Courses

Design History and Theory is offered at introductory and advanced levels to students across design disciplines. The courses are designed to engage with and reflect upon emergent practices and discourses in contemporary design.

Introduction to Theory and History of Design II

Design and Bodies

Lecture series

Anna Nagele

Human bodies play a key role in the history and practice of design. In this lecture series we explore the relationship between design and the human body both as a center for oppression and as a medium for transformation. Against the backdrop of Western medicine’s quest for a statistically “normal” body – which marginalises diversity – binaries, standards and universality have informed modernist design principles still used today. While design today is in the midst of a transformation, increasingly expanding its practices to include designing systems, services, businesses and other intangible objects, humans are still bound to their material bodies. We are going to look at systems of exclusion upholding the mythical ‘norm’ and pluriversal design principles as a standpoint for amplifying nonconformity and resisting normalisation. From biodata and surveillance to cyborgs, intersectional feminism and queer-crip aesthetics this lecture series is going to examine how embodiment shapes and is shaped by design and how design plays a big role in shaping more inclusive futures.

Course language: German

Summer Semester 2024

Theory and History of Design II

Design-topias: Design for Posthumanist World-Making

Pro-seminar

Anna Nagele

In a time characterised by multiple intersecting crises – what tools do we hold as designers to build better futures? This proseminar explores design as world-making through the lens of critical posthumanism, considering what it means for designers to de-center the human. Critical posthumanism as described by theorists such as Rosi Braidotti and Donna Haraway is becoming increasingly popular in the field of design. Examples from theory, art, design and activism that conceive of the human in different ways will inform our reflections and discussion. We will explore human’s relationship with non-human (natural and technological) agents by engaging with new forms of interactions and tools to navigate entangled ecosystems. Rather than dreaming up a future utopia we are going to approach design as a future praxis for the healing of the web of life, as suggested by the anthropologist Arturo Escobar. Through this proseminar we hope to conceive design-strategies that make small contributions to enacting alternative presents in our own design-topias.

Course language: German

Summer Semester 2024

Material Culture II

Exploring the History, Theory and Practice of Graphic Design

Seminar

Nargess KhodabakhshiGraphic design is a versatile discipline that intersects with various design fields, contributing to effective communication, aesthetic appeal, and user experience across diverse platforms and media. This course acquaints students with the creative spectrum of graphic design by discussing real-world design examples and methods designers use to create visual communication. Historical lectures in this course introduce students to developments and theories of graphic design, and its material culture from the perspective of design anthropology. This seminar motivates students to think critically about the materialities, aesthetics, and economic interests of graphic design, and its potential to transmit social, political, and cultural messages.

Course language: English

Summer Semester 2024

Design in Social and Political Context: Post-Anthropocentric Design

Lecture Series

Alison J. Clarke and Anna Nagele

The guest lecture series ‘Design in Social and Political Context’ introduces students across the design disciplines to international, leading ideas and voices in the field of design, curation, design writing, design history and practice exploring design in contemporary context. The focus of the SS 2024 lecture series is design in post-anthropocentric context. Design practitioners are confronted with global issues such as climate change and societal transformations that call traditional ways of working and knowing into question. For this series we are going to look at the more-than-human turn in design and how it brings about new practices, ethics, forms of governance and questions for designers.

Course language: English

Summer Semester 2024 Alison Clarke
Summer Semester 2024 Anna Nagele

Kolloquium für Master- und Doktoratsstudierende

Alison J. Clarke

Course language: English

Summer Semester 2024