Professor Carolin Höfler studied art history, modern and contemporary German literature, and theatre (master’s degree) as well as architecture (Diplom degree) at the universities in Cologne, Vienna, and Berlin (FU and TU Berlin). She wrote her dissertation on the history and theory of computational design at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, earning her doctorate there in 2011. Höfler has been a professor of design theory and research at TH Köln, University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, since 2013. She is a founding member of the German Research Foundation (DFG) Research Training Group »connecting – excluding: Cultural Dynamics Beyond Globalized Networks«, a cooperative initiative among the University of Cologne, Academy of Media Arts Cologne, and TH Köln. Her research relates to processes of design and creation and material systems in architecture and design, forms of medial spatiality and ephemeral urbanization, and investigative methods and artistic practices of spatial analysis. Her research on education often centers on diagrammatic use of drawings in experimental processes of design and creation in which the idea of controlled loss of control, which at first glance seems to be contradiction in terms, plays a central role. Her most recent publications are (with Philipp Reinfeld), Mit weit geschlossenen Augen. Virtuelle Realitäten entwerfen, Paderborn: Brill | Fink 2022, and (with Johanna Mehl), Attending [to] Futures. Matters of Politics in Design Education, Research, Practice, Hamburg: adocs 2023.

TH Köln



Professor Gesa Foken works primarily in the medium of drawing as a visual artist and studies the theory of drawing as a major part of her work as a philosopher and cultural theorist. For example, her artistic works »Stadtrest« (2005), »Der leere Platz«/»Cargosammlung« (2010), »Erbschaft« (2017), and »Arbeit(s)zeichen« (long-term study starting in 2018) are manifestations of her interest in the social tensions that emerge in urban settings and places of industrial production. Her dissertation in philosophical aesthetics, »Offenheitszwang. Kritik der Offenheitsästhetik vor dem Hintergrund zeitgenössischer Zeichnung« (2017), focuses on a practice of drawing that is reminiscent of the monotony of industrialized work and, in its programmatic approach, also reflects the process-bound nature of the present-day social imperative toward flexibilization. She has spoken and published extensively since then; the current area of focus in her research is titled «Zeichnung nach dem Algorithmus. Zur Delegation der Formbildung» and brings together the theory of drawing in art, design, and architecture / theory of creation and distillation of form and of imparting knowledge / theories of digitalization against the backdrop of social theory. Her teaching practice since 2014 has been just as multifaceted as her artistic and scholarly pursuits and is additionally based on intensive practice of non-academic cultural education from 2007 through 2012. She has been appointed to the role of professor of education and research in the arts and design at Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences (Faculty of Design) in 2023.

Hochschule Darmstadt


Gesa Foken, Permanent Intermedial and Interdisciplinary Practice, Atelier 2020, Photo: Jean Drache