01 ingmar thies teaching graphic design book in class education photo katkja hasenoehrl

Photo: © Katja Hasenöhrl

The Power of Listening: How Mr. Thies Inspires as Designer, Teacher and Author

Sometimes you just have to listen to be inspired and learn something new. In the case of our Creative of the month, Sven Ingmar Thies, founder of Thies Design, a renowned creator and designer, uses his enthusiasm for teaching to deliver creative learning.

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Sometimes you just have to listen to be inspired and learn something new. In the case of our Creative of the month, Sven Ingmar Thies, founder of Thies Design, a renowned designer and creator who has a holistic approach to the art of design, uses his enthusiasm for teaching to impart creative learning. He now passes on his knowledge and experience as an author to his students and designers.

Beginnings and formative, international experiences

Born in Hamburg, he began his education at the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts, where he studied graphic design. For his final thesis, however, he moved to Tokyo and Yokohama, where he gained valuable insights into Japanese design culture. As you can imagine, these new experiences shaped his view of design and inspired him to take a holistic approach to design that draws no boundaries between different design disciplines, fields and crafts.

After the great inspiration he gained in Asia, he wanted to gain further international insights. After graduating, he was drawn to London and was able to gain valuable experience at renowned companies such as Henrion, Ludlow & Schmidt. There he worked on holistic brand development, deepening his understanding of the importance of a cohesive brand experience. He later moved back to Tokyo, where he explored the interplay between architecture and design on a postgraduate fellowship at the Kitayama Institute. These experiences shaped his approach to designing brand experiences and gave him a unique perspective on the connection between design and architecture.


Thies Design - A holistic brand experience
Through his many impressions, Mr. Thies took courage and founded his own company,
Thies Design, in 1998. Since then, he has developed end-to-end brand experiences for a variety of companies and institutions. His holistic approach to design allows him to consider all aspects of a brand's identity, be it visual design, communication or interaction with the customer. His priority is always to reach the target group sustainably through unique and coherent brand experiences.


Design knowledge for the next generation
Parallel to his professional activities, Sven Ingmar Thies has been involved as a senior artist for graphic design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2011. In the Class for Ideas, he shares his extensive knowledge and passion for design with aspiring designers. This inspired him to pass on his design knowledge to the next generation in his book "Teaching Graphic Design".

In "teaching graphic design" he talks about his own experiences as a teacher at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He explores how students can learn sustainably and what insights can be gained from other cultures. The focus is on the conscious use of listening.

To provide a comprehensive look at the topic, Sven Ingmar Thies interviewed 24 educators from China, Germany, the UK, Japan, Austria, and the US. These experts from various disciplines such as graphic design, game design, cognitive psychology and industrial design share inspiring insights and perspectives. Among the teachers, renowned graphic designers such as Rathna Ramanathan, Brigitte Hartwig and Erik Spiekermann provide insights into their working methods and their views on sustainable learning and conscious listening. Their experiences and expertise enrich the book and offer valuable impulses for design practice.

Thies himself describes his textbook as: "A book for teachers, students and practicing designers: Why listening matters in the classroom. And what this means for students and in later professional practice."

The book is aimed at both teachers and students and offers insights into the experiential values of others as well as impulses for one's own teaching and learning. It serves as a source of inspiration for professional practice and supports students in experimenting, gaining experience and developing themselves further.


Our conclusion
Sven Ingmar Thies' book offers a multi-layered look at sustainable learning and the conscious use of listening. Through his own experiences as a teacher and the interviews with experts from different countries and disciplines, the result is an inspiring work that will be of great use to both students and practicing designers. It encourages people to look beyond their own horizons and discover new perspectives.


More of his work can be found on Mr. Thies' Instragram channel.