Summary International Design Discourse

First of all, I want to say that I liked the structure of this course and that the videos were accessible all the time and we could choose when we want to watch them. I guess this could also be a good possibility for this course in the future, because it’s not always necessary to meet in person and it saves everyone a lot of time.

My favourite lecture was lecture #02 with Saskia Schmidt, because the content was most interesting for me as a communication designer and the quality of the video was quite good and you could see that she put a lot of work into it. It was very inspiring for me to see how her life went after she graduated at the FH Joanneum and I really enjoy listening to Alumnis because of that. 

Lecture #01 with Andrey Sudarikov was also really interesting for me, because it gave a good overview about how augmented reality and interactive systems can be used in projects and how much of an impact they can have. Moreover, I think this lecture showed how much social interactions and sympathy influence our work too. If people like you as a person AND you deliver great work, then they’re more likely to work with you for another project. It’s not always just about the work, it’s also about being human and kind to one another.

Lecture #03 with Astrid Kury gave in insight into why collaborations are important to share ideas and aim for the best outcome. Her goal was to convince us to have a look at the art system and the latest artwork. She believes in an interdisciplinary approach and I also do. I think having an open mind and being open to other disciplines helps to broaden the horizon and learn from these experiences. The last project she showed „freewheeling“ was quite memorable for me.

Lecture #04 with Florian Doppel-Prix showed that a good concept is important and that media art projects are most of the time underfunded so you need to be even more creative. I liked the experimental approach he used and was impressed by the interactive paint he presented. Furthermore, I learned that people love buttons and that acoustic feedback is very important for interactive installations.

Lecture #05 with Burcin Cem Arabacioglu was unfortunately very hard to watch for me, because of the quality of both video and audio. What I found interesting about this lecture was that Istanbul is much bigger than I expected and the speaker’s view on what lessons we can learn from the virus. It really shows us that changing our lifestyles would have a great impact on the environment and we need to be more aware of sustainability.

Lecture #06 with Sylwia Ulicka was about sustainable development, eco efficiency, values of material culture and objects of discomfort. It was quite shocking for me that high-income countries have an ecological footprint that is 5 times greater than the one of low-income countries. Design is linked to ever increasing economy growth. I also found the objects of discomfort very interesting, for example the hugging pillow and the counter spray that makes you bleed before you use it.

Lecture #07 with Ursula Tischner dealt with crowd based systemic design and innovation for sustainability. We actually would need four planets, but we only have one and as designers we need to be aware of this. Only 1% of the design stuff ist still used after 6 months. She also stressed the benefits of collaboration and that you should never underestimate the poster of the crowd.

Lecture #08 with Anastasia and Martin Lesjak was interesting because of the transdisciplinary approach from fields of architecture, interior design, product design, sound design and research they use. I also liked the project with the solar innovation center in Dubai, because it showed how sound and light work together and could be summed up in an atmospheric choreography according to the sun.

Lecture #09 with Wolfgang Schlag was all about radio work. Radio is a very important form of communication and became really successful. Radio in Austria started in 1924 and it was owned by the state. Radio has always been and still is also an important tool for politics. Ö3 started in the 60s. What connects design and radio is the social aspect. Doing something for the society, helping people, working on a sustainable future and society is what they have in common.

To sum up, I enjoyed getting new insights from different fields and people from the lectures. They enabled to think outside the box and get inspired even when staying at home during the special semester due to the current situation.