History of Design and Architecture – Substitute Professor Dr. Veronica Biermann
The History of Design and Architecture subject area within the Design Studies master’s course offers three consecutive modules that are systematically interlinked and complement each other in terms of content. The seminars to be taken in the ﬁrst three semesters of the course form the basic structure of the curriculum together with the optional lecture, which is however recommended if the course is being taken in the usual manner. The lecture cycles are structured over two semesters in line with the bachelor’s course, while the seminars are oriented entirely towards the structure of the master’s course with the three topics of Object / Text / Image being dealt with in sequence – one in each course year. As two course years of the master’s in Design Studies study together with a gap of one year between them, the sequence of these focal areas is thus different in each course year.
1. The seminars on the Object area focus on the designed artefact with all its implications. The main focus is on the possibilities for perceiving, describing and analysing individual products, the juxtaposition of comparable objects or groups of works, and integration into overall historical or cultural contexts. Alongside monographic topics on individual persons and their works, formal or constructive questions will also be directed towards objects of investigation and typological or functional factors.
2. The overall category of Text focuses on the linguistic-theoretical level of art-history consideration and considers the background and explanation of works by the designers themselves; it also deals with the topical focus on design objects or architecture in theoretical, critical or academic consideration. The seminars available thus explicitly include the consideration of issues of the history of academic theory. In addition, literary and art criticism texts will also be investigated with regard to their relationships with design. The focus here is on the problem of separating textual explanation of artefacts from their direct reception by the user.
3. The semester focal area of Image deals with the phenomena of presentation and reception of artefacts in and by the media. Photography, ﬁlm and illustration and their respective characteristics as technical processes are the centre of attention here, as too are image strategies in publications by designers, critics and historians.