Bjorn Franke is a design practitioner and theorist. He is Senior Lecturer in Design History and Theory at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Zurich University of the Arts, having previously studied design at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal College of Art. Franke has been awarded fellowships at the Akademie Schloss Solitude as well as the Artist Residency Schloss Balmoral. His work has featured in exhibitions internationally, most recently at the MUDAC Lausanne in Switzerland, the Triennale di Milano Design Museum in Italy and the Design Museum Holon in Israel. His academic research has been widely published in books and journals and he has participated in and convened lectures, conferences and workshops internationally. Franke’s research interests lie in the relationship between design, technology and philosophy; in particular how the shifting technological landscape alters human behaviour, relationships and self-conceptions.
Keynote Speaker, “Between Abstract Worlds and Concrete Realities,” Criteria: A Conference on Critical Design, Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon, 20 May 2017.
Speaker, “Design as Inquiry,” Design without Industry?, SDA 50 Forum, Swiss Design Association, Bern, Switzerland, 14 October 2016.
Convenor, Undesign, Design Symposium, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria, 2 June 2016
Speaker, “The Metaphors of Design,” The Intrinsic Logic of Design, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, 2–3 October 2014.
Speaker,“Prospects for a Material Philosophy,” Revolving Stars, Shaky Ground: Konstellationen unsicheren Wissens in Kunst, Wissenschaft und Technik, Hochschule für Bildende Kunst, Dresden, Germany, 3–6 July 2014
Speaker,“Design as a Philosophical Inquiry,” Dock of Learning: Design of, as & beyond Knowledge, Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel, Germany, 23 July 2014
Speaker,“The Future, the Possible and the New,” Multiply Futures: About Possible and Impossible Future Scenarios, Design Symposium, Kunstuniversität Linz, Austria, 22–23 May 2014
Convenor, The Stuff Between Us: Designing Interactions Beyond the Object, Design Symposium, Zurich University of the Art, Switzerland, 45 October 2013
Panellist, Design der Zukunft II, Duale Hochschule BW Ravensburg, Germany, 26–27 April, 2013
Convenor, Design as Politics / Politics as Design, Guest Lecture Series 2012, Department of Design History
Panellist, Anti-Design: Prescription for Rebellion, Papanek Foundation Symposium, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria, 10–11 Nobember 2011
Lecture, “Design Objects as Objects of Understanding,” Department of Design, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, 6 June 2011
Convenor, Making/Crafting/Designing: Perspectives on Design as a Human Activity, Design Theory Symposium, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany, 10–12 February 2011
Speaker, “Design Fiction is Not Necessarily About the Future,” Negotiating Futures – Design Fiction,
Lecture, “Existential Technologies,” Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, Bad Ems, Germany, 27 May 2010
Lecture, “Design as Inquiry,” Royal College of Art, London, UK, 2 March 2010
Speaker, “Design as Ethical and Moral Inquiry,” CEPHAD 2010 Conference, The Danish Design School,
Speaker, “Designing the Self,” The Design of the (In)Human, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart,
Speaker, “Design as a Medium for Inquiry,” Multiple Ways to Design Research,
Lecture, “The Design of the Self,” IZEW, Universität Tübingen, Germany, 25 May 2009
Speaker, “Manufactured Fears,” Dealing with Fear, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany,
Speaker, “Artefacts as Influential Actors,” Design/Body/Sense, Design History Society Conference,
Presenter, “Affective Sensory Extensions,” Persuasive 2007: The Second International Conference on
Lecture, “Manufactured Evidence,” Something Fake, Platform 21, Amsterdam,
Lecture, “Designing Fear,” Department of Design and Media Arts, UCLA, Los Angeles,
Franke, Björn. “Design Fiction is Not Necessarily About the Future.” Sixth Swiss Design Network Conference, Negotiating Futures - Design Fiction (2010): 80–90.
Franke, Björn. “Violent Machines for Troubled Times.”In Dealing with Fear, edited by Julia Warmers. Stuttgart: Akademie Schloss Solitude, 2010.
Franke, Björn. Violent Machines for Troubled Times, Bad Ems: Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, 2010.
Franke, Björn. “Design as Ethical and Moral Inquiry.” CEPHAD 2010: The Borderland between Philosophy and Design Research. Copenhagen Working Papers on Design No. 1 (2010): 71–72.
Franke, Björn. “Design as a Medium for Inquiry.” Fifth Swiss Design Network Symposium, Multiple Ways to Design Research - Research Cases that Reshape the Design Discipline (2009): 225–232.
Franke, Björn. “Traces of an Imaginary Affair.” In Fetisch + Konsum/Fetish + Consumption, edited by Jean-Baptiste Joly, Catherine Perret, and Julia Warmers. Stuttgart: Merz & Solitude, 2009.
© 20042018 Björn Franke