Demian Horst

BW Demian HorstHead of Department
Phone: +46 90 786 9782


With German roots but born in the south of Brazil where I got my bachelor education in industrial design, I have always been very curious about studying, working and living abroad. My career started in 1998 when, fresh from university, I joined a local bus design and manufacturing company owned by a family of Swedish imigrants. Several seeds were planted then. The importance of team work, knowledge about state of the art 3D design tools and awareness about the value of user centered design. In 2001 I moved to Sweden to specialise in the transportation design field and joined this school as the first brasilian to ever study in the programme. During my masters I developed great contacts that led to a Summer internship at Saab Automobile and to their subsequent support on my thesis project. After graduation I joined the applied research group at the school and got involved in a collaboration project with Volvo Trucks. From there I started to gradually shift my time and attention to assisting the transportation design programme. In 2005 I opted for a career move that meant gaining more insight into how the car industry works from the inside. I joined General Motors in Germany and for 3 years was involved in production design connected to the brands Opel and Saab. Late in 2008 I was recruited by UID and returned to Umeå to be responsible for the MFA in Transportation Design, a role that I held with a lot of joy and achievements until 2021. 

What I do at UID

I am responsible to manage and secure the operation of the institute within given frameworks, and to lead the staff by promoting development and collaboration connected to the goals and visions of UID. In the past I have been responsible for maintaining and developing the content and direction of our internationally established MFA programme in Transportation Design. Finding, preparing and carrying through collaboration projects with external partners are parts of my tasks. I work alongside the programme directors and lecturers and take active part in teaching and tutoring at the school. Besides teaching involvement in all courses from the TD curricula I often support students with my experience in digital modelling, visualisation, strategic design and storytelling. During recent years I have also been involved in reviewing and advising bachelor students during their portfolio course.

The school's yearly graduation event is also a project I enjoy being part of. It involves regular planning and promotion to connect the design industry to the outstanding pool of talent found at the school. The 'UID Design Talks & Degree Show' has become an established and highly appreciated event in the international design calendar, setting the stage for networking and important discussions about the future of the subject. This experience is one of the reasons for my increased participation in global decisions related to strategic collaboration and subject development at UID.

Talk to me about:

  • Product & Vehicle Design

  • Aesthetics & Form

  • 3D Modelling

  • Visual Communication

  • Storytelling in Design

  • General collaboration matters