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 "My vision is to create beauty    with huge colourful ornamental artworks   and give joy and power to people. "  

crossoverdesign is a German design and art studio for ornaments, product design, home textiles and colour in architecture. Founded by Dr. Elke Wagner, it is located in the historic center of Braunschweig.

Elke loves ornaments from all eras and cultures. With her designs she reinterprets the traditional to the modern by the help of computer graphic. Or she finds new methods for complex ornamentations, from handmade mosaics to calculated algorithms combined with digital techniques.


The reason Elke is driven to do this work is to create beauty with huge, colorful, ornamental artwork to give joy and power to the people. As a teenager, she recognized how happy she was growing up in Germany in her small family with one older brother.  She has always felt that privilege and sees that following her calling is the best way to fulfill the present of her life. She believes that whatever you envision, it’s always 100% possible. She does this to show her daughters, Rebecca and Rahel, that what you dream, you can achieve.


Dr. Elke Wagner can trace the roots of her prolific design career back to her early days of always painting and drawing.  Her love for art and designs came naturally from her parents who were born during World War II.  She learned about colors from watching her father, a commercial house painter, mix paints to get the perfect colour and about textures and textiles from the sewing and knitting projects her mother would do.  Elke could see beauty all around her from the detailed designs in her postage stamp collection to the magnificent architecture in her historical birthplace of Marburg, Germany.

Education & Work 

Initially Elke pursued the sciences, graduating with a Master's degree in plant breeding from the Justus Liebig University in Gießen and four years later, in 1993, completed her doctorate degree in biometrics and population genetics graduating magna cum laude.  Elke became the first person in her family to graduate college and receive a doctorate degree.

However, two significant encounters caused Elke to reconsider her career path; the visit of the Kandinsky exhibition in Frankfurt/Main in 1989 and a personal encounter with the colour designer Friedrich Ernst von Garnier in 1991.  

After completing her doctorate degree she accepted a position as the head of a colour design studio in Braunschweig where she developed award-winning colour designs for the exteriors and interiors of thousands of buildings.  She specialized in working on historical buildings, from preservation to refurbishment, and new buildings, entire housing estates, industrial, public, and commercial buildings.  Elke created designs for private clients, architects, housing associations, and large companies across Germany. With the design of ornamental colour schemes for some buildings, she delved into the theory of ornamental design.

By 2000, she branched off to launch her own design studio under the name carpe colorem! colour design, which today is called crossoverdesign.  And by 2004, graduated with top honors with her second degree, a Diploma in product design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover focusing on the principles of ornamentation and pattern design.

During the past two decades, Elke work with Interior Designers and large businesses has gained her extensive recognition.  A few areas of extinction include:

  • Developing colour designs for home textiles for KAVSET Exports in New Delhi

  • Exhibiting in the world’s largest trade fair Heimtextil in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

  • Receiving the Red Dot Design Award at the Cologne International Furniture Fair

  • Designing the Creative Region Braunschweig-Wolfsburg World Design Expo booth in Taipei

  • Exhibiting at the Castle Bückeburg and at Wilkhahn, German office furniture manufacturers.

  • Helped develop an innovative transparent fabric for the ONO e-cargo-bike project of Murat Günak Design

  • Receiving the Home Style Award by Interior Lifestyle China, Shanghai and the High-Tech Accelerator award by Open Hybrid Lab Factory, in Wolfsburg.

She has also written and published the German textbook, Style History of Ornaments (Stilgeschichte der Ornamente). Her new venture is sharing design with the world through , which is currently featuring interviews with 19 top German Designers.


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