“Inspiring and helping each other goes both ways,” says Product Design alumnus Michael Sans of his engagement with students at ArtCenter Bikini Berlin, the College’s satellite studio where he is managing director.
Sans’ own education began at the workbench of his woodworker grandfather in a small German town on the Rhine. He apprenticed as a cabinetmaker, briefly studied architecture in Florence, and turned to product design when he entered the program at ArtCenter Europe in Switzerland—emerging forever shaped by its “professional approach, intense schedule, small classes and perfect facilities.”
Sans works across media and industries, from fashion and architecture to automotive, designing, for example, the interface graphics and hardware of the control unit in all Volkswagen police cars in Germany.
He opened his own studio in 2003, pursuing an eclectic range of projects. Inspired by the original Swiss army bag, he designed a line of sturdy but extremely fine handmade leather goods; created the DIY-inspired Lida Street Collection of furniture for ArtCenter Bikini Berlin; and transformed a historic Berlin butcher shop into a high-end café.
“It’s always felt natural to me to construct things,” he says, “to develop new ideas and solve problems through experimenting and trying them out in 3D.”