28. April 2021

“Design helps”, a spe­cial COVID pro­gram for the cor­po­rate sector

COVID-19 has changed the world. Many companies have recognized the need to overhaul their products and services, their distribution channels, and their communication and marketing activities to adapt to the new reality. The situation calls for new solutions – fast.
Jointly with renowned partners, bayern design has created a program of digital events to help SMEs better weather the coronavirus crisis.
Various digital formats were used to present best practice examples for product design and to illustrate the impulses, solutions, strategies, and tools the design industry has to offer.
The special Design helps program covers a broad range of topics including reconfiguring workspaces and business premises to meet distancing and hygiene regulations, implementing the design-based digitization of offerings and services, and developing new products and ideas for the market.

Workspace Design

Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, companies have been faced with the challenge of introducing new hygiene and safety standards in their work and office spaces within a short period of time. At the same time, these measures should also be suitable in the long term to reduce the risk of infection. How can access restrictions be sensibly implemented and customer flows be elegantly managed? What can the office, shop, restaurant of the future look like? What ideas are there for the good design of collaboration at a distance?

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our work environments substantially. Companies have faced the challenge of implementing distancing and hygiene standards in their workspaces and business premises in a short period of time.

In addition, many businesses have made more extensive use of home offices, flexible workspaces, digital communications, and other new forms of working and communicating. These measures will continue to play an important role in work environments, as will other trends.

The design of offices and workspaces has played a crucial role in the short- and long-term implementation of the above-noted measures to support and foster employees’ performance and health as well as the ability of companies to adapt to the new reality.

The topic was discussed at a bayern design forum. Speeches were given by

  • Michael Held, Design Director of Steelcase's Learning Center in Munich
  • Carina Müller, Member of the Workspace Innovation Research Team at Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation (IAO) in Stuttgart
  • Dr. Oliver Herwig moderated the discussion.

The event took place via zoom on June 16, 2020. Watch the documentation in German:

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Design Management, Service Design, and Product Development

At the bayern design forum, experts discussed how companies can adopt and implement design methods and design thinking as key elements of their management, work process design, and customer-oriented product development activities.

Approaches to help companies cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were discussed by Prof. Jan-Erik Baars, Business Consultant and Head of CAS in Design Management at Fachhochschule Luzern; Prof. Torsten Stapelkamp, Consultant and Professor for Service Design Thinking, Self-Management and Business Design at Hochschule Hof; and Michael Lanz, Managing Director of Accenture / designaffairs and Director of the designaffairs Studio in Munich. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Oliver Herwig.

SMEs can use creative techniques and/or customer surveys, for example, to adjust and modernize their product portfolios in a crisis. In addition to helping suppliers tailor services and service-related products to their customers’ specific requirements, design management and service design thinking can assist in the optimization of companies’ business models and work processes.

The discussion also clarified how investments in design management and service design can secure a company’s success and profitability over the medium and the long term.

The event took place via zoom on July 2, 2020. Watch the documentation in German:

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Ideas for the Market

The bayern design talks with entrepreneurs, agencies and designers, who can serve as role models on how to respond to the new demands created by the corona pandemic, revolved around inspiring products and ideas. As examples, agencies and companies that successfully use design methods in the planning, development, design and communication of new products and services were presented.

Sina Trinkwalder of Urbandoo GmbH reported on the development of a garment that features integrated respiratory protection. Ten years ago, Trinkwalder founded Manomama GmbH, the first social business in the textile industry. During the coronavirus crisis, the Augsburg-based entrepreneur reworked the designs of her products. She shared her experiences with moderator and brand expert Maren Martschenko at the bayern design talk. Watch the video in German.

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Within a few weeks, a small interdisciplinary team managed to manufacture face shields using production equipment normally employed for making binders and folders. The shields provide protection against airborne infection and are viable as alternatives to the classic mouth-nose mask, for example, for asthma patients. Jonathan Brune, Head of Corporate Development at LUCTRA, DURABLE Hunke & Jochheim GmbH & Co. KG., gave an account of how his company developed the face shields. Watch the video in German.

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The two hygiene products Hacxs and Handixx also were developed within a short span of time. Ralf Deuke, Managing Director of Creabis GmbH, reported on the design and development of the hook and the handle that help prevent smear infection. Creabis GmbH used its additive manufacturing machines to create these products in a matter of days. The design of the products has helped to optimize the additive manufacturing process and to lower production costs significantly. Hacxs and Handixx were the company’s first foray into the B2C segment. Watch the video in German.

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What can the hospital of the future look like? And how does an interdisciplinary team of architects, interior designers, designers and medical experts work together to design it? Magnus Nickl, CEO of Nickl & Partner Architects, reports how his office developed a symbolic proposal for a hospital on Theresienwiese to meet the needs of the Covid-19 pandemic.