The Design Center Baden-Württemberg has been able to enlist a number of renowned experts to participate in the CROSS CULTURE 2020 / USABILITY, VALUES, COLLABORATION forum on 19 March 2020. A total of six workshops will be offered in connection with the three areas of focus. The speakers and workshop hosts will include:


We want to change the world – how one company is taking a stance.
Manfred Meindl
VAUDE Sport GmbH & Co., Tettnang

It’s an ambitious aspiration – and one that guides everything VAUDE does. The company is living proof that successful entrepreneurship and social and ecological responsibility are by no means mutually exclusive: its eco-friendliness and social engagement have earned the outdoor equipment specialist an impressive reputation and multiple awards. Austrian-born Manfred Meindl has been head of international marketing at VAUDE since 2010. Together with his team, he is responsible for the company’s entire digital presence, as well as its marketing, communications and sponsoring activities in the individual international markets.
For further information on VAUDE, click here.


Addressing professionals in craftsmanship worldwide
How user-centered development succeeds in an international context

Stefanie Kaufhold
Festool GmbH, Wendlingen

As head of brand and market communications at Festool, a leading manufacturer of professional power tools, Stefanie Kaufhold is responsible for the company’s international brand management, as well as its brand and product communications. In her workshop forum, she explains how user-centred development can succeed in an international context, as well as how to reach professionals all over the world and support them in their work. Festool is a family-run company with approx. 3,000 employees in more than 50 countries.
For further information on Festool, click here.   

The consumption of tomorrow
Learning from Japan: How to detect new value propositions by means of cultural intelligence

Markus Winter
Yuzu Kyodai, Tokio

As founder and co-CEO of Yuzu Kyodai, Markus Winter has become a specialist for branding and brand communications in the Asian world. More than anything else, that involves adapting a company’s global DNA and values to local social and cultural conditions. In his discussion forum, the Tokyo-based expert explains how to drive innovations in this field – a task that seems both intriguing and difficult in view of how differently many areas of society in countries like Japan and China tick – and derive the benefits necessary in order to future-proof a brand.
For further information on Yuzu Kyodai, click here


Shared values (held in English)
Empathic understanding through co-creation

Helena Sandman
Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects, Helsinki

Any cross-cultural collaboration begins with the question as to common values. Helena Sandman is a multi-award-winning Finnish architect who, together with her partners Saija Hollmén and Jenni Reuter, has participated in the Venice Architecture Biennale several times. She advocates empathy as the key to successful cross-cultural projects and, in her workshop, shows how to build lasting trust between different cultures as a way to bridge the gap between different values.
Helena Sandman specialises in empathic and resource-friendly design, for instance in the form of affordable housing projects in Africa. She is also co-founder of the non-governmental organisation Ukumbi and teaches all over the world as a visiting professor.
For further information on Helena Sandman, click here.

From 0 to 100 in 43 years
The development of the EU economy in circulations

Walter R. Stahel
University of Surrey 

Prof. Dr. h.c. Walter Stahel will be travelling to the Cross Culture forum from Geneva. The politics and economics expert was pointing out the relevance of the circular economy as far back as 1976 and, as a long-serving advisor to the EU Commission, an internationally sought-after expert and renowned author, has long since become a driving force in this field. He also advises the state government of Baden-Württemberg as a member of its Consumer Commission.
In his discussion forum, he will address the role values play in product design by drawing global comparisons and discuss strategies for stock maintenance, new repair technologies and the recovery of materials.
For further information on Walter Stahel, click here


Futures literacy meets design
What kind of world we are creating for ourselves

Laura Haverkamp
Ashoka, Hamburg

Photo: Christian Klant

Laura Haverkamp, head of communications at Ashoka Germany, will host the workshop “Futures literacy meets design: what kind of world we’re creating for ourselves”. Ashoka is active in more than 90 countries and serves as a network and platform for people who want to shape and drive social change and get involved with social entrepreneurship. Laura Haverkamp will show attendees some outstanding examples of social entrepreneurship and discuss how both companies and individuals can contribute to creating a “successful” future – a future that is above all else fair and liveable.
For further information on Ashoka Germany, click here.

Cross Cultural Design
German-Chinese collaboration in education and practice

Marion Digel + Lei Zhu
Folkwang Universität der Künste, Essen / Industrial Design Institute, Zhaoqing

In their discussion forum, Prof. Marion Digel and German-Chinese design theorist Lei Zhu explain how intercultural collaboration works. At the IDI Industrial Design Institute in Zhaoqing Sheng/China, they test methods and practices for product design that has to prove itself in a global context. Their approach involves incorporating the aspirations, traditions and ideals of both eastern and western culture into the design process so as to create a blend that can generate meaningful and sustainable product solutions for the future. In an age of increasing protectionism and social division, that sounds nothing short of visionary – and yet pooling cultural expertise can give rise to synergy effects that can be scaled to small and medium businesses.

Marion Digel is Professor of Design Foundations in Industrial Design at Folkwang University of the Arts/Essen. In the course of her teaching career, she has initiated numerous international collaboration projects, including with the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn/NY and the Corcoran School for Arts & Design in Washington DC.
Lei Zhu holds a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and a master’s degree in design theory. After various positions in industry, she is now a lecturer specialising in the social aspects of design theory. Her work focuses on the disparities between the history and culture of the West and East Asia, as well as those between the two regions’ design.

Both teach and supervise intercultural projects at the IDI in China. 
For further information on the IDI Industrial Design Institute, click here


For the closing ceremony the workshops hosts and their conclusions on USABILITY, VALUES and COLLABORATION will be presented on the main stage at Bertha Benz Saal.