While only a few years ago the access to audio-visual media was limited just to a small group of experts, the digitalization of production processes and the growing popularity of the tools connected with it have enabled many designers to work with the moving image and sound. In the context of design audio-visual media is inseparable from related design disciplines. Areas such as illustration, typography and interface design are strongly interrelated. The most distinctive difference of audio-visual design is the fact that it is using a time-based medium. The designer is challenged to develop events along a timeline.
Audio-visual design takes places in several areas:
It is the aim of this area to provide an education with an experimental approach as well as in commissioned work. Intensive links to all other areas of study form the basis for an integrative view on all design processes.
The »Design for manufacturing« course area is not about communicating product design. The connection to practice is the connection to the people factor. In the light of high complexity, problems, challenges and implementations of ideas cannot be managed in short-term linear processes. The long view and holistic concepts are what is needed.
Networked systems cannot be defined simply through their x-y-z coordinates, rather they operate and function spherically: similar to spots on a sphere, they all lie on the same surface, while some may be diametrically opposite each other. The categorical separation of »either-or« lies diametrically opposite to a »both-and«.
The area of «Design concepts» investigates in the design process itself, its structure and procedure, the question of »how« to design. It is about:
the structure of the design process goal-oriented strategies process supervision and monitoring overcoming mental blocks interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches
There are various approaches to every design problem. For the students it makes sense to learn and test at least one of the traditional approaches before developing and arriving at an individual methodology. At the beginning of the course most students design from a good level. Soon the question arises whether other methods, more structured conceptual approaches, would be more sensible to avoid errors and, at the same time, to open up new perspectives. A concept is necessary to determine what and how an object should be and how it is supposed to perform, in addition to the expertise of how it is going to be realised.
A designer's key responsibility is to raise the right questions in order to offer specific solution strategies. It is therefore necessary that designers are already involved in the formulation of the task (the «brief»), which requires a comprehensive and transdisciplinary competence on the designer's part. Consequently, conceptual and planning competency are fostered in addition to a formal design competence, hopefully leading to a convergence of social and structural problem areas.
This may lead to a situation in which the designer develops a focus in consulting. Designers eventually move into positions where design sense is applied in numerous areas – and that's good.
Design is deeply woven in economic processes: it determines and shapes them. Accordingly, the economy is beginning to realize that design is an essential strategic factor, which is leading designers to become managers.
In addition, the socio-economic framework of the profession is changing: trends like increasing urbanization, climate change, demographic changes and globalization on the one hand, and technological innovation in nanotechnology, robotics, genetic engineering, neurobiology and communication technology on the other, are producing new specialist standards, which are opening up new vistas and require a new degree of responsibility.
Designers of today and tomorrow who want to be successful at a high creative level must be able to reflect and present their role within such social developments, economic processes, and technological innovation.
The academic classes of this department focus on developing the conceptual and argumentative skills as well as building knowledge in the field of cultural science.
Studies will cover:
Economic and (inter)cultural questions Work organizational forms Brands and corporate cultures Communication and marketing New media and social transformations
In our projects, we will find solutions for practical tasks, often working together directly with companies; thereby we will develop skills in:
Practical research Analysis Strategic development Concept creation Presentation
Thus, we will build up competence in the field of participatory research.
Let us pretend, for a number of reasons, that there is no such thing yet as a well established history of design or a well founded design theory. This position leads to a complex perspective of design
– and the history of designing – with references to economics, culture, the sciences, the technologies and architecture, poetry and art, in order to discuss, and reflect on, design as a complex fabric with many loose ends – in other words: putting design theory in the overall context of theoretical reflection. This is happening in academic seminars (for instance on conceptualization and visualization in the natural sciences or in music, on systems of order and design guidelines, on idols and icons of design, or intensive reading seminars on Immanuel Kant, Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, etc.).
There are also lecture series, for instance on urban development, the modern age, or audio vs. visual perception. In project work, subjects are tackled such as »In the Style of...«, »What does Design sound like?« etc. All in all, this area of study deals with dialectic criticism, a prudent discourse, exciting perceptions, an argumentative approach to theory, historical contexts, intelligent writing and, last but not least, associative thinking.
This area of studies incorporates two areas of expertise:
In present-day design it is an exception to include the »gender« perspective as a category as important as accepted factors such as ecology, management, corporate identity etc. »gender« is a social and cultural concept that fundamentally conditions everyday perceptions and actions.
The subject of study, in theoretical as well as practical research, is how these projections of gender, male/ female/androgynous/»in-between«, have an impact on the design process as well as on the use of objects. Qualitative design research is also not yet acknowledged widely. This area deals with empirical methods, adequate for design, such as observation and experimental tests, in order to ascertain how people deal with objects and how objects communicate with people.
Cologne International School of Design, Faculty of Cultural Studies, Cologne University of Applied Sciences.
The traditional ideas on corporate design, corporate identity or branding are turning into a much more realistic view of the theme of identity as a whole. Naturally, it is still about the understanding of design and its effect on the communication processes that create identity. "Identity and Design" is the area of study at the Cologne International School of Design in which we critically and comprehensively reconstruct and reflect upon concepts and designs that are tied to identity. At the core of this process is the question of the multiplicity of ways that design constructs identity: for example, in the fields of language, behaviour and communication, and also through brands, products, advertising, music, fashion and so on, meaning that the fundamental problem of the many and varied identities of people and corporations forms the central focus of the study of design in this course.
The dynamic of a hectic, global economy »in which design also plays a role«has led to an affirmative emergence and utilisation of such terms as, for example, 'corporate identity«, »corporate imagery«, »corporate language«, »corporate branding«, »corporate culture«, »corporate sound«, »corporate heritage«, »corporate communication«, »corporate behaviour«, »corporate social responsibility«, and so on. The multiplicity of models for corporate identity and the overuse of the term "identity" with a multitude of various meanings in the jargon of the so-called "trends research" and marketing industries are increasingly frustrating any attempts at a conceptual orientation. Design is also assigned a role in those models that in no way corresponds to today's comprehensive understanding of design. In this course of study at the Cologne International School of Design, we will also identify those positions that affect these models and their implementation. In this context, it is important to note that in particular corporate identity, branding concepts and the strategies associated with them have occasionally become authoritarian and standardising, and, for precisely this reason, often actually often run contrary to what »identity«, at its very best, might look like. An understanding of design that is broadened by this central idea, enables us to consider a problem to be analysed independently from the actual reality that these models create.
The discourse on identity with its many and varied positions shows, however, that personal or collective identities are neither free of contradictions nor as natural as they are sometimes assumed to be and handled in practice-related models. The relational aspects of the discourses on identity from philosophy, sociology, semiotics, psychology, anthropology, gender and cultural studies, cognitive science, communications, media studies, linguistics and iconography are of central importance for this field of study. In the interdisciplinary discourse on the theme of identity, various writings illustrate the differentiated spectrum of identity, amongst them: identity as a dialectical construction in »the identity of identity and non-Identity« (G.W.F. Hegel); identity as a social problem »from birth onwards« (Zygmunt Bauman); identity between »pluralization and individualisation« (Ulrich Beck); identity as a part of the social process »from communicating to building« (George Herbert Mead); identity as a challenge for developmental psychology (Erik H. Erikson); identity as a role (Erving Goffman); identity through participation in interaction processes (Lothar Krappmann); identity as a »narrative concept« (Wolfgang Krauss); identity as a »conduit« or »interface« between interior and exterior worlds (Heiner Keupp); identity as a »transitory process« (Jurgen Straub); identity in dynamic »figurations« as a 'we-I balance' (Norbert Elias); identity and gender (Judith Butler); identity as a 'struggle for acknowledgement' (Axel Honneth) through to the radical definition of the term "identity" as an "ideological obsession" (Michel Foucault), to name a few important perspectives.
Individuals, groups and organisations wrestle in various ways with the themes of attention, acknowledgement, power and ultimately with identities. The political, social, cultural and economic implications that are bound up in this, along with their contradictions and divergences are a part of design thinking and practice. It is all the more important that designers have expertise and the corresponding communicative skills at their disposal that go above and beyond the attributes of identity-creating communication. In this context, design can »and must« also formulate its own identities and maintain them vigourously.
Alongside the basic reconstruction and deconstruction of knowledge on the theme of identity, its various models and positions of discourse will be discussed in seminars, supervised study groups and lectures. The course on identity and design will find its The collaborative complementation and technical perspectives for the course on »Identity and Design« will take place within the framework of the broad range of course offerings at KISD. The requisite expertise and practical proficiency will be tested and questioned in interdisciplinary project work.
Furthermore, in the study and research field »Identity and Design«, co-operative and research projects, symposia and conferences will also be held.
"To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail" Mark Twain knew more than a century ago. In the area of Interface Design products, applications, processes and systems as well as established methods are examined, considered and enhanced. Interfaces and interactions are investigated holistic and integrative.
This means dealing with the reflected analysis and design of actions and ways of utilisation (interfaces man, artefact and system), the systematic examination and discussion of the human being in the acting relation and in the interaction with the artefactic, the development of systems, system- and information architectures as well as the development of context-based interface and interaction concepts.
This subject area aims to sensitise the students to ecological issues in general and environmentally relevant criteria for product development. The traditional role of the designer can no longer be viewed isolated from other disciplines. Today, a broader view of the inter-dependence of objects, users and disciplines is of growing importance. Holistic thinking is necessary. This implies a paradigm shift in design education. Beyond classical product development it is necessary, today, to create holistic concepts and to think in product life cycles. A comprehensive ecological approach incorporates the active ecology of a product in addition to the passive ecology. Ecology and design do not necessarily contradict each other. Long-term thinking and planning is of paramount importance. The designer must take into account all parameters that have an ecological impact on the product, from the initial design stage over production through to the use, maintenance and environmentally-friendly disposal. Traditionally, the main task of a designer has been to create new products. But changes in the socio-economic context call for fundamentally new concepts within an extended range of responsibilities. These developments create new challenges for designers, especially in the early design and planning stage of product development, and also provide many options to determine the environmental compatibility of their design developments – a major new responsibility.
This concept has led to intensive scientific and political discussions in Germany. Yet, sustainability has not quite become a generally acknowledged concern in our society. In this respect there may be progress on a conceptual level, but less so in the political-practical area. There are approaches to, and pilot schemes for, sustainable production, for sustainable mobility or for long-life consumer goods. These topics are investigated in seminars with a perspective for their impact on the design process.
»Bionics« is a verbal amalgam combining two constituents: biology and techniques (technology). Where in nature do we find shapes and structures that are correlated and balanced in such a way that they may lead us to innovative design solutions? Here lie great opportunities for future, ecologically compatible product developments. The study of nature teaches us the constructive, evolutionary potential of the animate world. Form and function are surely the foundations of design. In order to apply this implicit knowledge, one has to investigate nature in great detail.
This term, often inadequately replaced by »intelligent materials«, denotes the quality of materials which can adapt to changing influences. The increasing mobility of our society pushes the process of development of new materials and their application in a variety of products, from the sock to the automobile. But there is often a lack of exchange of information between scientists and designers. It is one of the objectives of this area to learn to understand each other's concerns and to detect mutual interests. As the range of these topics shows, the only chance for the future is a progressive attitude towards design development of environmentally responsible products within a long-term perspective…
The exponential progress of technology and the evolution of new production processes do not allow universities, simply from an economic point of view, to have the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment. Still, it is necessary to pass on to students complex technologies that are basically comparable to, or compatible with, high-end processes. It is also of growing importance to incorporate aspects of the production process in the early stage of a design project, such as the disposition of a company projected to the outside world, its corporate identity, and to integrate this comprehensively in the production process. Whoever is designing a product needs expertise of the various options and alternatives in manufacturing.
So, in the production of small lots the tooling costs may be extensive, and the designer needs to know what else to do. In addition to expertise of production processes, students need to gather experience with materials, and address such issues as:
To which degree can you bend sheet metal?
When does an anodised aluminium finish tear?
Under how much impact will plastic coating flake off?
What is the torque limit?
Where and when is it sensible to use inseparable compounds?
In design education the unstoppable dynamics of high-tech must be replaced, and transformed into, sensible, feasible, and tangible low-tech dimensions.
Annually, the German manufactoring industry invests on average per employee approximately 2000 Euro in research and development. In the service sector the investments amount to approximately 65 Euro per employee and year! Therefore, disfunctionality and formlessness are not unusual in this sector: endless waits, broken appointments, unfriendliness, unreliability as well as the torture of formalities that seem absurd determine the everyday service from the customer's point of view. And the suppliers of service moan about the customer's lack of price willingness, about unreliable loading factors and unmotivated service employees. In order to change these conditions, new focal points have been created in research and development since the mid-90s.
Just like the subject area of »Service Design« in Cologne. Service design considers services as products which have to be designed and developed systematically, just as it is done with concrete products. Just as in the case of real objects, it is about the design of functionality and form – but simply about the one of invisible products, namely of service. It is about the development of innovative and customer-orientated strategies, about the elaboration of efficient and functional work courses and about the designing of a perfect interface to the client. Especially the consequent examination and analysis of the service products from the customer's perspective, the work from »front stage« to »back stage« is a powerful and effective methodology to achieve great changes with often simple means. And at this client interface the original design competency gets somewhere – namely when it comes to the question how to make invisible service products visible in the whole process of consumption for the client as well as the employee.
In numerous industry projects, for example with Siemens, Provinzial Insurance or SwissCom Mobile, the theoretical and methodical concept of service design proved itself and developed further – and this development gains dynamism. In addition, various large research projects by order of the BMBF and the Land NRW contribute to further development and establishing of the area of »Service design«. It is to help that the consumption of service can soon profit from good design just as the consumption of concrete products.
Despite a forced emphasis of the image, type – our greatest storage medium in the history of civilisation – has asserted itself until the present as an indispensable element of visual communication. Technical innovations and cultural trends have left their mark and have brought about a phenomenal variety of new types and forms of expression and application. The questions as to what is perceived, who is to perceive the contents, and how they are perceived have remained the same.
Typography and layout as a subject deals with these questions, goes into the detail of type representation (micro-typography) and examines its general creative implementation (macro-typography). In the area of conflict between purpose and expression, it looks at things from a cross-media point of view on the basis of each concept developed.
The aim of this subject is to experience the possibilities and effect of type and typography by way of free and practically relevant projects and to get guidance for future creative challenges.