Robert Sachon: “We take rational values and make them tangible at an emotional level”
For generations, the Bosch name has stood for groundbreaking technology and outstanding quality. Home appliances from Bosch have been committed to these standards for over 80 years now. Consumers around the world associate the Bosch brand with efficient functionality, reliable quality and design that has won awards at an international level. The brand has won more than 500 awards in the past 10 years alone. The man behind this design success is Robert Sachon. He started his career in 1999 at Siemens-Electrogeräte GmbH, at the time under the leadership of Gerd Wilsdorf. In 2005 he moved to Robert Bosch Hausgeräte GmbH, where he took over from his predecessor Roland Vetter. Together with a team of roughly 40 employees worldwide, he has shaped the design of the Bosch brand in his role as Global Design Director. Burkhard Jacob met with him for an interview in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen.
Mr Sachon, you have been Global Design Director for the Bosch brand for 10 years now. How would you describe your role as head designer?
The term “head designer” is pretty accurate. It sounds a little like a head chef. Similar to the chef de cuisine, who is in charge of the kitchen crew in fine dining establishments, I lead a team of employees who are responsible for the design of the home appliances.
What does the Bosch brand stand for?
Bosch has a long tradition spanning more than 125 years, and has always stood for technical perfection and superior quality. In our design, we take these rational values and make them tangible at an emotional level by means of clear design that showcases high-quality materials and their uncompromising finish in a precise manner down to the smallest detail. This is a holistic approach to design which we apply to all of our products worldwide. In this regard, it is fair to speak of a uniform design language, or DNA, of the Bosch brand.
So you are a brand manager as well as a designer?
Most definitely. Unlike other companies, where design is part of technical development, design at Bosch benefits from the fact that it is a key part of brand management. Our design team plays an important role and has a clear remit, as it gets involved with the development of product concepts at a very early stage – long before any thoughts of marketing for the products or of an advertising campaign.
Do you base your design decisions on the Bosch brand values?
The aim is always to bring the brand values to life. In the area of home appliances, we see a lot of products that pass on certain design features to the next generation. Consequently there is an underlying evolutionary thought process involved. This goes without saying with a brand like Bosch, which has been conveying the same values for over 125 years.