[WIZ* Jour Fixe 3]

Sara Kaaman & Nicole Killian

*Was ist zeitgemäß? (WIZ) – This question brings together a group of students and teachers from the communication design department of Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle. We question the present day, we question the future: how can communication design respond appropriately to the challenges of today? To discuss current practices and positions, we invited to controversial dialogues.


For the third WIZ* Jour Fixe Sara Kaaman and Nicole Killian were invited to discuss how a contemporary graphic design school can challenge what is ”contemporary”, what is ”graphic design” and what is ”school”. 

Sara Kaaman is a graphic designer based in Stockholm, teaching graphic design at Konstfack University and the Estonian Academy of Art. She is interested in the intersections of publishing technologies, bodies, politics, performance and poetry. With Maryam Fanni and Matilda Flodmark she forms the research collective MMS, focusing on investigating labour histories of graphic design via feminist theory and practice. Their book Natural Enemies of Books: A Messy History of Women in Printing and Typography (Occasional Papers) was published in 2020. She is the art director and co-editor of the magazine Girls Like Us,  which publish queer politics and pleasures in art making, everyday lives, culture and activism.

nicole killian is an artist and design educator based in Richmond Virginia where they co-direct the graduate program in the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University. killian is invested in exploring design pedagogies that center generosity, dialogue, and making things public through performance, mediums mis-use, and text. they run a publishing initiative, nico fontana, which concerns itself with a queering of language. In 2018, they guest-edited the Walker Art Center's Soundboard platform, asking the question: How Will We Queer Design Education without Compromise? In 2019 they were then interviewed by the AIGA's Eye On Design "What Does “Queering Design Education” Actually Look Like in Practice?” killian holds degrees from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bauhaus/Hochschule Anhalt in Dessau and the Rochester Institute of Technology.


The lecture series was collectively planned and designed by Esben Terje Sonne, Georg Stahlbock, Helene Otto, Karen Czock, Luka Löhner, Marion Kliesch, Melanie Hauffe, Paul Werner, Sanna Schiffler.