Annette Baumeister

Designing the Future - Five Questions to Annette Baumeister.

30. April 2019
ca. 3 minutes

Designworks, a subsidiary of the BMW Group, is a global creative consultancy. Through its experience with clients in diverse industries, Designworks is able to bring external perspectives and creative inspiration to the BMW Group. Designworks also shares its know-how from the complex automotive sector with customers from other industries in joint innovation projects.

We met Annette Baumeister, Studio Director of the Designworks office in Shanghai and asked her five questions about Designworks, the Chinese way of design-thinking and todays design trends.

What exactly is Designworks? What happens here in Shanghai?

The original plan of the BMW Group was to purchase Designworks to be the think-tank for the Groups Design department for cross-industry input and information. Designworks is sending this information back to the Munich headquarter.

How does Design-Thinking in Shanghai/China differ from the rest of the world?

The reason Designworks opened a studio in Shanghai is that we are in the fastest growing market here in China. This is interesting for the BMW Group. Here, we can connect to the Big Players, digital and tech companies. 

Chinese Design style in 3 words: …?

If I have to describe the Chinese main design characteristics, it would say it is all about presence, newness and fast adaptiveness.

An epoch is not only reflected in the development of technology, but also in design trends: How would you describe the current age?

If generations in the future will look back to today, they might think of the characteristics of design as experience and functional driven design.

What are your most exciting projects at the moment? 

Designworks projects are all about premium future mobility. The most exciting projects we are doing are around aviation and trains. But we are also doing visionary design work for our Chinese clients.

More BMW Group News.

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With its unique architecture and exhibition spaces, BMW Welt in Munich draws visitors from around the globe. It certainly provides a fitting stage for exceptional automobiles and the latest developments in the field of mobility. Soon, there will be even more to satisfy design aficionados – when BMW Welt opens an exclusive presentation area created by two leading designers.


Gamification – the practice of incorporating gaming elements, such as badges and points, into everyday processes – has many advantages. It boosts involvement, encourages longer, more regular usage and makes whatever you are doing more fun. But can it also be used to help the environment? The BMW Group wanted to find out – and so, in collaboration with the City of Rotterdam, it launched the pilot project “Electric City Drive” late last year. 

Research and Development in China.

The BMW Group is a future-oriented mobility company. In a complex, connected and changing environment, comprehensive research and development are essential to withstand the challenges ahead. This relies on the right locations with the right conditions. China, for example, plays a key role in research and development at the BMW Group as a lead market for electromobility and digitalisation.