Thoughts on Design and Future Mobility

Designing the future: Holger Hampf, president of Designworks, explains how redesigning the future of mobility means rethinking more than the user experience.

Designing the future of mobility not only requires an understanding of the user experience but also the infrastructure to support it. In a recent interview with TED/BMW Next Visionaries, Holger Hampf explains how Designworks sees an opportunity to create new mobility experiences. Next Visionaries is an initiative run by BMW i in collaboration with TED to spark gloabl change.

Designworks has been working with BMW since the 1990s, and you spent a number of years at BMW earlier in your career. Now that you’re back as president of Designworks, how do you see your role, and where do you want to take it? Holger: We live in a time of immense transformation with a huge potential to form new partnerships and interesting synergies. The president’s responsibility is to really look for win-win situations for BMW and external clients and drive direction for both of them. In particular, I’m interested in integrating multiple experience aspects into one harmonised singular experience. This can happen through smart partnering and multi-disciplinary teamwork.

How is BMW approaching the future of mobility, and what is Designworks doing to collaborate with them on that journey? Holger: We are working in line with BMW’s recently released Strategy Number ONE > NEXT, which is basically the Group’s roadmap into the future. This strategy is built around ACES, which means excelling in Automation, Connectivity, Electrification and a number of Mobility Services. We’re working with them to bring this strategy to life, for example by envisioning future use cases, interaction principles and new form factors for their products.

How do you come up with ideas?  What’s the design process, and where do you draw inspiration from?  Holger:  You have to gather as much information as possible about the use of a product and the context it is being used in. Understand the user’s desires and needs and craft proper customer journeys. There’s a lot to learn from a Software development process in that respect. Start prototyping an experience and then test, iterate and mature it. Do your user and contextual research at an early stage. Also, during testing and validation, allow for things to go wrong. And repeat.