Doeke de Walle

Where do you work?

I work at BMW Group in Munich, Germany. Before that I worked for 5,5 years for Pininfarina, a design house in Turin, Italy. I am Senior Interior Designer and my work ranges from designing car interiors for production to pre-development research projects.

My focus is to innovate through relevant and beautiful design and eventually bring these innovations through prototypes into production cars. Sketching is a very important communication tool for me and a good sketching level is a prerequisite for designers in the automotive industry. But also technical knowledge and 3D modelling skills are among others essential.

In BMW designs are always chosen through competition, so there is always a competitive drive amongst me and my colleagues to win a project. This brings out the best in the designers and raises the level within the studio, but can also psychologically be though at times. Once a design is chosen the designer is supported by a team of designers and engineers to develop it further into production. The designers then have to guide and protect the design from first sketch all the way into production over a period of 3 to 4 years. This requires a long breath and a lot of persistence and obviously leads to some battles along the way in order to keep the essence of a design.

In the end I love what I do and enjoy the challenging work environment. The feeling of seeing your visions and designs come to life is indescribably.

What have you learned from your study at IDE?

The good thing is that it is a very all-round education which gives you a good and solid basis and Engineering background. In my job it is very important to work well together with technical engineers and people from costing and marketing. Therefore you need to be able to relate to different departments and understand their needs. I think the TU Delft learns you to speak these different languages.

On the one hand the TU Delft provided me with useful design theory and approaches which are uncommon in the car design world, where the focus is mainly on the aesthetic side of design. On the other hand I learned very specific automotive knowledge mostly during internships.