesting form made out of cast acrylic which attracts the eye of the viewer with its details and unusual way of illumination. 

Furthermore, this project acted as the basis of my dissertation with the title "The art of failure". In this written piece I explore the nuances, meanings and functions of failure and mistakes and how they can be used as a starting point of a creative process.


Sporting goods

Sporting goods

Sketches and projects in the field of sporting goods

Sporting goods

Sporting goods

Sketches and projects in the field of sporting goods


Here is a collection of some of my sketches of sporting goods. Due to my big interest in action and outdoor sports I enjoy designing these products.


Urushi surfboard - Winner of the "Grand Design Award"
of the Sabae Urushi Award 2015

The aim of the Sabae Urushi Award was to create an object with the technique of "Urushi" (a technique of creating lacquerware practiced only by skilled dedicated artisans) in order to revive this ancient and beautiful technique. 

During my stay in Tokyo, I discovered the rise of the surfing culture in Japan at its stunning coasts. In this I saw the perfect opportunity to create a surfboard made with Urushi to combine an ancient technique with a modern sport.  

Cross-country skiing boots

It's one of my hobbies to climb mountains in winter and enjoy the ride through powder after the hike. As a result I also had to design a couple of boots for it as well.

Self-made longboards

During my undergraduate studies longboarding was my big passion. Riding downhill on the streets while having the feeling of carving through fresh snow powder intrigued me. As a logical consequence, I wanted to build my own longboards. Take a look for yourself: