Industrial Design

The study programme in Industrial Design teaches not only the technical foundations of industrial design, but also, and in particular, the ability to make future visions plastic and hence tangible. What is important is to develop a flair for cultural interaction with form.

Teaching focuses on design and materials. Sensitizing students to materials means enabling them to become familiar with their haptic quality, to understand how to use them experimentally, manipulate them aesthetically and determine their transformation in the production process.

However, just as important as leading students to an appreciation of material and design is stimulating their recognition processes. They must be conscious of the high degree to which industrial design forms our reality. This consciousness should be achieved and substantiated in students' own designs through involvement of sociology, philosophy, psychology, economy, futurological research, material research and politics.

No Innovation without Freedom
Anyone wishing to find a way to his or her own paths and approaches needs to be familiar not only with classical, but also experimental design processes. It is for these, in particular, that teaching on the course intends to provide stimulation, the fundamental prerequisite for all invention, anything new being the pleasurable discovery of individual freedom of thought.

In a world of knowledge that is becoming ever more complex, students should develop their own language, their own methods, which can then be used as personal tools in each design phase.

If, however, development of an idea is the motor of the design process, practical use puts the developer in the cockpit. Testing out the wide range of possible implementations as if in a driving simulator is a very important phase in development. All models are possible here, be they three-dimensional or graphical, films or texts; whether the aim is a functional product or a novel service, no approach is ruled out from the outset. In this phase, the art of concept language is also practised, as a well-formulated concept has a lasting effect on its form.

Such simulations find their natural environment in a factory of the future. It is one of the platforms in the area of Industrial Design in which scenarios that explore living and working conditions as well as future technical possibilities can be tried out.

What Does Production Mean?
Industrial design always takes place within social interaction, in a context and in the push and pull between technology and artistic understanding. The paths that a product takes until it is ready to be marketed are diverse, communication-intensive and, above all, interdisciplinary. It is necessary to learn how users, companies, engineers, a market, an environment and new materials can be skilfully linked together. A designer is assumed to be a generalist and able to move nimbly in these very different areas. This, in turn, requires renouncing specialization: it requires a general language that can convey ideas without thereby becoming popular. All established forms of presentation are considered for this elaborate communication process.

For this, it is advantageous to become acquainted with all channels and languages of production: from the small batch production of a workshop to industrial mass production through to the custom-made individual item. Via the preparation of models, computer simulation through to the laser-aided three-dimensional output of a rapid prototyping machine located in the department and the inclusion of all the Kunsthochschule's relevant workshops, the possibilities are tested and compressed into experiences.

Durable products are produced in the push and pull between various needs and the resulting strategies, be that in the area of supply and demand, in the niches of a globalized market or in the service of an enterprise's corporate design philosophy. Like the wealth of ideas from which it is created, the marketing of a product is an important component of success. A product idea is brought to bear only when all individual steps through to the addressee are understood as one path.

Training in this area seeks and promotes collaboration with industry as an implementation partner.


Vogt, Oliver

Professorship for Industrial Design

Oertel, Nils

Artistic Associate | Industrial Design