Newcomer Finalist 2020, Janina Hünerberg
Born 1992 in Hamburg, Germany Study 2012 to 2018 at Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Kiel, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree (2016) and a Master of Arts degree (2018) Current occupation industrial designer/medical designer at Holm & Laue GmbH & Co. KG since 2018
Janina Hünerberg was born on 3 January 1992 in Hamburg. In 2012 she began her studies in industrial design at the Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Kiel, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2016. Two years later, she started her Master of Arts in Medical Design. Already during her studies Janina Hünerberg received several renowned awards, among them a recognition at the Bavarian State Prize for Young Designers and the Mia Seeger Prize for a measuring device for on-site diagnosis of mastitis in dairy cows. She also took first place in the Muthesius Prize and in the national round of the James Dyson Award.
Her most important work to date has also been in the field of medical design, including LYBOprotect, an antibiotic plaster for the prophylactic treatment of Lyme disease in tick bites, the non-invasive blood glucose meter BIDOO for dogs and cats and CONTIGO, an orientation aid that helps people suffering from early stage dementia to independently find their way home. Janina Hünerberg has been working as an industrial designer / medical designer at Holm & Laue GmbH & Co. KG since 2018.
A few questions to Janina Hünerberg:
You are a Newcomer Finalist at the German Design Awards 2020. What does this award mean for you and your work?
I feel very honoured that my work has been commended with this nomination. For me it’s a sign that I’m on the right track and that my projects on sometimes unusual topics are developing a certain reputation.
What do you see as making for good medical design in the 21st century?
More and more new technologies, drugs and procedures for medical issues are being developed. At the same time, users such as doctors, medical staff and private individuals cannot be experts in all of the increasingly specific developments occurring within the field. Medical design makes these technologies usable for all, thus bridging the gap between science and application. Good design should inspire a high degree of confidence in the user and make the product easy to understand.
Your work focuses on the field of medical design, and you have already been able to win a reputation for yourself by producing some remarkable products – as your portfolio shows. Which of these projects is particularly close to your heart and why?
Even though I like the design draft of LYBOprotect the best, the mamelle project is especially close to my heart. The field of agriculture is often still neglected within design, even though the industry is undergoing a major structural change that needs to be actively shaped. Combining modern technology and the precision of a measuring instrument with the rough environment of a cowshed was a valuable experience for me, and one that motivates me to pursue further projects in this field.
What challenges and opportunities do you see for medical designers in the future? What role do digital technologies, and AI especially, play in your work?
Digital technologies open up completely new horizons, especially in diagnostics and data management. In many areas they enable a close networking of several different actors. AI can help to identify and compare disease patterns, thus significantly improving the quality of medical treatment. The challenge for us designers is to use these technologies in a target-oriented and supportive way without losing sight of the people who will use them.