Students of KISD – Köln International School of Design have, in cooperation with members of the Austrian Parliament and alumni of Vienna’s Service Design seminar course, elaborated on new patterns on how to impart knowledge transfer of democracy and parliamentarianism. In the context of a one-week workshop in Vienna in early December, KISD students conducted interviews and surveys with Austrian members of parliament, visitor groups and analyzed content, setup, and design of the parliament’s website, launched in the 1990s as part of its stated aim to foster e-government.

KISD Students with Unbiased Perspective
The project “Vienna“, supervised by KISD professor Birgit Mager, also examined tracks on how a collaboration between science, politics, and design can allow for new and up-to-date approaches in outlining tasks, topics, content, and values of democracy and pluralism.
Austrian Parliament’s Deputy Chairwoman Susanne Janistyn-Nová said: “It is our duty, currently and in the future, to start thinking about accurate means to communicate democracy to the public. It has become more and more apparent that this will be one of our parliament’s key challenge in the years to come, and that also holds true for other parliamentaries. We now have the great opportunity to cooperate with Köln International School of Design, and I am convinced that in particular a group of young students by their unbiased perspectives can give us helpful advice on how we can advance in this special area.“

Direct Reference to Austrian Politics
Furthermore, and one day after the Austrian presidential elections on December 4 with candidate Alexander van der Bellen as winner, the KISD workshop starting December 5 also provided the possibility to take a closer look at governmental procedures and Austrian history and politics and, given the upcoming modernization of Austrian’s parliamentary house from 2017 to 2020, historic roots and traditions of parliamentarianism, including its architecture and design.

Pictures: Austrian Parliament; Korrak, Hikade