(prod-uhkt) - noun; a thing resulting from a process.

The coalescence of a design heritage born from Swedish simplicity and German refinement, Herbst brings a signature ethos of over 50 years of expertise to design and product development. Helmed by industry leading designers Walter and Scot Herbst the team catalyzes a potent mixture of art and science in product creation.

The studio’s award winning work is crafted from a multi-disciplinary approach that spans industries ranging from technology to housewares, hardware, furniture, lifestyle and fashion.  Clients include Logitech, The Home Depot, Clorox, Crate & Barrel, CB2 along with numerous midsize and entrepreneurial ventures.  

Walter Herbst, partner Chicago

Walter Herbst is considered to be one of the “founding fathers “ of modern product design. Formed in 1962, Herbst grew the consultancy HLB to the largest independently owned product design firm in the U.S. before developing the Master of Product Design and Development Program at Northwestern University where he currently is the Director, as well as Clinical Professor with the Kellogg School of Management.

Walter holds more than 85 patents and serves on the United Nations World Intellectual Properties Organization. For his contribution to the industry he was recognized by Business Week magazine and the Industrial Designers Society of America as one of the Best of the Decade. His work has been on display since 1964 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Scot Herbst, partner San Francisco Bay Area

Scot Herbst searches for authenticity in products that foster deep consumer connections. His work has been granted numerous awards from RedDot, IDEA and Edison. Scot has created products for Fortune 100 brands and small to mid-size entrepreneurial startups. His own products under the KAIKU label have been selected for the New York Museum of Modern Arts curated retail collection of which the Zen Wagon was awarded a “Product of the Year” distinction in 2010. 

In addition to his work at Herbst Produkt, Scot's roles include:
Advisory Board at client Olive Media 
Creative Director at SLICE 
Director of Design at global brand experience firm Liquid Agency
Advisor at growing life science startup CUE

Dr. Deana McDonagh, Director Research + Insights

An experienced design practitioner and entrepreneur, Dr. McDonagh is an Empathic Design Research Strategist who focuses on enhancing quality of life for all through more intuitive and meaningful products, leading to emotional sustainability. Her research concentrates on emotional user-product relationships and how empathy can bring the designer closer to users’ authentic needs, ensuring both functional and emotional needs are met by products. In addition to her role at Herbst, Deana is the former Chair of the Industrial Design program in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and faculty at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Previously leading User-Centred Design at Loughborough University in the UK, she is currently a Research Fellow at Coventry University (UK) and Designer Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she provides design advice and guidance for start-up companies.

Chris Makinen, partner Shanghai

Herbst Produkt is anchored by the international presence of Chris Makinen, studio partner in Shanghai. With over two decades of industry experience Chris has a refined knowledge of delivering new products to market while navigating diverse and complex product development, manufacturing and retail channels. Chris has designed, developed, and sold products to many of the largest US and international retailers including an internal development role at The Home Depot where he was responsible for over $1 billion in sales.

Chris is also currently leading Project Revolve, an international philanthropic effort in alliance with major retail brands which converts a large portion of product development profit margin to charitable giving.