What pushed you the most as you were developing the ID. range?
Just as the ID.3 project was kicking off, the company expressed a desire for new exterior light concepts. A small team was put together relatively quickly, dedicated to so-called ambient lighting and exterior lights.
We grew as a team during the project, just as the concept of exterior lights grew alongside the ID. range. And we can now look back on an impressive team achievement: ID.-specific light concepts and lighting which will be a real innovation in the market, an unmistakable light signature which is part of the new brand identity, and a whole host of show cars and series projects which have implemented our ideas. None of that would have been possible without the wonderful and strong women who threw themselves into this new task with me and helped to shape products, processes and the entire subject with their personalities, ideas and dedication. Creating such a fantastic team is thus my personal highlight.
At which point did you realise that a breakthrough in electric mobility for everyone is on the horizon?
Probably like many people who have never driven an electric vehicle, I knew nothing about the driving experience and thus wasn’t really expecting anything out of the ordinary. But all that changed the first time I drove an e-Golf: the immediate acceleration and silent gliding were so exciting and such a surprise that I instantly had a grin on my face. It just felt so futuristic and was absolutely fascinating. I was having so much fun that I didn’t even want to get out of the car.
That was an e-Golf, a vehicle with a traditional MQB design. The futuristic feel that comes with an electric drive is now also reflected in the design of the ID.3: with a design based on a modular platform (MEB) and – in my opinion – wonderful new features that are sure to fill you with emotion.
In detail, what do you think is the most fascinating technology in the new ID.3?
As a light designer, I am, of course, a little biased: I am terribly proud of the exterior lights, which make the ID.3 more approachable and human. As I approach the vehicle, it appears to wake up, opening its eyes and looking at me. I’ve experienced this greeting countless times during the testing phase and while working on the timing in the light tunnel. And still I’m always touched by how an emotional bond can suddenly form between a person and the vehicle. This effect requires sophisticated technology in the sensors, the headlights and for KESSY (keyless entry). The control and programming are also highly complex to ensure the vehicle looks in the right direction with the right timing.
I’m also delighted with the ID. Light, which our colleagues designed in the interior. Here, too, there’s a human feel from first contact. You no longer have the sense you’re interacting with a machine. The light feedback is so intuitively and emotionally designed that you might think you’re actually communicating with another person.
When you look at the project as a whole, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
For me, the fact that we were able to develop an all-new vehicle category without a predecessor, initially without a framework to speak of and very little in the way of directions, was both the biggest challenge and the most wonderful opportunity provided by the ID.3 project. We were able to approach this project with absolute freedom and maximum creativity – an often daunting task, but also a dream for every designer. That makes all of us part of a brand-new product range, a new era for the Volkswagen marque.
What have you personally taken away from the project?
As a designer, I have taken away lots of memories of an intensive period of time: lots of exciting moments as well as many moments of friction with others – but even these were ultimately important and essential to achieving these amazing results. Happy moments when we were successful and moments full of disappointment when we were unable to implement a great idea. And then there are the emotions of a special design process that shaped the product and marque as well as the team. At the end of the day, I’m proud that I was able to contribute and be part of it all.
For me, there remains a feeling of hope. Hope that the ID.3 and the marque’s new focus will win people over and are a step in the right direction for Volkswagen. Hope that the necessary urban infrastructure will be developed with the support of policy, so that electric mobility is truly accessible to everyone. And more importantly, hope that both people and the environment will benefit from this new mobility.
How important is the use of light in your private life? Have you also installed lighting elements and LED strips throughout your living room?
Not just in my living room! I have more lamps at home than I could possibly use at any one time. My friends sometimes tease me about my ‘lamp exhibition’ – but at the end of the day, I ‘need’ them all because I combine various sources of light with each other depending on the situation. I don’t feel comfortable if the lighting doesn’t reflect my mood.
But there aren’t any LED strips. I find traditional lighting to be more appealing. From old Putzler crystal lamps that once hung in my parents’ house to timeless Artemide Tolomeo lights. And even though all the plugs are occupied, I already have another lamp on my wish list: a Luceplan Hope, a dream of light refraction and reflections. I’ve always been passionate about light, both in my career and personal life. So, of course, I’m never done with my lighting concept at home and I’m always making improvements and redesigning.