Wintersemester 2019/2020, BA/MA Produkt-Design Exzellenzcluster


Exhibition Opening "Entity:City":

February 12th, 6-9pm


Presented by:

CityLAB, Platz der Luftbrücke 5, 12101 Berlin.


Coding IxD: From the Practice of Interdisciplinary Education

The practice project »Coding IxD« (Informatik x Design) takes place for the fifth time in a row at the Cluster of Excellence, this year under the term »Entity:City«. The course offer is a cooperation of the working group Human-Centered Computing headed by Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller-Birn (FU-Berlin) and the Product Design department by Prof. Carola Zwick (Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee). Computer Scientists and Product Designers are trained together in interdisciplinary teams.


The objective

The focus is on interdisciplinary work, in which students take on the task of designing neo-analogue products: i.e. products that represent a synthesis of the virtual and the material in form and function. The human abilities and skills of the users, as well as the socio-cultural context (and its possible change through a new product) are taken into account in the design. This course represents an experimental space in which different perspectives meet, exchange and (further) develop. In small teams, students are challenged to explore a specific application context.

In this semester the students are dealing with the complexity of intelligent and sustainable urban development using the example of Berlin under the term »entity:city«. The focus is on the technology driven and exhausted term »Smart City«, in which networks of mobile devices, sensors, actuators and intelligent algorithms collect and analyse city data in real time. These technologically focused approaches, which have so far been primarily used, usually fail because they neglect the specific needs of the city and its inhabitants.

Designing an urban and sustainable Berlin goes beyond the implementation of »smart« technologies or more efficient data analysis. Cities must not only be seen as physical spaces or geographical containers for social and technical phenomena. Rather, they function as finely tuned psycho-geographic units that influence the perception, psychic experience, and behavior of those who live within them.

The envisioned neo-analogue products should create meaningful intersections between people, places, stories, purposes and technologies. The aim of the individual projects, which will be presented on 12.2.2020, is to explore these intersections and overlaps and to contribute to a new culture - the culture of the neo-analogue.


The method

Over the last few years, a process has been created in which students can develop and implement their ideas using a variety of carefully coordinated methods. An important component of this process is the execution of workshops to convey conceptual and practical tools, ranging from prototyping to project management. The teams go through several iterations and refine the approaches in different prototypes. The interdisciplinary nature of the teams allows a wide range of experimental concepts to be tested and illustrated. The most convincing or promising interaction concept, the one that makes it possible to grasp the quality and essence of the envisaged neo-analogue product, is implemented in a functioning prototype.


The Team

This semester we are Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller-Birn, head of the Human-Centered Computing department at the FU-Berlin, Prof. Thomas Ness, Research Fellow at »Matters of Activity« and link to the Product Design department at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee, Judith Glaser (M.A.) Assistant Lecturer Product and Interaction Designer (Studio NAND) as well as the City Lab Berlin under the direction of Dr. Sebastian Meier.

Project categorySemester Project Project subjects BA/MA Produkt-Design