Partner and Executive Design Director, IDEO New York
I’m passionate about making things tangible: addressing our clients’ most complicated business challenges in a human-centered way, so even big, systemic, strategic solutions can be experienced. As executive design director, I support our teams by translating those challenges into opportunities they can tackle through design. The global part of my role means bringing a wider perspective and inspiration to projects, and connecting the local design community to our broader network.
What you won't learn from my bio:
When I’m not designing, I build guitars.
As an IDEO partner and executive design director at IDEO New York, Leif is passionate about finding the most impactful ways to bring human-centered brands, products, spaces, and experiences successfully to market. He is happiest when collaborating with clients and colleagues to integrate innovation and meaning into the design process. Passionate about making things real and with a love of design, Leif has created strategies, comprehensive design languages, and award-winning products and services for renowned international, German, and U.S. companies.
Leif joined IDEO’s Boston studio in 1992, where he stayed for two years. He then worked at IDEO in Palo Alto and returned to his native Germany in 1998. There he worked for Siemens Design before co-founding IDEO Munich in 2001. Together with the teams in Munich and London, Leif has been shaping and co-leading IDEO’s successful and rewarding expansion in Europe. He has recently joined IDEO in New York as part of the East Coast creative leadership team.
A frequent public speaker, Leif skillfully addresses design-related topics at design and business conferences. He has served as a guest professor and lecturer of design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach and Munich, Vital - The Tel Aviv Center for Design Studies, and at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. For more than 10 years, he has taught regularly at Lund University in Sweden.
Leif holds an undergraduate degree in product design from the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbisch Gmünd, and a Master of Fine Arts in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, which he attended as a Fulbright scholar.