Who are the industrial design gurus

Designer of ICE, Transrapid and the new Munich subway system honored for life's work

Munich The people of Munich see his works every day: Alexander Neumeister designed the new underground trains and trams. But the industrial designer not only shaped the face of Munich's rail traffic - the look of the Transrapid and the ICEs also came from his imagination. The 69-year-old, who also worked a lot in Asia and Brazil, has now received the design award from the city of Munich for his life's work, which the Bogenhauser is extremely pleased with. After all, the trains were a special affair of the heart for the Munich residents: “I always wanted to give something back to the city where I have felt so comfortable for most of my life.” And in collaboration with MVG, he designed trains that meet the needs of Munich residents are adapted: “Because the crowds always accumulate at the beginning of the trains, we built the curved rows of wooden seats there - the more comfortable seating groups are more in the middle of the car. This means that there is a better distribution of passengers over the entire train, ”explains Neumeister. “And the need for safety, especially among women, led to the continuous train.” He has just optimized his first version: “There will be more energy-saving LED lighting, and the wooden shells of the side seats will be replaced by padded seats, because when you accelerate you slide easily Neighbors. ”The improved subways are his legacy to his hometown. The designer will hand over his office in Lehel to his partners in December 70. "Then I'll shift my focus to Brazil," says Neumeister. What draws him there, why Munich will always be his home, he explains in the A to Z. Maren Kowitz Munich's industrial design guru Alexander Neumeister (69) from A to Z age: I'll be 70 in December - a milestone for me! At the beginning of 2012 I will hand over the office to my two partners. Brazil: a fantastic country. In 1989 I opened an office in Rio with two designers. And then I met my wife Sonaira there ten years ago. Chaos: We all live in the duality of chaos and order. A minimalist house in the wilderness is fascinating. Chaos is just as necessary as perfection. Design award: I am very happy about this recognition from the city of Munich. Uniform mixture: In large shops you will find ten to 15 variants of each product - often a uniform mixture, only with differences in the details. Color: Instead of ivory and broken blue, I suggested silver and a more dynamic, bright blue for the new subways and trams. I did not expect the outcry in the press. Patience: I am often impatient. But through the advantage of age and the influence of my wife, I realized that there are many different paths. Hitachi: I've worked with Hitachi in Tokyo for 20 years. For our high-speed train, we received a very high-profile award from the Japanese imperial family - I am the first non-Japanese. ICE: As a designer, I was involved in the ICE development from the very beginning - from the first test train around 30 years ago to the current ICE-3. Japan: I found a lot in traditional Japan that has influenced me as a designer to this day. Like the art of optimizing - as opposed to always looking for something new. Criticism: I check criticism personally - change points that I feel are justified. But every designer is speechless if you tell him: “I don't like it.” Stage fright: In presentations there is still that first moment when you look into people's faces and think: “Hopefully it'll work out.” Munich is my home. At the moment I feel caught between two stools. But this is where my children were born, this will always be my base. User: Of course, I often take the subway to the stations from Prinzregentenplatz to my office in Lehel. But unfortunately the older trains run on the U4. Originals: In 1995 we built two perfect 1: 1 models in a hall in Poing for the new ICE development. After that, the train heads came to the museum, but the rest was scrapped. That hurt. Products: I have decided to only design long-term capital goods. I didn't want to go into the circus where you redesign a product just because sales are dropping. Source of inspiration: I have a very good optical memory and also learned early on to see things consciously and to question shapes. Guidelines: There are projects where every detail is dictated - a designer nightmare. Tasks that call for visions are really fun. Beauty: The fascinating thing about design is to find solutions where everything works optimally and is also beautiful - it's fun to use and own something like this! Transrapid: For me a rather tragic story. When I started working on the maglev in 1969, technology was ahead of the curve and then got sidelined. Maybe in 20 years we will buy technology from China. U-Bahn: We have tailored the new U-Bahn completely to the needs of Munich residents. The new version has been optimized - with energy-saving LED lighting and non-slip seats. Father: I am the proud father of two beautiful daughters who are 32 and 38. One lives in Australia, one in Munich. I've been a grandfather since last December. Worldwide: I've traveled my whole life and have worked a lot abroad. I enjoy being in different cultures - getting to know how to resolve conflicts. Our style is very direct, others soften it. X-Ray: I have a great weakness for medicine, almost studied it. But I didn't learn Latin in high school, so I still have a weakness for medical device design. Yacht: As a lecturer, I designed a 50-meter yacht with a helipad for a seminar. But my own passion is a small sailboat in Brazil. Future: I will always remain a designer, and I will probably always design. But in the future I will try to combine high technologies, manual skills and natural materials.