Annette Baumeister succeeds Martina Starke at Designworks Munich 

It did not take long to find out who would be replacing Martina Starke at Designworks in Munich: Annette Baumeister. Another long-time BMW Group designer, Baumeister first joined the brand in 1996 and has already spent time with Designworks, running the Shanghai studio between 2016 and 2019. She will take on the job in Munich after nearly five years as head of colour and trim at BMW. 

Annette Baumeister working on bmw-vision-neue-klas

Baumeister (right) working on the BMW Vision Neue Klasse

A product design graduate of Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, specialising in textiles, Baumeister would go on to work across both BMW and MINI, credited with working on models like the 2011 MINI Rocketman concept, i7 electric limousine and more recently the Vision Neue Klasse. 

In a statement, Designworks described the appointment as “a joyful reunion”, adding that Annette is ”by no means a newbie” at the company given her prior experience in Shanghai.

In her new role in Munich, Baumeister will be working on a wide range of topics not only related to automotive but also in aviation, rail, construction equipment, furniture and experiential design for public spaces. 

Like her predecessor, Baumeister has been praised for her empathetic leadership style and sensitivity to the nuances of design. “I couldn’t have asked for anyone better qualified to take over the helm of our Munich studio,” added head of Designworks, Holger Hampf. Speaking at the IAA Mobility Design Conference in September last year, Hampf commented on the topic of building a harmonious studio, saying the aim is to “provide a work environment that is inspiring, and to give the right tools to those they hire.”

The appointment completes an all-women line-up of studio heads, with Designworks Shanghai led by Vanessa Chang while Coventry alumnus Julia de Bono is in charge of the LA outpost.