Materiality – How can we design the digital?


Materials are everywhere. They become visible through their structures and surfaces that seem to inhabit an important role to mediate different aspects between us and our artefacts.

The materiality seminar invites students into this form of mediation and stimulates them to get in touch with analogue and digital materials that are surrounding us, to understand the concept of materiality as an important tool in the practice of design and follow up its ways of effects. Therefore, it is aimed to immerse into the cosmos of materials and their development, to understand materiality as a versatile and gripping tool within the design process.

Theoretical lectures introduce students into the general substance of materials, thus provide a brief perspective of experimental developments for materiality in the practice of design, helping them to develop a solid basis for an understanding of materiality and its concepts. Further, we reflect how materiality can serve us as a space to handle the complex being of artefacts, especially in the context of digitalisation and dematerialisation.

Further we discuss questions of technologies and material developments in the context of design, in particular focusing on the transmission from analogue to digital experiences and future scenarios. A solid knowledge about materials and technologies is provided that facilitates the choice of materials and stimulates the students to experiment with materiality in their own projects, at the same time aiming to extend the concept of materials to create a thinking space for the development of new human-material experiences.

Within this seminar it is aimed to illustrate new ways of thinking and make use of the interplay of materiality and design, to cultivate the ability to ask critical questions in the realm of artefacts and materiality, thus build up a material expertise as designer in the analogue world as well as within the fluidity of the digital.

MA Creative Direction – Materiality