The baseline on our homepage says it all: being truly innovative requires a masterful blend of scientific research and boundless creativity. But how does that work in practice? Tobias and Louis-Philippe, two fresh CREAX innovation engineers with completely different backgrounds, talk about the challenges and opportunities of working in a scientifically creative, or creatively scientific environment.
With a master’s degree in industrial and bioscience engineering and a PhD in biological sciences well on the way, you can safely state that Tobias has a knack for science. His colleague, Louis-Philippe, has chosen a different path entirely: his studies in industrial design and strong visualization skills eventually led him to work for high-end furniture brands. Today, they both work at our offices in Kortrijk – we’ll let you guess whose desk is the messiest.
How did you end up at CREAX?
Tobias: “I was working on my PhD in aging diseases when an acquaintance told me that CREAX was on the lookout for bioengineers. Since I had been caught up in one specific topic for so long already, the idea of working on different projects and challenges really appealed to me.”
Louis-Philippe: “I’ve known about CREAX for a long time: Thomas was a teacher of mine at university, and in my last job I participated in a CREAX workshop, which impressed me greatly. As soon as I heard there was a job opening, I grabbed the chance.”
What were your expectations?
Tobias: “To be honest, I was a bit unsure about the ‘consultancy’ part of the job. After working here for a few months, I can safely say that the way of working within the team has changed my perception. Scientific research and data analysis remains the most important part of my job, and it’s great to work so closely with R&D centers from different organizations.”
Louis-Philippe: “I was eager to take on a lot of different projects, and I haven’t been let down at all. There’s great variety across the projects as well: the scope is often much broader than what a ‘regular’ product designer is doing. For example, I’ve been working on next-generation life vests, the jewelry of the future, and lots of other projects I can’t yet talk about at this point — which is also kind of cool. On top of that, we often have to visit clients, both in Belgium and abroad. There really is no such thing as a ‘typical day at CREAX’.”
How do you benefit from working with colleagues that have different creative or scientific backgrounds?
Tobias: “Bringing both approaches together is part of the CREAX DNA, and it didn’t take long for me to experience the benefits. As someone with a scientific mind, I really like to delve deep into the data and details of a project. In many cases, it takes a designer to visualize our findings, think of concrete applications, and translate our research for the client. Many scientists don’t actually realize the added value of a designer until they’ve worked with one, but I’m convinced that even strictly scientific projects would benefit greatly from involving someone with a creative angle.”
Louis-Philippe: “Creative people, myself included, tend to be full of amazing and ridiculous ideas without ever asking ourselves if they are scientifically feasible. Being able to walk across the room and pitch your idea with a scientist who can substantiate it is incredibly valuable. It gives us the opportunity to go to our clients with big ideas while delivering the science to back them up.”
Want to join or team of suits and sneakers? Explore our job openings.