Teresa Egger (Austria, Furniture and Product Design) and Hanne Willmann (Germany, Furniture and Product Design)

NE Teresa Egger and HE Hanne Willmann

New Entrepreneur (NE):

Name & surname: Teresa Egger
Country: Austria
Age: 29
Sector of activity: Furniture and Product Design
Did you already start your business? Yes
Name of business/website: Teresa Egger / www.teresaegger.com

Host Entrepreneur (HE):

Name & surname: Hanne Willmann
Country: Germany
Sector of activity: Furniture and Product Design
Experience in running a business (in years): 8
Name of business/website: Studio Hanne Willmann / www.hannewillmann.com

Period of exchange: 09/05/2022 – 08/11/2022
Duration of exchange: 6 months

Vienna meets Berlin – Design meets design
Teresa Egger had a great exchange with Hanne Willman and gained new insights in the field of furniture design

I am a product designer from Austria with a background in editorial and copywriting and I work self-employed since the end of 2021. To start up my career and get more experience in the field of product development as well as widen my network in the design field, I decided to look out for international exchanges. When finding out about the EYE Program I immediately thought of it as the perfect platform for a specific and even guided exchange. Finding Hanne Willman as a possible host confirmed this decision, as it seemed to be the “perfect match” in all ways: field of interest, exchange of strengths, size of studio and location.

Who is my host? Hanne Willmann founded her own product and furniture design studio in 2015 in Berlin after working for the renowned design studios such as Autonban in Istanbul and Werner Asslinger. Ever since, she realized several projects for and works in cooperation with international design brands such as Freifrau, Leolux, Favius, Interlübke and many more. Starting off a few years ago as a young designer herself, she quickly developed as one of the big names in international furniture design in recent years. At the same time and ever since, she strives to support and empower other (female) young designers which was also the motivation to apply as a HE in this international exchange. As she values the opportunity which a young creative mind can offer in exchange for her extended experience in this field, she wants to give young professionals the opportunity to grow in new directions together.

The main goal of our relationship was the exchange of skills: while I mainly wanted to gain more insight in the fields of product development and brand/studio Hanne could profit from my background in the fields of brand copywriting and editing. From day 1, Hanne provided me with guided design tasks which where mentored by her and her team. I was overtaking social media activities as well as the preparation for PR gigs for Hanne. After getting familiar with client and the CAD and render programs used by the team, I was included in the daily tasks of the studio which didn’t follow a strict routine. The task were diverse and ranged from sketching to product development, model making, PR + social media activities, assisting in photo shootings, preparing presentations and technical drawings.

One highlight during the exchange was certainly overtaking the main responsibility for a client in the fields of kids furniture which included presentation, product development, renderings and technical drawings. The design is going to be realized within the next year. In June, the whole team was also going to the design faire Salone del Mobile in Milan, where some designs by Studio Hanne Willmann where launched and shown for the first time. However, also I and another studio team member exhibited their own designs as part of a group exhibition for young design talents there, which was a learning for all sides.

I gained a lot of new skills such as technical drawing skills, CAD drawing skills (Rhino), rendering technics (KeyShot) as well as an extended overview of the German and international furniture sector. I gained new contacts to the industry and other young designers, especially during the time at the Salone del Mobile in Milan and other fairs.

Teresa Egger (NE): “This exchange was a crucial step for getting a deeper insight of the important aspects and the realization what it takes to build up your own successful brand/studio. I am grateful that Hanne and her whole team gave me such an extended insight to their studio life and the opportunity to develop and refine my skillset to a more professional level. I felt welcomed and supported as part of a team at all times.”