When? June 12 – 15.

Where? KISD (TH Köln), Ubierring 40, 50678 Cologne

Attendance is free of charge (no registration required)

KISD will host the second edition of its Hidden Layers conference from June 12-15 in Cologne, Germany. The event brings together a diverse group of experts to collectively discuss and learn about artificial intelligence in design. Organized by the research project KITeGG on design and AI, it combines a public program of talks, an exhibition and workshops with internal meetings of the five art and design schools involved in the project.

Attendance is free and the public program will run from Wednesday evening, June 12, to Friday afternoon, June 14.

More information will be available in late May at www.hiddenlayers.de.

Thematically, Hidden Layers addresses the black boxes of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) from a design perspective. What are the aesthetics, potentials, serendipities, biases, and dangers we find inside the hidden layers of deep neural networks and buried in big training data? How can we empower designers to build and use machine learning systems? How do we support a design practice that understands not only how to use these systems, but also why and when to use them – and when not to? The conference approaches these questions by focusing on two thematic threads: “AI, Code & Material” explores the entanglements of AI, objects, and people, with particular attention to the integration of product design, embedded AI systems, and new forms of use. “AI, Society & (Visual) Culture” seeks to reflect on the changes in the way we work and live that are affected by AI – from changes in cultural production and creative practices to changes in how we design the lives and labor of others.

Organized by KITeGG Members: Prof. Dr. Lasse Scherffig, Matthias Grund, Jakob Kilian & Dzennifer Zachlod

Hidden Layers Student Team: Aileen Estrada Sanchez, Lukas Martin Besch, Citraningsih Sophia Amongsari, Carmen Alina Schneider, Christian Wild von Hohenborn, Fabiane Alves de Lima, Ida Libourkine, Katrina Kizenbaha, Melissa Mattos de Oliveira, Patricio Javier Artengo Aguado, Phillip Schulz, Tyanka Demyanka Adrian, Tom Konstantin Thielen, José Antonio Avila Villegas, Arda Kertmen & Annika Walter supervised by Leon Schniewind



The programme starts on 12 June with an exhibition at KISD, the conference begins on 13 June. All presentations will also be streamed via Zoom (see below). The conference will be held in English.


Wednesday, June 12

Exhibition in room 240

19:00 CET – End (Exhibition)

Dark Ecology: Artificial Nature


Thursday, June 13

Conference in room 11

11:00 CET – 11:30 (Welcome Address)

Prof. Dr. Gerd Sadowski, Prof. Andreas Wrede, Prof. Dr. Lasse Scherffig, Matthias Grund

11:30 – 12:30 (Publication Launch & Previews)

(Un-)learn AI, rrrrflect Special Issue & Others

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 – 17:30 (Workshops)

Conrad Weise & Kjell Wistoff: CLOUDS ARE NOT AN OPTION

Laura Wagner: Stable Diffusion dis-confusion

Jasmin Riebel: DIVE IN – A collaborative workshop using tangible tools for value-centered problem exploration in the context of AI development

14:00 – 15:00 (Talk)

Joana Moll: Inanimate Species

15:00 – 16:00 (Talk)

Claudia Sevivas: Encountering New Bodily Propositions: Humans & AI

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:30 (Talk)

Maria-Teresa de Rosa Palmini: Surface Aesthetics and Prompting in AI-Generated Art

17:30 – 18:15 Break

18:15 – 19:00 Workshop Results

19:00 – 20:00 (Performance)

Ralf Baecker: A Natural History of Networks/Softmachine 

20:00 – End (Social Gathering & Spatial Experience)

Motion Experience Lab @ (A)Idle Mode – performative media installations


Friday, June 14

Conference in room 11

11:00 – 11:30 Welcome, Day II

11:30 – 12:30 (Talk)

Silvio Lorusso: Deepdreaming Willy Wonka: AI Weird as the New Kitsch

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 – 15:00 (Talk)

Pamela C. Scorzin: Artificial Intelligence and the Arts: The AI robot as a creative Co-bot?

15:00 – 16:00 (Talk)

Roland Meyer: It’s a flat world. The Synthetic Realities of AI Video

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:30 (Talk)

Ralf Baecker: Performing Complexity

17:30 – 18:30 (Social Gathering)

Code & Context BA: Conversational Prompts

18:30 – 19:00 Closing Address


Zoom stream:
Meeting-ID: 653 5167 3620
Passcode: KISD



  • Address Ubierring 40
  • City Cologne
  • Post Code 50678
  • Country Cologne

Date 12. June 2024 - 14. June 2024