Faculty Franke

Björn Franke

Senior Lecturer (0.5),
Design History and Theory

MA Design Products, RCA, London (2006)
PhD Design Interactions, RCA, London (2015)


Dr. Björn Franke is a design practitioner and theorist. He joined the Department of Design History and Theory as a Senior Lecturer in 2010, having previously studied design at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal College of Art. He is also a lecturer in Design at the Zurich University of the Arts. Franke has been awarded fellowships at the Akademie Schloss Solitude as well as the Artist Residency Schloss Balmoral. His work has featured in exhibitions internationally, most recently at the MUDAC Lausanne in Switzerland, the Triennale di Milano Design Museum in Italy and the Design Museum Holon in Israel.

His academic research has been widely published in books and journals and he has participated in and convened lectures, conferences and workshops internationally. Franke’s research interests lie in the relationship between design, technology and philosophy; in particular how the shifting technological landscape alters human behaviour, relationships and self-conceptions.


‘Design Fiction is Not Necessarily About the Future’ in Sixth Swiss Design Network Conference, Negotiating Futures – Design Fiction (2010), pp. 80–90.

‘Violent Machines for Troubled Times’ in Dealing with Fear, ed. Julia Warmers. (Stuttgart: Akademie Schloss Solitude, 2010).

‘Violent Machines for Troubled Times’, Bad Ems: Künstlerhaus Schloss (Balmoral, 2010).

‘Design as Ethical and Moral Inquiry’, CEPHAD 2010: The Borderland between Philosophy and Design Research, Copenhagen Working Papers on Design No. 1 (2010), pp. 71–72.

‘Design as a Medium for Inquiry’, Fifth Swiss Design Network Symposium, Multiple Ways to Design Research – Research Cases that Reshape the Design Discipline (2009), pp. 225–232.

‘Traces of an Imaginary Affair’, in Fetisch + Konsum/Fetish + Consumption, ed. Jean-Baptiste Joly, Catherine Perret, and Julia Warmers. (Stuttgart: Merz & Solitude, 2009).


Der Schmerz des Anderen, Showroom Z+, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland (7–8 April 2016).

Nirvana, Gewerbemuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (29 November 2015–8 May 2016 2014).

Nirvana: Strange Forms of Pleasure, MUDAC Lausanne, Switzerland (29 October 2014–19 April 2015).

Senza Pericolo, Triennale di Milano Design Museum, Italy (3 May 2013–1 September 2013).

Kama: Sesso e Design, Triennale di Milano Design Museum, Italy (5 December 2012–10 March 2013).

KM 500/3, Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany (19 November 2010–16 January 2011).

Designed Disorder, CUBE, Manchester, UK (1–31 October 2010).

Territories of the In/Human, Würtembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany (30 April–1 August 2010).

The State of Things: Design and the 21st Century, Design Museum Holon, Israel (4 March–22 May 2010).

Hortus Conclusus/Apertus, Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, Bad Ems, Germany (3–11 October 2009).

Love Design, Klaus Engelhorn Depot, Vienna, Austria (1–10 October 2009).

Show Three, Whirled Cinema, London, UK (4 July 2009).

Promise, Practice, Protocol, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany (14 May–4 July 2009).

Love Design, Galleria Nina Lumer, Milan, Italy (22–27 April 2009 2008).

Die Römer VI – Kommunikologie, Projektraum Römerstrasse, Stuttgart, Germany (15 November 2008).

Open Studios, Sommerfest, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany (5 July 2008).

Fetisch & Konsum, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany (29 May–5 July 2008 2007).

The Art of Research, Lume Gallery, Helsinki, Finland (1–12 October 2007).

Village Fête, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (27–28 July 2007).

Digitalinability, DMY 2007, Berlin, Germany (17–20 May 2007).

Eden ADN, Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne, France (22 November–3 December 2006).

Something Fake, Platform 21, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (6–27 October 2006).

Weapon World, Café de Lumiere, Taipei, Taiwan (7–14 November 2006).

The Wellcome Trust’s Travelling Apothecary, London, UK (16 September 2006).

Generation, Royal College of Art, London, UK (23 June–2 July 2006).

Designsuburbia, DMY 2006, Berlin, Germany (18–21 May 2006).