Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Nell Haenisch

Co-Founder and Creative Director: doppel

Nell graduated with a degree in Industrial Design and Technology in 2012.

Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University?

At the time I knew it was the best course for Industrial Design in the UK, so it was the only place I considered.

What made you want to study Industrial Design and Technology?

I have always had a huge passion for creating and inventing, I felt that through design you can always keep exploring different mediums and techniques to deliver the ideal solution to the user. As an artist you so often have to find your style or material and stick to it, building your brand, but hampering in my mind the breadth of creative opportunity.

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

I am very driven by creating something totally new: an experience, a feeling, a method, a solution to a problem. I liked to question the norms of design and products. While in the first two years the course was more about skill learning, in the final year they really supported me in exploring the boundaries between art technology and design. My approach and delivery was atypical, but they helped me hone my curiosity, and process to deliver unique, compelling and considered designs.

Loughborough Design School also supported me in finding an incredible placement in Singapore. The experience of working in a new culture as a designer was life changing. The experience and contacts there lead me down a totally unexpected creative path and opened many doors to a number of extraordinary design opportunities all over the world.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?

Understand your passion and uniqueness, allow this to flourish, and build your identity as a designer. Find ways to channel it into all that you do and create, from portfolio, to interview, to the seemingly mundane skill learning, the more you explore and exhibit your passion the more alive and valuable you and your work will be.

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?

I was involved in the music scene with a number of bands. I gigged all over Leicester with the Jazz band and made some lifelong friends.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

My placement year working for the Singapore Institute for Manufacturing Technologies allowed me to expand my interest and competency in weaving design and technology together. This union between art, design and technology is the area I have played ever since.

After graduating I went to study ‘Innovation Design Engineering’ a joint masters at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. This was an extremely intense and creative masters that pushed me to a new level of thinking, innovating and collaborating.

As a placement I spent a number of months working in Nepal for an education startup, exploring how the heritage of their crafts could stay relevant and celebrated in the tech-filled 21st century.

During my second year at Imperial as a team we explored how design, technology and psychology could combine into products to help people physically, mentally and emotionally. The concept we created on the course won a number of awards and lead us onto form our company ‘doppel’.

Can you tell us more about your company doppel?

At doppel we explore how we can empower people's emotional resilience. We are playing in the multi-trillion dollar business of wellness. Our first product helps people to stay calm and focused in the moment. Our non-invasive technology works by intervening in the feedback loop between the brain and the body. Todate we have raised over £2 million and sold thousands of units.

What do you love the most about being the Co-Founder of doppel?

I love that we are defining a new type of product, that actually makes a difference in people's lives. I love getting messages from customers who say doppel has helped them through the day! I love working in China to manufacture doppel. I love the incredible people I work with and meet, the opportunities are endless.

What does the future hold for you?

As the Creative Director I now get to push the look and feel of our brand, working out how we position and expand this totally new product category in the world!

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Getting doppel’s peer reviewed trials published in Nature Scientific reports, and completing my first mass manufacture run in China to deliver 1000 units to our customers.

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