Wolfgang K. Meyer-Hayoz:Know everything about competitive brands, make top global products.


Wolfgang K. Meyer-Hayoz studied mechanical engineering, visual communication and industrial design and graduated from the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design. The professors Klaus Lehmann, Kurt Weidemann and Max Bense have had formative influence on his design philosophy. In 1985, he founded the Meyer-Hayoz Design Engineering Group with offices in Winterthur, Switzerland and Constance, Germany. The design studio offers consultancy services for national as well as international companies in the five areas of design competence: design strategy, industrial design, user interface design, temporary architecture and communication design, and has received numerous international awards. From 1987 to 1993, Wolfgang K. Meyer-Hayoz was president of the Swiss Design Association (SDA). He is a member of the Association of German Industrial Designers (VDID), Swiss Marketing and the Swiss Management Society (SMG). Wolfgang K. Meyer-Hayoz also serves as juror on international design panels and supervises Change Management and Turnaround projects in the field of design strategy.

Q:What makes you want to become the juror of Contemparory Good Design Award, which is a newly established international design award tailored to the Chinese market? A:For many years I have been following the developments of Chinese culture and business very closely. Professor Klaus Lehmann, under whom I studied product design at the State Academy of Visual Arts in Stuttgart, was one of the first professors of design who held lectures on design in China as far back as in the 1980s. Several Chinese design students later studied under him in Stuttgart and are now active in China as successful design professors. In addition, I have been a member and promoter of the Baden-Württemberg Association for the Advancement of Cooperation with the People's Republic of China in Constance, Germany for many years. Many Chinese students are educated at the elite university and at the Polytechnic in this town. As the founder and CEO of our design company in Germany and Switzerland (www.meyer-hayoz.com), I have focused very strongly on the fields of life science, robotics, medical technology, high-tech machines and devices as well as corporate design and corporate branding, and am therefore very interested in becoming more acquainted with the state of the art among Chinese design colleagues.

Q:What do you think of the consumer market and the level of industrial design in China now?
A:The Chinese economy and Chinese industry have developed enormously in the last few years. Industrial Design in China has also progressed very well, according to my observations. What appears to me as being very important now is an even more consistent inclusion of ecological considerations and of environmental demands. I am thinking here in terms of the conservation of materials and resources in design, simplicity, safe handling as well as a design language aimed at international markets.

Q:You have worked as a design consultant for start-up companies, medium and small-sized enterprises and internationally-leading companies. When developing design strategies for these three types of companies, which aspects did you focus on respectively to help them win the market?
A:For this we employ a procedural plan which we have successfully carried out in many projects. Together with the management of our clients’ companies, we research their DNA and their competitive position on the global market. In many cases, we already know our clients competitors as well as their strengths and weaknesses. We then begin with the development of the corresponding design strategy for our clients.
From this knowledge base we very often develop a new business model and in so doing we also examine and root out disruptive solutions. Based on predictive observation, we develop new, groundbreaking and unique solutions for our clients. Our company focuses on 5 defined core competencies (Design Strategy / Industrial Design / User Interface Design / Temporary Architecture and Communication Design), and due to this a consistent design language typical of the client’s brand is created very quickly.
In this way, a strong brand is developed, which is necessary for success on the world market. I am convinced that the Chinese economy, viewed as a whole, should pursue exactly this next step of development in its value creation process and in its competitiveness on the world stage.