What does a typical working day look like for you?
My typical day consists of doing computer-aided design (CAD), communicating with clients (synchronizing expectations and current results). I carry out the planning of design, as well as computational, manufacturing and experimental tasks. I also have regular informal discussions with colleagues that help me push our work as a team in the right direction.
What is your background before you started working at RADIATE?
I am a Development Engineer and Ideation Consultant. I helped developing a 1MW wind turbine at Agile Windpower in Dübendorf. In a different instance, I consulted Helvetas on agricultural technologies and business development. A job that brought me to Nepal twice and substantially challenged my perspective towards development aid. At Spark Works I carried out more conceptual work in the field of product development and focused on identifying user needs. One could say this outcome was sort of a basis for the kind of jobs I do now at RADIATE.
What motivates you?
I get my motivation from designing beautiful products and seeing the physical results. I enjoy surprising clients by delivering results beyond their expectations, and I love finding a creative answer to a problem. Furthermore, I hope to see our sector moving in a more ecological sustainable direction soon. New materials and processes are already being explored but we are very far away from delivering „green“ products at the moment.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love alpine climbing, ski touring and hiking in remote places. Making fire, being subject to the weather, sleeping under the stars and playing my harmonica together with good people is a crucial part of it. If I enjoy a mellow weekend in Zurich I love making pizza and drinking a beer with my friends at Hardturmbrache. Unfortunately, the new soccer stadium will be built there soon. On the other hand, the fact that this will be all gone at some point makes it even more worthwhile.
What is your favorite design/engineering object or tool?
The Swiss „Sparschäler“! A great example of engineering: very handy, minimalistic look, optimized manufacturing leads to an unbeatable price tag. Unfortunately, I don’t know about the ecological footprint though.
Where do you find inspiration?
From fellow designers, architects or artists. I consider myself very lucky, as there are many inspiring people around me. Further, I love „live – hacks“, done by people in everyday life, showing very creative solutions to problems. Online, I like to browse what IDEO is doing. Car manufacturers can be interesting, too. This is quite ironic, as I am not a big fan of our current polluting, big and „unsmart“ cars. In fact, I would like to see more bikes on the road. However, cars are a big part of our civilization, that’s why I can learn a lot from them, whether it’s about aesthetic design, manufacturing or our socio-economic behavior.
What has been the most exciting moment at RADIATE for you so far?
Seeing the first batch of Skope’s Neurocam being produced. I invested more than a year of design work to give an overwhelmingly complex technology a „face“. In simple words, the MRI technology developed by Skope needed a shape; a housing to become a user-friendly product for medical research. In the future, researchers will use Skope’s Neurocam to look deeply into something even more complicated: the human brain. Very exciting!
With whom would you like to switch roles for half a year?
Tough question. I would switch with Gary Oldman, a very versatile actor, or Walter Bonatti, a former visionary alpinist and later journalist. Oldman is now and Bonatti was exploring new territories. Oldman has been delivering portraits of characters that I could not even dream of and I still feel familiar with them. I learn a lot about the world by watching his art of acting. Bonatti, while opening extremely new hard alpine routes in wild places, was very down to earth and had a uniquely creative approach to following his passion.