December 11, 2011

Jörg Student: Redesigning the Pilates Reformer

Global design consultancy IDEO partnered with Balanced Body, the world’s largest manufacturer of Pilates equipment, to update the design of the Allegro reformer to appeal to a broader audience. GIN4B met with Jörg Student who joined IDEO in 2005 as product designer and engineer. Joerg grew up in Stuttgart where he graduated with a Master’s degree in engineering from Stuttgart University before attending London’s renowned Royal College of Art for his Master of Arts.

Joerg points out the biggest challenge of the project: to maximize the reformer’s functionality while simplifying all the interaction points in only eight weeks. “We started out with an intense research phase where we soon discovered that many people new to Pilates find the existing reformers intimidating”. Together with his coworkers, Thomas Overthun, Elger Oberwelz and David Webster, Joerg invented a reformer that is more intuitive, flexible and compact and improves the overall user experience. Joerg adds the key factor for the success of this quick-turnaround project was the close collaboration with the client who was open for an intuitive and minimal design approach. “Balanced Body’s leadership and engineering team never missed a meeting and trusted our experience and skills from the beginning. Without this, it is not possible to come up with an outstanding design and engineering solution in only eight weeks.”

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