Workshop No.1

Design For a Post-Growth Economy

Workshop held by Bernd Draser and Davide Brocchi / ecosign - Akademie für Gestaltung

A car crash adds to economic growth – protecting a forest doesn't. There is something wrong with our current economic model of permanent growth. It is mainly based on non-renewable resources. About 85 % of the global energy production is covered from fossil  energy carriers. But the petroleum resources will be exploited within the next 30 to 40 years. The limits of growth however, affect not only the fossil energy carriers, but also metals and rare earths that are of great importance for a revolution of efficiency in production and consumption, in order to decouple growth from material consumption, and to avoid further CO2 emissions and their impacts on the world climate.

This is where our workshop is going to sound responsibilities and competences of designers to tackle an economy that is not depending on constant growth to produce wealth. We will accomplish our workshop goals in five steps:

Step 1: Theory Kick-off, raising fundamental questions. Why will our addiction to    economic growth not sustain a perspective for economy, society, and environment? Are there alternative concepts of wealth for many without violating the interests of future generations and a majority of the living? Which theories are discussed in science and civil society? And what can designers do? 

Step 2: Best Practice Examples. Introducing innovative concepts of transition towards a post-growth economy in design, culture, management, energy, and civil society. 

Step 3: Providing you a space for your creativity. Shaping new ideas,  applying the theoretical and practical insights to your personal experiences and backgrounds. You will shape visions of design for an economy beyond growth. 

Step 4: Discussing and evaluating your ideas and sketches. Thinking about consequences and requirements, applying real-life-tests for your ideas, shaping them for presentation. 

Step 5: Presenting your work results to the other workshops and discussing them with the whole summer school group.


Workshop No. 3

When Everyone’s a Designer

Workshop held by Prof. Nina Gellersen / HSLU Lucerne and Luzius Schnellmann / HSLU Lucerne

In an interconnected world, every person turns into a co-designer. Are formally educated designers even necessary anymore? Probably more than ever! Let’s start from the beginning: Globalization and internet have turned the world into a village. In the process, the advantages and disadvantages of this development have become increasingly evident.

Disclosure of knowledge, mainly via World Wide Web, has enabled the general public to influence society. Countless services have a direct influence on daily life – which has led to the simplification of some things. The other side of the coin lies in a growing demand for everything to be – not only virtually – available everywhere and at all times; A demand which does not take our environment into account. Mankind is being forced to do some rethinking - for example by shifting its focus to a local market in regards to resources. That this can be done with relish has been shown by many already existing projects. Here is where exchange of knowledge and experience often takes centre stage and opens pathways to re-localization of merchandise markets. Global-regional. Facebook for instance, has the potential to achieve great things. Its current 500 million users have the opportunity to actively co-design change. But there has also been an increase in neighbourly initiatives; problems are being approached and solved together.And what are the consequences for us, who have learned a creative profession?

Our task is enormous: the development of the right tools (i.e., sharing-systems) for change. We do this best by getting in direct contact with the user and permitting him/her to be a co-designer. Based on the essential topic of «food», our workshop dedicates itself to Co-Creation. In an initial seminar, we deal with the concept of co-creation and subsequently, in a playful and open manner, we try to use this method for the development of sustainable services. Additionally, a small excursion, that should enrich our experiences with first-hand insight into practice, is planned. 





Workshop No. 2

Shape the Future: Vision and Values

Workshop held by Prof. Dr. Brigitte Wolf / Wuppertal University and Marcel Befort / Wuppertal University

„The best way to predict the future is to design it,” said Buckminster Fuller. As every management process takes off with setting clear aims, this statement will act as the objective of this workshop.

Companies and institutions need to look ahead in order to anticipate future changes regarding environmental, technological and social-cultural factors and influences. One option is to react to these changes. The better choice is to be proactive and to envision what the future should look like. 

The subject matter of the workshop is: How would we like to live in 20 years time? 

Climate change, energy supply, population explosion, scarcity of resources, financial crisis: Our lives might change faster and more profound as we like. To be more sustainable we need to develop a vision of our desired future! The workshop participants will create diverse scenarios for a good life in 2031 to stimulate further development processes: They will elaborate new concepts for a future life-style incorporating new and alternative technologies, as well as technologies that need to be developed. Visions and values are the starting point for a strategy of sustainable management.

Einstein stated, „Imagination is more important than knowledge“. That means that designers and their creative power will play an important role in shaping the future. The students are asked to deliver break through impulses for a pleasant and at the same time sustainable life-style. To describe and to communicate their ideas, various methods like ideation, visual thinking or storytelling will be used. 
First it is necessary to know where to go to and what to achieve. In a second step, the new insights will then be used to evaluate the different scenarios in terms of eco-friendliness.


Workshop No. 4

Manus Agere... 

Workshop held by Prof. Anke Bernotat / Folkwang University of the Arts - Industrial Design

The meaning of the latin term "to manage" implies a huge capability for the topic of sustainability and design.

It is the designer´s task working as an inventor, developer and Gestalter to guide people and their behaviour to a more sustainable future. Managing this -which means to create a holistic process- is of enormeous importance for the realisation and acceptance of such visions.

There are a lot of factors which have to be taken into account during this development and whose identification sometimes is not very easy.

It is a basic human need to aspire safety and wealth. No one wants to give up the quality of life once it has been achieved. But how can the needs of people be arranged with the finiteness of ressources?

There already exist a lot of ideas and systems which make a more ressource-preserving life possible (for example the rent-a-bike system, car sharing, ...).

Still a lot of people do not seem to consider these options. So what might be the reasons for this?

Don´t they know these possibilities, are they too complex or simply unfitting for their special social and cultural needs?

Within the workshop several examples for this will be shown to reveal contrasts and possibilities, encouraging thinking and inducing creativity for contextual understanding as well as understanding users.

Where are reasonable possibilities for taking users "by the hand", to let them discover and experience sustainability in a positive way, leading them to include these experiences easily into their own way of life and everyday habits.

The workshop´s aim is to allow people to enjoy their lives on the one hand and on the other to find new ways to integrate sustainability and ressource-efficiency in different individual lifestyles.