Two days of various insights into design research methods and reflections on how design should and could position itself within the context of global challenges as a discipline embracing innovation and solution oriented quest were followed by a colloquium of one of the society’s themes “design promoviert”, where PhD-students and aspirants can present their topics and questions for high quality feedback. I did so and with my still very basic state of research and ideas actually initiated a new format to invite novices with the urge to do research into the arena of the academic research community. It was great to talk about my thoughts and receive very empathic and dedicated feedback. Definitely coming around again!
It was a pleasure to see the projects of my MA&MAID class “RE_Hybrids & Identity” all nicely presented on the Dessau campus amongst the main semester project “Fear” by my colleague Prof. Susanna Hertrich and the expertise posters about bionics by Prof. Dieter Raffler. In the main building of the design department a colorful and manifoldly show of 2D, 3D and 4D projects as well as some results of the design theory classes were displayed. I very much enjoyed my collaboration with the new professor for design theory in Dessau, Prof. Michael Hohl. We composed a very interesting and critical collection of texts for our class “ethics & aesthetics in design”. I am very much looking forward to the next semester where I will teach another design theory class and substitute Prof. Katja Thoring in the 2D/3D foundation course during her research semester.
>> glimpses of the Design Show
>> Hybrids & Identity Blog
Due to my autumn flu I unfortunately missed the yearly conference in Dessau which always takes place on the stage in the Bauhaus building. This years topic “space” was investigating our relationship with borders, nearness and distance and atmosphere of the surrounding environment to name just a few.
With my colleague Prof. Katja Thoring and some of the students of her “scientific publishing” class at the MAID program in Dessau we attended the conference at HBK Hamburg. One of my favourite talks was by Florian A. Schmidt, a former fellow student and co-contributor in our publication from 2010 “critical mass”. Not only because we are friends but because he was able to take the auditorium along in his narrative about the maker culture and the crowds, his talk left me with lively images and ideas. Equally rich was the journey by Florian Walzer through the development of the greek term “banaus” to the current understanding of a maker or crafts person. The greatest discovery for my own interest was Prof. Heidrun Allert from Kiel who was talking about pedagogy and design from a perspective of philosophy. She explained the definition of “double loop learning” and stuck in my mind with the sentence: to find oneself useful through making. There were plenty more talks from especially social science specialists that for my taste were a bit too abstract in the context of the theme, yet they all delivered very important statements and insights. Great conference with lots of learnings!
>> program Politik der Maker
With a couple of students from my “Hybrids & Identity” class and a group of students who took the class “Misfits” by Prof. Katja Thoring, we headed off to the Dutch Designweek over the weekend. It was my first time and I was very inspired by the open and critical approaches we encountered, I have always been a big fan of Droog and the Eindhoven was full with this spirit. My favorite designs were material and color experiments, one researched the reaction of oak and iron, a material connection carpenters should avoid because the acid of the oak reacts with the iron and creates stains. Here it was used to create beautiful patterns and leave color traces on purpose. The other project was working with the intense red color of beetroot. Porcelain vessels were put into the colored liquid and soaked in the red color. Very unique and beautiful. One of the “Misfits”-participants took this inspiration and created a beautiful recycle project.
>> tannic acid by Steven Banken
I am very happy to have received the offer to teach the class “Ethics & Aesthetics in Design” in the design department of the University of Applied Sciences Dessau. It is a great chance to plant good seeds in the minds of the designers of the future. “Designers are dangerous” Otl Aicher says in his book “the world as a design”. Because they are critical, they want to improve things and they investigate, research, dig to the ground. I hope to make them even more dangerous in terms of a critical approach to the world of production and cosumption as it is and to make them understand the responsibility they have in shaping a future we all want to live in.