A lecture series beyond BURG
The Corona pandemic presented teachers and students with enormous challenges in the summer semester of 2020. Studying in projects, exchanging ideas in seminars, imparting knowledge in lectures no longer took place on site at the university in very different ways, but on laptops at home. This decoupling of knowledge transfer and real-space location was accompanied by many problems: the lack of intensive contact with students and teachers, the lack of concepts and skills to offer and accept good online teaching. In addition, students and teachers dealt with individual isolation, mental and physical illness.
Many project groups of students and teachers have made the best possible use of the situation.
Since not only Burg Giebichenstein, but all universities, art schools and design departments had to offer their courses and projects online, it was suddenly possible to take courses not only at one's own university, but also at institutions where one was not enrolled. But no one did this because, firstly, it is very unusual and, secondly, everyone was still dealing with the individual situation of making proper online study possible.
With the Hurra Hurra Festival in October 2019, we managed in an intensive way to network the teaching and student scene in Germany and beyond at BURG. The focus was always on the question of how design studies should be shaped in the 21st century, both formally and in terms of content. With the Corona Pandemic, these very abstract questions were brought into a very real present.
This is why a small group of students prepared an inter-university lecture series for the winter semester 21/22. The team coordinated and designed a nationwide online lecture series in which various professors and their students each contributed a format that could be experienced via laptop and in common home office settings. For example, design students from the HBK Saar were able to take part in a lecture in Halle, students from the KISD Cologne in a panel discussion in Hamburg and vice versa. Digital teaching is brought to the fore with an important component: knowledge and its transmission is decentralised and made openly accessible regardless of location. Through the lecture series, we enable exchange and the exploration of new fields of thought, action and learning. In this way, we also countered the individual isolation in the nearby residential environment and developed and networked a university-independent design student community, which benefits the students themselves as well as the entire scene and industry in the long term.
Even though the Corona pandemic was significantly contained in summer semester 21, it was still to be expected that the new digital teaching formats would continue to complement studies. And the autumn wave even made distance teaching necessary again. Exploring the new tools for online teaching in this setting experimentally and approaching them not from a crisis perspective but from a design and planning perspective was beneficial.
Together with the students, we curated an online curriculum consisting of 7 design departments, represented by individual professors with their students. Together we created a programme of weekly online events, each prepared and delivered in turn by a different professor and their student groups. Each university was given a date. The design and implementation of the formats was the responsibility of the respective professors and their teams. It must be guaranteed that everyone can participate. To ensure this, digital infrastructures should be used. Depending on the format, there were open real-time discussions, streamings or small moderated working groups. Prof. Julian Adenauer from khb weissensee (and former visiting professor at the Burg) has the necessary knowledge and access to the possible technologies and supported the project as a lecturer.
Student organisation was an important aspect of the HurraHurra Festival and was extremely well received within the university landscape. This is where we have picked up.
The students have joined forces with students from other universities (virtually), evaluated the last year of distance teaching and developed new mediation formats, which then would be tested in a first lecture series. The aim was to obtain student perspectives on the Corona-related changes and to take the resulting development proposals seriously and implement them in initial trials.
It was important to us that the students (assigned to the participating professors) receive 2 ects points for their participation in the lecture series. The offer is not a “sur plus” or “nice to have” but an attempt to create an extraordinary and unique study offer, the seriousness of which is underlined by the acquisition of credit points.
It was also an opportunity to promote one's own university. Burg Giebichenstein has once again positioned itself as an innovative and inclusive force within the German-speaking design faculties.
Partners: Prof. Mark Braun/HBK Saar, Prof. Peter Eckart/HFG Offenbach, Prof. Nina Juric/KISD Köln, Prof. Florian Alexander Schmidt/HTW Dresden, KH Kassel, Prof. Matthias Böttger, Anna Laederach/Hyperwerk Basel, Prof. Jesko Fezer/HFBK Hamburg
Guests: Jasmin Grimm/Rosy DX, Alexandra Wolf/Republica, Julian Adenauer/Retune, Benno Brucksch/Face filter workshop
Students: Elena Bangel, Dongyoung Hwang, Leopold Seiler, Amon Zänker