Expanding expertise: Introducing Business Design Director Simon Hörauf

Get to know the newest addition to our leadership team, and find out how he’ll be combining business & design for a more viable product and service offering.
After 16 years Down Under, where he founded multi-award winning communications agency PLAY, Simon Hörauf is back on home soil. We’re very excited about his return and that he’s landed straight in our Munich studio, supporting our existing team in the newly created role of Director of Business Design. 

In addition to his adopted laid-back Australian attitude (and accent), Simon brings his experience as a product designer, marketer, and entrepreneur, as well as a broad skillset that enables him to balance the value of innovation at both levels—the user, and the business of our clients.

“IXDS is very good at combining design, research and engineering—putting the user at the center of everything,” says Simon. “My role is to design solutions that balance the value we create for the user with the value we create for the business. To help our clients design their future, we have to combine business with design and create value on both sides.”

Throughout his 17-year career, Simon has held both creative and strategic positions, designing business solutions for clients such as Volkswagen, Adobe, Mini and Sony. And as a company owner himself, has built up a strong understanding of the the complexities of decision making at business level.

Our CEO Nancy Birkhölzer says, “Simon will be bringing another level of strategic thinking to IXDS, looking at brands holistically to anchor the brand purpose in a sustainable and viable product- and service-offering.”

Simon’s international experience will also prove beneficial. He says Australia has become a kind of testing ground for new innovation, where in areas like fintech they have been embracing contactless payment technology, such as Visa’s payWave, MasterCard’s PayPass, and cardless cash, which allows you to withdraw funds from certain accounts without a card. He says there’s much better infrastructure to support new technology in Europe, and he looks forward to exploring these possibilities with our clients.

Life, of course, won’t be all work. Simon is happy to be back living in Germany and excited to introduce his four children to life in his hometown of Munich. As a lover of water, he may need to get used to surfing the smaller waves at the Eisbach, but he’ll definitely be able to embrace his mountaineering side, and will fit in well with the avid IXDS Munich hikers.