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Press Release

designaffairs opens first US studio in Portland

June 20,2018 | By Anna Marum
designaffairs opens first US studio in Portland

May 2018 launch completes a global network across North America, Europe and Asia

June 20, 2018
Media inquiries
Bianca Fleischer
Vice President, Studio Director, designaffairs Inc.
Cell: +1 805 443 5001

Portland, OR – designaffairs, a strategic design consultancy based in Germany and China, has opened its first US studio in Portland. The studio opened in May, an exciting international addition to the city’s creative sector.
designaffairs helps companies deliver products and services fit for the future, and its portfolio includes:
- A global corporate Graphical User Interface (GUI) Styleguide for Bosch
- A central control panel concept for Hyundai’s in-car infotainment system
-White Goods design language and portfolio strategy for Grundig, the European household appliance company
- A Smart Home energy-conservation product line for RWE, the German utility company
- Medical device design language and industrial design for Siemens Healthineers
designaffairs has chosen to enter the US market at a time of profound change throughout the world, thanks to new technologies, new competitors and shifting user behaviors. Using design as a catalyst for transformation, the global firm is perfectly positioned to help clients navigate industry disruption, changing business models and increasing digitization.
Starting with a small but mighty team of three people, designaffairs expects its Portland studio to grow to about 10 by the end of its first year, expanding to 20-30 people within two to three years.
Nico Michler, co-founder of designaffairs, said the decision to open a US office was a natural step to serve a global economy.
“For 20 years, designaffairs has brought hardware, software and service solutions to market,” Michler said. “Our clients around the world need to work on a global level. Our network across North America, Europe and Asia will help enable that.”
Situated on NW Northrup Street, in the heart of the Pearl District, designaffairs Portland will consult for clients in industries such as mobility and transportation, home and building automation, medical and healthcare, consumer products and retail.
designaffairs Portland will be run by Vice President and Studio Director Bianca Fleischer. Fleischer, a design industry veteran, has been based in the US for more than 12 years.
“designaffairs is excited to join Portland’s thriving design community,” Fleischer said, noting that the firm was strategic in choosing Portland for its first US office. 
“We chose Portland for many reasons,” she said. “It sits at the intersection of a number of rapidly transforming industries that will help shape the global business landscape for years to come. It has a vibrant creative culture and a rich talent pool. It is also a breathtakingly beautiful part of the country. Portland is an ideal home for the innovative and collaborative working culture we want to build.”
Greater Portland Inc, the public-private partnership dedicated to growing the region's economy, is proud to have played a role in bringing designaffairs to Portland, along with Prosper Portland, the Technology Association of Oregon and Business Oregon.
“designaffairs is an exciting addition to our region's creative ecosystem," said Janet LaBar, Greater Portland Inc's president and CEO. "And their choice of Portland affirms our region is a preferred location for foreign investment and a center of excellence for design and innovation.”
Kimberly Branam, executive director of Prosper Portland, said designaffairs is a good example of the many creative firms which have identified Portland as a place to thrive.
“Our city is very collaborative and forward-thinking, which creates a great environment for firms like designaffairs to flourish and grow," she said.
Skip Newberry, president of the Technology Association of Oregon, said the group is excited to welcome the internationally renowned player in the product design space to the Silicon Forest.
“Product and UX design are fundamental in developing innovative technologies and successful brands, so we look forward to designaffairs joining our ever-growing Portland tech community."   

About designaffairs

designaffairs was founded in 1997 and is among the top three most-awarded creative consulting agencies worldwide, with more than 300 design industry awards. designaffairs is known for its unrivaled track record of bringing new products and services to market. Its teams of more than 100 people across its three other studios, in Munich, Erlangen and Shanghai, specialize in insights, strategy, innovation, design and engineering.

With a unique suite of research and strategy tools to guide decision-making, a strong maker-culture for prototyping new enterprises and experiences, and a da.labs team experimenting with AI, data science and machine learning, designaffairs is well positioned to help US clients explore and answer today’s big questions and tackle tomorrow’s challenges.

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