Team

Professor Leslie Speer

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Professor Gerhard Reichert

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Leslie Speer’s career has been dedicated to using design to improve the world, combining her experience gained in corporate, consulting, and academic environments. For the last two decades she has focused on teaching others how to use design strategies and methods to improve their lives, and the lives of others.

She has a BS Industrial Design, an MDes in Product Design, Innovation and Management, and over 30 years of experience designing products on 6 of the 7 continents on the planet. Her experience in medical product design, and functional craft design in rural communities, have coalesced in the formation of the Simple Limb Initiative.

In academia, as the Co-Chair of the Industrial Design program at California College of the Arts for a decade, followed by a tenured position at San Jose State University’s Industrial Design program for another decade, she has developed curriculum, teaching strategies, and connections from around the world. Her research has focused on designing for all abilities and more importantly for affordability without compromising on good design.

Currently she is Professor and inaugural Chair of the Product Design Department at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, and Founder and Director of the Simple Limb Initiative.

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Gerhard Reichert started studying mechanical engineering, and after his diploma he continued and graduated in integral-design at the SADK Stuttgart, where he took his second diploma. He worked at the Fraunhofer Institute IPA and Siemens Design Center in Munich. He was project manager at MH Design Engineering in Switzerland and Germany and work 7 years with Michele De Lucchi in Milan, then he founded his own studio, Reichert Design.

He focuses on the integral development of products and product systems that reconcile utilitarian, ecological functionality and integral emotionality. He works with his partners in complex global relationships with various experiences in changing lines of business and markets and his customers profit from the abundant experience and resulting synergies. He is active as an expert, advisor and acting in several design jury. He also acted as a consultant for the Industrial Research Foundation. Since 2009 Prof. Gerhard Reichert is Advisory Board in the Electric Vehicle Institute. Since 2013 he is a member of the VDI expert committee  industrial design guideline 2424.

His expertise is design and engineering in complex global contexts and alternate branches of industry and markets such as office furniture, interiors, lamps and industrial and medical products and so on. He is collaborating with national and international companies such as Airbus, Artemide, AAT, ALS, Brunner, iGuzzini, Interstuhl, Koleksiyon, Leifheit, Molteni, Mauser Office … and quite a few of his products were awarded.

From 2004 to 2007 he was appointed Professor for Design at the University of Applied Science Aachen. Since 2007 he is Professor and Head of Department Product Design at the University of Applied Science Schwäbisch Gmünd. Since 2006 he leads international design workshop in istanbul. In 2013 he was guest professor at the San Jose State University in California.

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