Thalia Schuster studied product design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbisch Gmünd and at the Ingvar Kamprad Design Center in Sweden. Already during her studies, she specialized in the areas of kitchens as well as table and living culture. Since 2008, the designer has been working in the studio of the WMF Group and creates products with the highest design standards. Parallel to this work, Thalia Schuster works as a lecturer for product design. 

Her design is characterized by an independent character, an emotional form language and a loving attention to detail. Desire, aesthetics and function of the designs are always the focus of design development. Many design awards such as the IF Award or the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany distinguish her work. 

"The eye eats with you" - according to the well-known proverb, design culture is already firmly interwoven with the gastronomy and hotel scene. What did you focus on when developing ELEMENTS? 
The focus of the product concept is on the menus, which shape the table image through different configurations. They are the heart of the collection. The themes of flexibility and modularity can thus be perfectly implemented and offer creative freedom. At the same time, great importance is attached to the handling for the gastronomer. 

The new Table Top Collection pleases the eye with an unusual design. HEPP ELEMENTS is aimed at hoteliers and restaurateurs with the courage to go out of the ordinary, who want to stand out from the crowd and create clear unique selling points. HEPP ELEMENTS combines pure functionality with aesthetics in perfection. What inspired you to this extraordinary idea? 
The formal basic idea was to take up and develop the design language of the buffet system Sequence, which I designed for the Hepp brand. The guest now experiences the extraordinary design not only at the buffet, but also on the table. 

What was the driving force behind the combination of materials (stainless steel and concrete unite to form a harmonious unity. Industrial Style meets elegance.) or according to which criteria do you select your materials? 
Concrete has been a trend material for many years, which I absolutely wanted to stage on the laid table. In combination with porcelain and stainless steel, it creates a harmonious overall picture, not least because of its high contrast feel and appearance. 

What criteria do your designs absolutely have to meet?

I want my design to be able to be identified with the products. They should make life easier, more beautiful and give pleasure. Of course, functionality and producibility play a major role in this. 

How do you define design in a nutshell? 
"Form follows function" is my guiding principle. If a product does not work, it is worthless. 

HEPP ELEMENTS: What were the challenges? What are the special features? What is your conclusion?

The biggest challenge was the compatibility of modularity, flexibility and aesthetics. 
The Elements tabletop collection offers the greatest possible combination possibilities for the gastronome in addition to the aesthetic demands. 

What do you like about your work or what makes it special?

Basically, I am very happy that I was able to turn my passion into a profession. For me as a designer, there is nothing more beautiful than to see how an idea matures into a product ready for series production. 

What is your most important working tool? 
My most important working tool is my sketchbook, which I have been using since my studies and which I always carry with me. But a good coffee is no less important. 

What is the trend in product design for the year 2020? 
I sense the strong trend that we humans are rediscovering our appreciation for natural colours, materials and accessories. In contrast to this is digitalization, which is also having a strong impact on product design. Simple and intuitive are the most important keywords here. 

In the future, successful product development will be even more of a team effort in the cooperation of material scientists, engineers and designers. 

What is the official title of your position? 
Senior Product Designer

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