Prof. Dr. Carolin Höfler,

As analog and digital processes become increasingly intertwined, a shift in design perspective is required – away from objects and products as fixed and ultimate entities, and towards a modeled environment as a force field and circulation system of information, resources, energies, and substances. In this perspective, design is understood as a material complex with its own internal logics that integrate formats of vision, audition, cognition, and communication into an ensemble.

How would such an understanding change the practice of design? And what is the role of a designer in this complex mesh of relations? With an eye toward these issues, the area of expertise »Design Theory and Research« explores new functions of images, things and spaces, which no longer represent objects, but are parts of operations. In so doing, the area hopes to shed new light on the entanglement of digital images, things and spaces in diverse fields of operation, such as medicine, military, city planning, politics, and economy. The analysis of these new functions and operations leads to synthesized design proposals for the meshwork of digital and analog life.