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Global Innovation Design (MA)

Natalie Kerres

I am a multidiciplinary designer, engineer and researcher, passionate about solving real world problems through new technologies and a human centred design approach.

I graduated with distinction from the Global Innovation Design (GID) program in 2020, with an MSc from Imperial College London and an MA from the Royal College of Art. GID provided me with the facilities and network to combine my interest in medical studies, social impact design and new technologies. 

My final project SCALED received funding from the MedTech SuperConnector and is joining cohort 4 with the aim to translate the developed technology into a real world application.

I received patent support in 2020 from InnovationRCA for protective sports equipment (GENKI - the ankle brace).

I was awarded a distinction for my dissertation on “Understanding Happiness (through psychology, socio-economy, nature and social belonging) for better design” from the Royal College of Art London. 


In 2018 I had the opportunity to work with the light designer Ingo Maurer in Munich where, as part of his design team, we developed incredible lighting concepts and lamps. Mr. Maurer became an important role model for me through his passion for his work. He also showed me the importance of an interdisciplinary design team, hands-on design practise and the patience to deliver perfection.

Furhter, I worked in multiple jewellery companies as goldsmith and designer and gained expereince in manufacturing methods and strategies from mass production to unique jewel pieces. Jewellery does not only teach craftmanship and handcraft skills, rather sowcases the beauty of creating things from an initial idea, sketching, explaining and desiging and finally producing it with a tenth of a millimeter precision to see the final polished jewel on the customer - a jeweller is not only in charge, rather able to proceed every single step.

Previous Degrees

My background is in Industrial Design (University of Applied Arts Vienna), as well as Jewellery Design and Manufacturing (Austrian Master’s Certificate as gold-, silversmith and jeweller).

Awards & Exhibitions

2020 - Distinction MSc Global Innovation Design, Imperial College London

2020 - MedTech SuperConnector funding, SCALED 

2020 - DE Summer Show, Imperial Coll ege London

2020 - Patent Support by InnovationR CA

2020 - WIP Show Exhibition, Royal College of Art London

2019 - Student Representative Global Innovation Design

2019 - Distinction on Dissertation, Royal College of Art London

2016 - Distinction on Master's Examination of Gold-, Silversmith & Jeweller Austria

2016 - The Essence Exhibtion, University of Applied Arts Vienna

2015 - Merit Scholarship Austria, University of Applied Arts Vienna

2013 - Distinction on Journeyman's Examination

2012 - Scholarship International Summer Academy of Fine Arts Salzburg 




Grab a Virtual Coffee with Natalie

Degree Details

School of Design

Global Innovation Design (MA)

My final project at the RCA and Imperial College let me combine my interests in healthcare, design and technology. GID has an extensive network of exceptional people and the program showed me further how to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams. My final project SCALED gained interest from various institutions and received funding which enables me today, to further develop my current design proposal. My aim is to translate my created technology to the real world for an actual global positive impact.

GID Journey

GID gave me the opportunity to live in three main cities of the world - London, Tokyo, New York. This experience enables a vision with an understanding for a global culture. Who are we designing for and what problems are we trying to solve? Learning about cultural varieties enables me today to create a human centred design solution to intervene successfully into the daily routine of our users and society.


I identified my core vision during my time in Tokyo, living in a society with the highest life expectancy: 

the aim to keep life quality up with a global rising longevity. 

My projects therefore intend to empower today’s society for a healthier tomorrow through injury prevention and healthy aging.


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from sketch to working prototype

for precise motion limitation

custo-fit — adapting to a user's needs

biomimicry — identifying changes in various scale geometries

Research through Design Practice

How can design prevent injuries and help improve the quality of life to keep pace with longevity?

Research shows that human joint injuries are often recurrent and likely to cause long-term immobility. Many solutions can be found in nature as animals are physically protected from threats, for example by skin, shells or scales.

The geometry of animal scales has changed through the process of evolution according to environmental parameters which are critical for survival. A scale structure is capable of impact force distribution and, moreover, is flexible in one direction and limiting/interlocking in another.

SCALED aims to investigate the potential of a controlled motion-limiting structure to prevent hyperextension joint injuries. Mobility is commonly a trade-off with protection and SCALED therefore presents a nature-inspired solution for flexible protective wearables. The use of parametric design allows the structure to meet a user’s exact needs and the restriction in motion can be regulated through set parameters.
Ultimately, SCALED is a method to produce a series of mass-customized and interlocking protective scales for controlled motion limitation. The developed algorithm designs a data-driven, customized and responsive scale structure according to the user’s specifications.
SCALED can be used for injury prevention, rehabilitation and sports performance enhancement through regulated motion control.

SCALED received funding and is joining the MedTech SuperConnector to be further developed for series production.
For further enquiries, please contact
BiomimicryComputational DesignData Driven DesignDesign for social impactHealthTechInjury PreventionMedical DesignMedTechParametricParametric DesignSportsSportsTech

GENKI — patent pending - supported by InnovationRCA

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an easy sneaker add-on


85% of ankle injuries are lateral ankle sprains

ideation — analysing current support stockings and ankle braces showed limitations and constant support causing negative effects

brief — an ankle brace which exclusively limits the motion of an ankle inversion

prototyping — through a hands-on design practice, working prototypes were developed

testing — user testing enabled a unique form follows function design and a human centred experience

material — GENKI uses materials for an easy use and care

Today, we mostly walk and run in shoes on asphalt. Our ankles lose muscles to balance uneven surfaces which causes ankle sprains in daily life.

GENKI is preventing ankle rolls, particularly an ankle inversion. GENKI works as an easy add-on for low rise sneakers to prevent ankle twists and support lax ligaments.

There exists overwhelming evidence that most of the ankle injuries affect the ligaments and that approximately 85% of those injuries are lateral ankle sprains. It has been shown that an initial sprain can impair the function of the ankle joint complex in the long term, which is referred to as chronic ankle instability.

Further, current ankle braces and support stockings are constantly supporting and are reducing muscle strength where needed the most. GENKI is designed to only support the ankle in the moment of an ankle inversion. This helps the user to get back to a normal everyday routine quicker.
GENKI is created for rehabilitation and injury prevention purposes.

GENKI received patent support from InnovationRCA.
Patent pending

This project is looking for partners and collaborators for further development, please get in touch.

The Plastic Hackathon — hosted by Imperial College London to tackle global plastic pollution, find alternatives to current plastic packaging and designing solutions to promote reuse. With experts from industry such as Just Eat and Marks & Spencer we developed reusable solutions for grocery packaging. ©Imperial College London

The Future of Mars — the hackathon was hosted by Imperial Design Society to explore the future of Mars. Our interdisciplinary team developed a multisensory glove to enhance an astronauts' sensory experience in the Mars environment. ©Imperial College London

KMD Plenary — KEIO University in Tokyo hosts an annual meeting to present student projects. We had the opportunity to present the program Global Innovation Design at the Keio University of Media and Design and speak about the benefits of a global perspective for future design solutions.

Pratt Institute Faculty Meeting — Pratt Institute New York invited me to join a panel discussion at a faculty meeting about the future of additive manufacturing. I presented the core benefits and future potential of additive manufacturing. The interdisciplinary panel covered the fields of design, biomimicry and biochemistry.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration — I believe that innovation happens in conversation with experts and users from various fields. We bloom for new ideas by exchanging associations and experiences. The last two years I especially enjoyed the environment of Hackathons where innovation is provoked particularly through interdisciplinarity. ©Imperial College London

Health Hack — The Health Hackathon was hosted by Imperial College London and aims to bring together a mix of bioengineers, coders and medical students. I joined as a designer and had the opportunity to guide my team through design thinking methods and tools to develop innovative ideas and briefs to create a beneficial social impact for our society.

Design Thinking — our unique GID program brings together a variety of disciplines and therefore enables us to support each others ideas. Night sessions of design methodologies helped to develop our projects successfully.

Multidisciplinary Designer — How does nature protect itself for survival? How does the future of education looks like? How do we prepare our society for an uncertain tomorrow? Which role does each citizen has in the future of food? How do we provoke behaviour change?

RCA X CERN — the Grand Challenge is an interdisciplinary project that gives MA students across the RCA's School of Design the opportunity to work collaboratively with all disciplines and CERN. 2018 we addressed themes as: Health&Wellbeing; Digital Disruption; Energy, Infrastructure & Environment; Social and Economic Disparity.

Design Engineering Makeathon 2020

Design Engineering Makeathon 2019

Hatch Hackathon 2018

Interdisciplinarity is key for innovation. It is exactly the five minute coffee break we have together as diverse people to let our minds bloom with new ideas for our future worlds.

I am passionate and excited about developing innovative solutions within a variety of academic fields to design our utopian tomorrow. As a designer I find myself in various important roles as a speculator, facilitator, inventor, researcher, scientist, team leader, partner, co-worker, maker, and dreamer. Collaborating with a diversity of disciplines enables us to see the world from different perspectives to create and define solutions.

My work as a designer is creating, presenting and communicating solutions to current real world problems for our society of tomorrow. I help to facilitate interdisciplinary teams to develop briefs to an identified issue. We analyze opportunities of intervention and with design methodologies, research and tools, we create ideas and design solutions.

Throughout the last two years I have had a multitude of opportunities to participate in such interdisciplinary collaborations to develop innovative new ideas.

Feel free to get in touch for further interdisciplinary collaborations.
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Join us for an inspirational talk with MedTech Designers from around the world. Jeff Kapec, Bill Evans, Robert Pearce and Natalie Kerres will be discussing their perspectives on the future of medical design.

Jeff Kapec - Jeff is a medical design instructor at Pratt Institute New York and is the executive vice president at Tanaka Kapec Design Group. Jeff has a variety of experiences from designing packaging for next generation tampons to the first ever to market HIV home use test kit from Johnson and Johnson. Jeff’s unique approach as a designer has brought him to numerous hospitals in the US, UK and Europe to observe user base information and relationships.

Bill Evans - Bill is a business advisor helping small and mid-sized creative services firm owners take their businesses to the next level. Bill founded and led Bridge Design, a Medtech and Digital Health product design and engineering consultancy purchased by VC backed Ximedica in 2015. Bill is an Alumni of the Royal College of Art and Imperial College.

Robert Pearce - Robert is a Global Innovation Designer with previous experience as a Technology Strategy and Innovation Consultant at Deloitte in Canada and the United States. Robert holds two graduate degrees in design from Imperial College and the Royal College of Art, and a degree in biomechanical engineering from Queen’s University.

Natalie Kerres - Natalie is a Global Innovation Designer from the Imperial College and the Royal College of Art. Natalie is combining her interests in Healthcare, Technology and Design to tackle real world problems. Her background in Industrial Design and Jewelery Design & Manufacturing results in a hands on design method focusing on research through design practice. Natalie has previously worked on developing protective sports equipment using data driven design.

In Collaboration with:

MedTech SuperConnector

The MedTech SuperConnector is set up and designed to facilitate the early stage development of innovative medical technologies, from devices, diagnostics, and digital healthcare solutions. MTSC will provide participants with the funding, training, mentorship and access to industry partners to help fast-track the translation of their research discoveries. SCALED will be further developed with the MedTech SuperConnector



Patent Support for GENKI - the ankle brace Patent Pending
29 July 2020
14:00 (GMT + 0)

Global Innovation Design Graduates present: Global Health

Join us for a discussion on design projects within the Healthcare sector.
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