Switzerland is not like most countries. It has no official capital city but makes up for it by having 4 official languages. Regional characteristics are strong, and the 26 cantons function as states within the federation. Nonetheless, there is a strong feeling of belonging together, despite the differences. To the outside world, the “Swiss” brand is thus homogenous, strong, enviable, precise, orderly. By joining forces, the Swiss federal states have achieved what they never could have done alone.
These concepts apply to the founders of this local chapter initiative as well. Our group brings together educational, research, enterprise, agency and freelance experience, backgrounds in architecture, design, human-computer interaction and business. It is along these same concepts that we have identified the SDN Swiss chapter goals:
1. Join Forces
2. Mix Differences
3. Grow Together by Building on Heritage
Martin Wiedmer is a trained architect (Dipl. Architekt HTL) and works since 2012 as vice dean at the Lucerne School of Art and Design. He is in charge of the four research groups, the bachelor’s specializations in object design, textile design, jewelry design, design management international and the master’s degree programs in design and film. Prior to this assignment, from 2001 he built up the research at the Academy of Art and Design of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. Between 2005 and 2012 he headed the Institute of Art and Design Research. During this time he carried out multiple research and service projects in art and design, especially in the fields of interaction and design thinking. Martin Wiedmer is active in various research commissions, juries and (conference) committees.
Florian Egger is the founder and principal of Telono SA, a Swiss user experience (UX) research and design agency he founded in 2005. He manages a team of UX strategists, user researchers and interaction designers who strive to make interactions with products and services more useful, more usable and more enjoyable. He has extensive international experience in sectors ranging from healthcare to finance or international organizations, where he has set up systematic user-centered design processes to achieve business success. Florian holds an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction from University College London (UK) and a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the Eindhoven University of Technology (NL).
Combining experience from corporate, startup, agency and freelance environments in user / experience design, project/product management and digital strategy, Peter is a connector of dots. He has built and leads Geneva’s biggest grassroots event series at the intersection of technology, business, and user-centered design, with 2000+ members over 45 past events, and guest speakers from organizations big and small (CERN, UN, WEF, Pictet, IBM, Goodwall, Cloudsight, BBC, etc.). Peter played a key role in rolling out journey-based approach in IBM’s developing markets marketing efforts. He later worked on bringing a user-focused approach and design thinking to satellite connectivity provider Inmarsat, both on internal and external projects. He recently concluded his EMBA in Management of Technology and Innovation at EPFL, and started his own practice in experience design.
Vinzenz Leuenberger works as an Open Innovation Developer at the Swisscom Pirates Hub, where he is building bridges between the corporate and startup world. During his career he gathered experience and expertise in managing and running innovation ventures in large organizations. His current project focuses on the creation of intrapreneurship movements inside organizations with getkickbox.com. Vinzenz is active in further developing the open-source innovation framework “Kickbox” through the non-profit association Kickbox.org. He is a guest lecturer at several Swiss universities on the topics of Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Corporate Innovation. Vinzenz holds a BA in Industrial and Product Design with a specialization in Design Management from the University of Arts and Sciences Lucerne.
Klaus Marek is a trained designer and architect. Running his own design agency, he devised, among other things, new writing tools for the pen and marker manufacturing company Stabilo or a remote control programme for the company Somfy with a focus on user interface. As an architect he worked for the Basel Architects Herzog & de Meuron on various types of projects – among others as the head of the design team for a research and laboratory building for the Swiss global health-care company Hoffman-La Roche, where various user needs and complex technical requirements had to be integrated. In 2010 he became an independent architect and designer where he follows a strong user-centered approach. Since autumn 2015 he teaches Product Design, Service Design and Design Methods in the Master’s degree programme and is researching in the field of visualization of service processes at the Competence Center Visual Narrative - both at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.