Manuel Steffan

Industrial Design



Diploma Project x ECAL

Bing is a tool/ toy that enables anyone to visually compose music. It derives from my master thesies on how we humans need to play in order to learn as well as from my personal passion for music instruments.
Images © Nikolai Frerichs
Gif © Gina Bolle

Running On (H)air
x On Running

Swiss company On Running asked us to envision the running shoe sole of 2040. Asking what could be the lightest yet high performing running shoe sole, this project presents a customizable 3D-printed sole, that mimics the efficiency and perfomance of spacer fabrics.
Images © Nikolai Frerichs

Hang In!
x Mini

In the future, we might be freed from the tedious part of driving and left only with its joyful sensations. To answer Mini’s brief of a future steering wheel, I chose to bring character and a fun driving experience into the cockpit drawing reference from fullbody steering sports like sailing and horse riding.
Images © Gina Bolle

Autonomous City Taxi
x Santoni

For Italian company Santoni we designed an autonomous city taxi that offers flexibility for the various needs of urban nomads, while showcasing great potential of their 3D-knitting technology. As the use of the vehicle shifts towards public transport the interior reflects that logic being designed for cleanability, maintenance and durability. Therefore the fabrics can be easily customized and branded.
Project together with Stefan Troendle.

x Seoul Semiconductors

In order to showcase the intense luminance of Seoul Semiconductors' LEDs, this project draws attention to the usually empty space that light travels through until we can see it on a surface. The rotating particles create an atmosphere that triggers awe as in a campfire.
Images © Daniela Rauschmeier

New Waters

How could I help the company LAUFEN to bring the washbasin out of the bathroom and into a new context? My proposal wants to reinterpret the classic fountain and combines it with the communal washbasin. As a 360 degree approachable anchor in space it lives in entrance halls of banks, hotel lobbies, or offices.
Images © Lukas Lüttgen


What started as a welding exercise became a fun little side project. I combined a few different welding joints with some leftover steel to create a small side table. Some time later the wooden wardrobe Time-Out emerged almost by itself.
Images © Paul Rees

Red Herrings
Various Clients & Self-initiated

Over the years a few small, but beautiful projects have accumulated that either emerged under a tight deadline or from a bifurcation of a project, be it a Geodesic Dome that now decorates the patio of Steelcase in Munich, an exhibition booth for an automatic vineyard robot, or the vinyl cover of the post-punk band 'Exclusive'.

Snaps of work

Making a mess and cleaning it makes much more fun than just keeping a desk tidy, as most of the beauty lies in the work and not in the outcome.

Manuel Steffan is a Designer based in Munich. Being synthetic, yet practical in his approach, Manuel designs with the objective to improve people’s daily life by reducing complexity and finding potential in little things, combining a user-centric design approach with wide curiosity beyond design. For him, a project needs a strong core idea and a distinguished identity in order to become useful and long-lasting in order to keep up with technological shifts and changes in consumer behavior.

Originally from Munich, Manuel gained additional experience working at the innovation studio Poetic Design as well as designing for the startup XPLingo during his studies at HM Munich. After finishing his studies he joined the Steelcase Global Design Team and worked amongst other tasks on large scale office furniture projects as well as numerous design explorations regarding the office to be. Recently, he graduated in the Master Product Design at ECAL in Switzerland.