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Felix Pöttinger

MA work


Traka is a wearable biosensor for athletes in extreme environments.

Felix Pöttinger aims to design a smart wearable with the newest generation of EDA (Electrodermal Activity) sensors, which track the stress levels of professional athletes to capture their emotional condition. This data is being used to introduce a new approach to psychological training methods and coaching decision-making in sports. Designed specifically for professional mountaineers, it aims to minimise stress-induced poor decision-making in times of potential life-threatening situations.

The project deals with the so-called ‘mind traps’ – a psychological warping effect of the summit; when the ability to make a correct decision becomes dangerously skewed, a small error can quickly snowball into an irrecoverable fatal accident. This occurs even to the most experienced athletes in the sector. Latest research from the Harvard Medical School and the MIT Neuroscience Department shows that bad and risky decision making is related to high stress levels; the chronic activation of this survival mechanism in turn impairs health.

The product learns to interpret the emotional state of extreme athletes and gives an appropriate response in order to ensure the mental health and well-being of the athlete.

The project deals with a growing interest and discourse in the emotional connection between human and machine. In extreme sports athletes are constantly trying to boost their physiological performance. Their psychological states are often neglected, which can later lead to mental and physical health issues. Technology and the human body are increasingly convergent and the future of wearables must therefore be able to react not only to physiological but also psychological data.

Traka is a holistic wearable that incorporate psychological body signals, transforming them into feasible communication between athlete and machine in the future.The goal of this project is to raise awareness towards the emotional state of athletes and it proposes the integration of emotional and behavioral training to prevent accidents and mental health issues within professional sports.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Design Products, 2018

  • Felix is a multidisciplinary designer from Germany. His work is characterised by innovation and experimentation with a strong focus on new materials and the future of manufacturing.

    After studying Industrial Design & Product Management, he worked as a designer for numerous agencies and companies such as BMW, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Germany, Nils Holger Moormann, Fuji Bikes and the design collective Diameter. His work was included in the The Future Starts Here at the V&A in London and he was awarded the Gold Prize at the European Design Awards.

  • Degrees

  • BA Design and Product Management, University of Applied Sciences Salzburg, 2015; State Certification, Communication Design, Designschule München/Deutsche Meisterschule für Mode, Munich, Germany
  • Experience

  • Freelance Design Strategist Products & UX, DIAMÉTER COLLECTIVE, Austria & UK, 2017-2018; Co-Founder, Designing Craft Crafting Design, London, 2017-2018; Intern CMF, Mercedes Benz Technology Center, Daimler AG, Germany, 2017; Design & Product Development, Nils Holger Moormann, Germany, 2015-2016; Freelance Designer, Sony Music, Germany, 2015; Freelance Industrial Designer, BMW Group, 2014-2015; Freelance Designer Cycling, Maloja Clothing, Germany, 2011-2015; Intern Exhibition Design, Polzhofer, Austria, 2014
  • Exhibitions

  • Venice Food Design Week, IT, 2018; Utopa International Design Exhibition, Zhuzhou, CN, 2018; Work In Progress Show, RCA, London, 2018; MKG Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, DE, 2017; Vienna Design Week, AT, 2017; International Green Film Festival, IR, 2017; Food Design Thinking - London Design Festival, UK, 2017; Work In Progress Show, RCA, London, 2017
  • Awards

  • European Product Design Award "Gold", 2018; German Design Council - Ein&Zwanzig - Shortlisted, 2018; Dezeen’s Top 10 unusual materials of 2017; A Design Award Silver “Sustainable Products, Projects and Green Design”, 2017; Automotive Brand Contest - German Design Council - Winner Interior, 2016; Schott Ceran Design Award 3rd Prize, 2014
  • Conferences

  • Publications