260 - Wolfgang Bremer
Wolfgang Bremer is an award-winning design veteran with 20+ years of experience and currently serves as the Head of Design at Elli - A Brand of the Volkswagen Group, where he is leading the software and hardware design for all energy and charging solutions by the VW Group.
Prior to that Wolfgang has been a design leader in multiple Fortune 500 companies, like Nokia and SAP, as well as several highly funded startups based out of Germany, Spain, the US, and Canada.
Wolfgang, who is German-Canadian, is the father of two girls, enjoys giving talks about design, likes tweeting fun things about design, and is the host of the design podcast Pixelish – with Wolfgang Bremer, among other things.
A personal message from Wolfgang:
My name is Wolfgang and a while ago I stumbled over Ryan's wonderful Workspaces Newsletter on Twitter and I was amazed being able to get an inside look at the workspaces of some of the most creative people on the planet. And how a m a z i n g some of those desks looked! Like straight out of a really glossy version of an IKEA catalogue - just much, much better of course!
After I spent some time browsing through these wonderful creative spaces, I realized that I started comparing them to my very own setup and I had to admit that mine looked... different. I don't want to say worse, just different. Look, I'm a dad of two and life is busy, even without a global pandemic going on. Also I'm cheap - and by that I mean I'm willing to spend money on things I truly value and not on anything else. And that's pretty much what my workspace looks like - check out some photographs below.
It also made me think of my workspaces while traveling, which are totally make-shift bonkers at times. See, when we moved (back) from Canada to Germany, we spent a couple of months traveling from British Columbia, over Singapore and Malaysia, back to Germany. During that time whenever I needed to get some work done - and I'm a total standing-desk kinda guy - I had to MacGuyver the heck out of whatever was available. And especially that is something I wanted to share with you, as you'll see in the photographs below.
I guess my point is, workspaces can be super sexy (and at times expensive) but to get good work done, they don't always have to be.
Thanks for reading and enjoy!
- Desktronic height-adjustable desk
- JSVER power strip
- IKEA desk lamps
- IKEA MARKUS office chair
- YeMI office chair replacement castors for hardwood floor
- IKEA FÖRSIKTIG stepstool
- Personal Apple MacBook Pro 13" 2.6 GHz Dual-Core Intel i5 Mid-2014
- Work Apple MacBook Pro 16" M1 Max 2021
- Apple iPad Pro 11" (3rd gen)
- Apple Pencil (2nd gen)
- Apple Magic Keyboard
- Apple Magic Mouse
- Apple iPhone XR
- Nokia E71
- SoundPEATS TrueAir2 Wireless Earbuds
- Mousepad from a dollar store
- IKEA SVEPA glass
- Sleepy cat mug from a dollar store
- Coasters from a dollar store
- An empty box of baby wet wipes as laptop stand
- Apple Safari
- Apple Notes
- MS Outlook
- MS OneNote
- MS To Do
- MS Teams
- MS PowerPoint
- Apple Pages
- Apple Keynote
- Adobe Photoshop
What is your favorite item in your workspace?
First and foremost the framed picture of my older daughter, which was given to us as a present by her first German daycare because it serves as a constant reminder to what's actually important (that I'm working on getting a framed picture of my younger daughter on my desk goes without saying). Followed by my good old Nokia E71 as it reminds me of how innovation can work in mysterious ways. And lastly my sleepy cat mug as it's here to boost my caffeine levels.
How do you spark creativity?
I would actually frame the question a bit differently as in 'how do you spark energy?' and would then answer that in my position I often feel energized by having good conversations with the people on my team and beyond - hearing things from the perspective of others, understanding what motivates or frustrates them and being able to cheer on or help, and learning from the smart people around me - these are the things that recharge my batteries and keep me going.
How do you keep the work-life balance?
My day starts early and I'm mainly working from my home office, so I'm usually trying to be heads-down working for most of the day until my kids come home around 4pm-ish. Then I often take a short break to enjoy some hugs, running & chasing and snacks with them to get recharged and then I dive back into work until dinner time. It's something I'm always looking forward to. Besides that I often prepare a small salad for lunch as it gives me a chance to let my thoughts wander and actually do something with my hands, also allowing me to see a result right away - similar to doing the dishes in the evenings.
Wolfgang also has had a handful of make-shift travel workspaces throughout the years. Let's take a look!