After graduating from high school in 2003, Hellen studied product design at the Academy of Art & Design Offenbach. From 2004 to 2005, she completed a one-year internship at the Design Factory of Luigi Colani in Karlsruhe. The main tasks were the mold making of automobiles, airplanes and sculptures. In 2005 she worked 4 months for BMW in Hamburg, building Formula 1 car models, for the intel Racing Tour 2006. She graduated in 2010 with a thesis on "The strategic design approach of modularity and its embedding in product design". From 2010 to 2011 within a postgraduate program, she worked on projects with BSH Siemens Group and Peter Schmidt Group and received a one-semester teaching assignment at Academy of Art & Design Offenbach. In 2011 she joined the Brand Strategy team at Peter-Schmidt Group (BBDO) Frankfurt for a 5 month internship.
Activity as a designer
In April 2012 she founded her own label and from then on started working for international brands on various design projects. Beginning with Amenity Kits for Lufthansa Sky Chefs (now Spiriant) in Frankfurt (2012). Following a year-long project with Festo in Stuttgart, to consult a redesign of their brand portal communication (2013). Designing wearable and lifestyle products for Philips and Apple with tech-agency Colorfy in Berlin (2014). Developing a product mailing for Volkswagen with Ogilvy & Mather in Frankfurt (2015). Launching her first table collection (2015) which was awarded as winner of Interior Innovation Award (2015), and in 2016 Nominee of Architektur & Wohnen Designtalent, Special Mention of German Design Award, Nominee of German Design Award and distributed through Ikarus.
In 2015, she returned to Luigi Colani as his master student whose design factory was now in Changzhou, China. For 2 more years, she was involved in creative direction and brand performance, as well as a representative at international events mainly in China and Europe.
Furthermore she launched a car wheel collection (2017) and designed a Moncler Mercedes Benz G class show car concept for Carlsson (2017) in Milan. Later she designed interior products, packaging and exhibition concepts for Chalet Affair in Frankfurt that were exhibited at Harrods London and Maison & Objet Paris.
In addition to teaching assignments at universities, she specialises in lectures on the design theses and work on Luigi Colani and can be booked for lectures on request. Next lectures are on 02 December 2023 at 6pm in the Galerie Stihl Waiblingen on the Colani exhibition "Luigi Colani – Popstar des Designs".
Westerhof is currently lecturing at 3 Universities in Germany supporting around 80 students each year. Since 2016 in Biodesign at University of Applied Sciences Saarbrücken, since 2019 in Sustainable Packaging and Product Design at University of Applied Sciences in Soest and since 2023 in Product Design Media at University of Applied Sciences in Hagen.
Previously she lectured at Academy of Art & Design Offenbach, Europa Campus in Karlsruhe and Design Academy in Hanau.
She enables her students to relate directly to industry in numerous projects, for example through designs developed for companies, such as most recently the packaging project for Oberweis Luxembourg, or by participating in competitions such as the Biodesign Challenge in New York City (winning Villeroy & Boch and Festo as sponsors), or exhibitions such as at MoMA and the School of Visual Arts in New York City, or by giving lectures at trade fairs such as the Airtec fair in Munich.
In May 2022 she was featured in the last episode, of the two-episode documentary "Luigi Colani" produced by arte.
In her expanding portfolio of projects, she founded the Hellen Westerhof Ltd. company specialized in the production and trade of packaging of international clients. In 2023 she founded BLONDBOX®, an European registered trademark of Hellen Westerhof Ltd. company, that is launching it's own luxury gift boxes on Dec 01, 2023.