Daniela Bohlinger

Daniela Bohlinger
Head of Sustainability, BMW Group Design

The interplay of lush designs on the one hand and minimizing the impact on our environment on the other hand is Daniela Bohlinger’s daily challenge. Having dedicated herself to a more sustainable approach in design, she was one of the masterminds behind the unique sustainable design concept of the “Project I," which resulted in the BMW i3 car, and she has pushed ahead with innovative eco-friendly initiatives ever since. Apart from contributing to the company’s strategic development regarding sustainability, Daniela is a frequent guest lecturer at different universities, think tanks, and panel discussions, fostering a strong dialogue with players from inside and outside the automotive industry.

Prior to joining the BMW Group Design team 18 years ago as a color and trim designer, Daniela had worked in different industries as a product designer, where she always felt confronted with the consequences of her work on the environment. 



Sustainability Deep Dive 2021 Session Description

Sustainability as the Driver of Change

The word “sustainability” has two meanings: to sustain, “to cause or allow something to continue for a period of time and ability,” and “the physical or mental power or skill needed to do something.”  

The question I’ve asked myself plenty of times is: “Do I have the skills and the power to really change something and making an impact, and are we really committed to a shift?” This is, upon my experience, the trickiest question you must ask yourself and of the organization for which you are working. 

Where is sustainability embedded within your systems? By designing products, services and experiences, designers have the power to ask a whole new set of questions that will provide the new settings to lead your industry into necessary change. Design is able to provoke, to envision and to embed. Designers are the ones who can question everything, up to the point where the product becomes obsolete. Or, in better words: We are done when we become obsolete.