Folkwang University of the Arts
Study Program Industrial Design
Secretary: Maike Sahlmann
Campus Welterbe Zollverein | Quartier Nord
Prof. Anke Bernotat
Design & Innovation
and design basics
Dr. Christa Liedtke
Professor for Sustainable Consumption & Production
Strategy & Vision
Design by Technology
Visiting Professor for
Social desig Desig
Folkwang University of the Arts
Even before the founding of the Folkwang School in 1927, designers were there (as the School of Trades and Applied Arts). They were closely associated and worked in parallel with the other Folkwang arts from the very beginning, and also under the name “Folkwang School of Design” (Folkwangschule für Gestaltung) after 1928. From 1948 to 1972 photographers, carvers and sculptors, graphic designers, commercial artists and the like were learning and creating under the same roof as musicians, dancers and actors in the Benedictine Abbey in Werden. It was not until 2007, however, that they became an official part of the Folkwang Hochschule, along with the Photography, Communication Design and Industrial Design programs.
Since 2010, the premises of the Zollverein World Heritage Site have been a home to the Folkwang University of the Arts with its use of the architecturally outstanding SANAA Building.
On the Zollverein site in view of the SANAA Building, 2017 opened the new Design Faculty building, enabling the Zollverein to become the new home to the entire Design Faculty of the Folkwang University of the Arts together with its workshops and all its students and staff.
What is Folkwang design?
Well-trained designers make an important contribution to designing our environment by virtue of their holistic practical and critical thinking, their sensibility and capacity to think ahead, and their knowledge of culture, art, technology, ergonomics, science and the marketplace. The Folkwang’s training in Design aims to educate this kind of designer, to give them the basis for new perspectives and approaches and to encourage them in establishing their own individual attitudes and approaches to design – all within the context of a unique cross-disciplinary course structure and the fusion of theory with practice.
GDG – Submissions
More about the projects on the Graduates Platform
Mara Vöcking & Jelena Maschke
School Profile Projects
In her master’s degree at the Folkwang University of the Arts, Elena Blazquez has concentrated on the subject of the bra from the very beginning. She examines why this very garment is part of a patriarchal society and the inequality and discrimination of the sexes that goes hand in hand with it. With small design interventions, Elena experiments how the imbalance between female and male upper body freedom can be broken. Based on the vision of the designer Rudi Gernreich, who in 1971 set up the utopia that in future women would wear trousers and men skirts, Elena reinterprets the bra. One of the most feminine pieces of clothing thus becomes the unisex bra. Every person is free to decide whether the bust should be concealed or open. The bra collection 2064 is non-binary, sensitive, sporty and yet playful. It breaks with the usual stereotypical gender-neutral design. Elena’s work is exemplary for the diverse and productive way in which theory and practice are brought together in the Master’s programme in Industrial Design at the Folkwang.
“Products have a right to use”, proclaims Christoph Tochtrop and investigates how products can be helped to gain more use. Instead of the usual individual, highly specialised turning devices, the result is a system of drive, handle and control unit in which the individual components can be used several times. Christoph is not only helping a whole group of devices to achieve a consumption and product culture that is easier on resources, but with VINSON he is also designing a democratic, low-threshold device that can be found throughout the household thanks to its neutral aesthetics. Christopher’s work VINSON exemplifies the discourse on the design of sustainability at the Folkwang University of the Arts.
What if organic waste and excrement were suddenly perceived as essential raw materials? Sabrina Großkopp’s work provokes. With her vision Oberhausen – Schlaraffenstadt 2040, she creates a circulation system for nutrients to ensure food security in the city in the future. Waste and excrements fed into the recycling system are rewarded with bonus points, which in turn can be exchanged for food. Sabrina shows why industrial design* today is no longer limited to consumer goods, but also involves designing material cycles or presenting complex topics. The work thus exemplifies the exchange between the Folkwang and various research institutes. Sabrina designs and researches using the example of the bio-economy. With her design fiction she makes the question of how we will deal with our resources in the future tangible.
How do you shape light and shadow? New flexible living situations with rooms used for multiple purposes call for an adaptable luminaire. Sophia Feulner’s design BELT was developed from countless observations, experiments and prototypes, which she has repeatedly implemented and tested in the various workshops of the Folkwang University of the Arts. Instead of a fixed lighting scene, a lighting tool has been created with which light and darkness can be actively adapted to the situation. Sophia shows how at the Folkwang, ideas gradually germinate from free experiments. Through the use of different materials, which has been practised from the very beginning, these ideas take on more and more concrete forms. Sophia’s BELT lighting tool is therefore a prime example of the hands-on mentality that is lived out at the Folkwang University of the Arts.
Wolfgang Wischmann’s work CHAMELEON deals with the border between the analogue and digital world. His reinterpretation of a brush, is aimed at the youngest users and extends their first digital experiences from the screen into the real world. The otherwise rather passive occupation with the tablet is supplemented by an active activity involving complex movement and extended sensory experiences. Wolfgang has built functioning hardware prototypes for this purpose and has also developed these gradually with children in co-design. CHAMELEON thus stands as an example for many works and projects at the Folkwang University of the Arts that deal with digital production and interaction technologies.