2013: Design for Participation

Politics, Science, Sport, Culture and Entertainment – no matter which areas of our society we are looking at, we observe that we are no longer ready to accept authoritarian guidelines. We demand – and quite rightly so – to be involved in the relevant decision and design processes, and current trend studies predict that this phenomenon will also play an increasingly important role in communication design.

Therefore, communication always has so see the recipient of a message also as a sender who needs to be given scope for his own design ideas. Here, a new attitude manifests itself, a new “Authorship in Design”. The designer no longer creates a completed piece of work for a certain task or target group, but on the contrary, he creates – according to Umberto Eco – a product which is “open for change”. The user is involved and completes the concept. This creates totally new demands, also for the communication designer: he sets a framework of conditions and processes which will only assume their definite meaning and be enjoyed as long as others are involved. Daniel Eatock, Aaron Koblin, Luna Maurer or Jonathan Puckey, to name just a few, have for years been pioneers in this field as artists and designers.

What, then, does “Design for Participation” mean? Which precursors and current proponents do we have? Which kind of special design tasks are suitable in order to involve the recipient in a meaningful way, and how can I implement my own topics and ideas with participatory concepts?

These are some of the questions which will be discussed and put to practice in the Master course Gutenberg Intermedia 2013/14. The intensive three semester programme is aimed at designers ready for the challenge of accepting the reader also as an author, the viewer as a designer or the user as a programmer. In short – we are looking for dedicated designers from a wide variety of disciplines with an appetite for Thinking and Doing.



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(Deutsch) WE MACHINE

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