Simon von Schmude

Simon von Schmude Berlin

BA Interaction and Product Designer working on MA-Thesis at the school of art and design weißensee .

Tutor of the eLab for interactive technologies.

Recently did an internship at Studio 7.5 in Berlin.

Niiir working prototype, 2019

When working or studying hard, taking the time to share a coffee break with others can help you to regain energy. Relaxation, social interaction and the coffee itself are essential parts of what makes these breaks enjoyable.
In truth, the automated coffee machine does not enable this pleasant experience, but hinders it. As it can only produce one coffee at a time, the social group ends up divided, and their conversations are interrupted. The machine demands your full attention, forcing you to face it instead of the people you want to share your break with. When the last coffee is ready, the first person’s coffee is already cold.
Niiir facilitates the relaxation and shared enjoyment every break should provide. It acts as a central hub for the interaction: while you gather around it to talk to one another, your cups communicate with the machine. Coffee flows effortlessly from multiple heads, fulfilling multiple orders at once. When approaching the cups, it nods its head down in an elegant motion; when it comes to rest again, it retracts its beak, tucking it into its chest, where it cleans itself.
Niiir demonstrates how tech can interact with analog artefacts, in order to anticipate users’ needs. Thus users are permitted to continue consciously engaging with the world around them, no longer distracted by (a forced engagement with) technology.
— For more information on the project, visit

Vocabulary and Grammar of Interactive Swarms Bachelor research, 2018

Apart from artificial swarms that are utilized in the field of scientific models, art installations and non-interactive collectives, my project investigates the creative potential of swarms: Which media, information and rules connect individuals to an organism that perceives and reacts collectively?
Digital test series made it possible to systematically explore constellations and rules and examine their functional and aesthetic potential. Among the breeding of swarms in virtual Petri Dishes using the visual programming environment vvvv, a physical swarm of shining cones that can communicate with each other with light was developed as an example.
This swarm consisting of interactive, light seeking cones allowed for testing the gained knowledge and the further exploration for creative potential. Supervised by Prof. Carola Zwick and Prof. Jörg Petruschat.
— To explore the Petri Dishes, visit

Qiro working prototype, 2017

This is a project by both Ningyuan Xu and me. We designed Qiro as an answer to the problem of existing bluetooth speakers acting and operating too unintuitive. Our approach is to use the body language of hand puppets for a more sensible interaction with the speaker through plausible gestures.
Qiros shape and transformations resemble a moving mouth, giving a visualization of sound volume and allowing for various gestures. Especially in more casual scenarios, Qiro can be used in an intuitive way, that even allows the blind handling of it.
Qiro demonstrates, that any abstract geometry is able to gain sensible body languages through plausible gestures, developing a deeper layer of interaction.
— For more information on the project, visit

Koïr working prototype, 2016/2017

Koïr is a lighting system that behaves like a swarm, consisting of many ceiling-mounted lighting elements, which respond to the movement and light in a space or room.
Just like in a swarm, at first glance, each single element acts independently. If one element detects movement, it will light up. Simultaneously it will pick up on the ambient light. When one element lights up, nearby elements will light up accordingly, passing on the signal.
The resulting swarm is able to intelligently react to people in transit spaces, reflecting, interpreting, and even anticipating their dynamics. Within the swarm, the light is free to jump between elements, making the space altogether reactive. Thus Koïr is capable of adapting to constantly changing situations, creating spaces which seem alive.
— Koïr has been exhibited at the “SaloneSatellite 2017" exhibition. For more information on the project, visit

Feyer physical concept, 2016

Especially in regard to a reduced need for extensive heating of houses in the future, the flexible and comfortable concept of Feyer is capable of replacing the elaborate infrastructure of existing central heating systems.
The modern heater is an omnipresent part of our lifestyle that is taken for granted, and thus never is scrutinized. It is always working reliably, seemingly working by itself doing so. Few people realize that heating used to be quite different just about 100 years ago.
Warmth wasn’t available on demand and thus needed to be rationed cautiously to be maintained. The attentiveness was pronounced accordingly: People gathered around the heat source to warm themselves and consequently, the heat source has always been placed at a central and visible location within the diverse living spaces. As a consequence, the heat hasn’t been distributed homogeneously but rather aimed. Therefore, people used hot stones that have been put close to the fire to heat other places or even to decoct drinking water. This aimed use of the heat source has been in practice for thousands of years and therefore has been become an essential part of human culture.
Feyer is joining this aimed and thoughtful use of heat with the comfortability of contemporary heaters. Feyer thus becomes a both at the wall and on the ground placable “modern heater", consisting of a permanently heating metal rack and ceramic disks, which store and then are capable of sharing their heat to any place they are put. Be it the bed, for food or the body, the heated disks can be used for many purposes, making Feyer a both flexible and comfortable heater. To make even more use of the properties of ceramics, some disk are only bisque fired, becoming not only an excellent heat but also a water storage. Those disks can be soaked in water and then placed into the metal rack to evaporate the water, thus maintaining a comfortable air humidity. The name Feyer stands for the english pronunciation of “fire" and the german spelling of the word “Feuer", standing for both the flexibility and joining of cultures.
— Feyer is exhibited at the “Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future" touring exhibition. For more information, visit

pottery selection of handmade work

Ceramics show unlike other materials a behavior that even throughout technological advances remains unpredictable and seemingly alive. Handling, temperature and even the humidity influence the shape and texture of a ceramic piece up until the last firing. Each single movement and touch has a perceivable impact on the final result.
Therefore, working with ceramics requires a calm and focused mind and atmosphere. This life-like and sensitive behavior, as well as the peace of mind needed to work with ceramics, satisfies me, making ceramics my favorite material to work with.