CHO – a mobile flight unit for disaster relief

CHO is a flexible positioning system that can be used to enhance the safety and efficiency of search missions. By means of diverse functional modules, CHO can be extended and, thus, be used to accomplish various tasks, including positioning and cartography, in diverse phases of disaster operations. Thanks to its folding mechanism and light weight, CHO can be moved and stored with ease.

Positioning persons during disaster relief operations is a new area of use for the quattrocopter. Since the majority of unmanned flight devices originate in military environments, CHO ’s design deliberately was chosen to avoid a martial appearance. Its colors and materials are suitable for disaster relief, providing good visibility and robustness in harsh environments.

Johann Henkel

Diploma thesis 2009

Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel
Studiengang Industriedesign

Prof. Ulrich Hirsch

N7 – power in the wind

N7 is a sailing catamaran designed for ecologically responsible whale watching. Its propulsion is ensured by two Flettner rotors. Although invented in 1924, until recently it was forgotten. The Flettner rotors tap the power of the Magnus effect – when hit by wind, the upright cylinder powered by an electronic motor creates negative pressure, comparable to the decks of airplanes. The catamaran is pulled by this negative pressure. The advantages of the Flettner rotors are evident – they are quiet, low-maintenance, storm-resistant and can be operated by one person.

N7 differentiates itself from classical sailing catamarans from a technological as well as a formal perspective. It shows potential new methods of marine propulsion engineering that may become increasingly important to many types of water vehicles, especially in view of the scarcity of fossil fuel resources and due to climate change. When there is no wind or the boat is in the harbor, the N7’s supplementary actuators can be activated. They are supplied with energy from a fuel cell module. Thanks to its shape, the catamaran’s deck is particularly spacious, enabling passengers to move around with ease. In addition, the long railing offers all passengers a good view of the water and the sea animals.

Burkhardt Schempp

Diploma thesis 2009
Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach
Fachbereich Produktgestaltung

Prof. Frank Georg Zebner
Prof. Dr. Martina Heßler

Kala & Adupu – improved hearths for Tamil Nadu, India


The world over, more than three billion people cook on open fireplaces, burning more than 2.5 million tons of wood every day. In addition to the ecological impact, the consequences for societies and human health are grave because the smoke is highly toxic. Most technological solutions aimed at tackling the problem have failed to be accepted by the users.

Developing improved hearths that are accepted widely and, thus, spread easily was a significant step towards combating one of the most frequent causes of death worldwide. This product shows the relevance of good design when it comes to finding solutions to global problems.

The Adupu hearth is based on the traditional terracotta hearth used in individual households, and Kala is a technological innovation to be used in large kitchens. To ensure the best possible user acceptance, both devices were developed in close cooperation with engineers from around the world, local manufacturers and Indian housewives and cooks. The underlying project was the successful transfer of a classical interdisciplinary design process to a field that until then had not been taken into consideration by product designers.

Carlotta Werner

Diploma thesis 2010
Bauhaus Universität Weimar
Studiengang Produktdesign

Prof. Heiko Bartels
Dipl.-Des. Welf Oertel

GTZ Hera-Abteilung
Prakti Design Lab