BJORN FRANKE

Teaching

I teach design theory and practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Zurich University of the Arts. My lectures and seminas in design theory focus on aesthetic, technological and political aspects of design. I take an explorative, critical and speculative approch to design practice and understand design as a medium for inquiry. I supervise Bachelor and Master thesis projects and am happy to take on PhD supervision in these areas of design.

Design Theory Lecture Series

Visual Culture and Communication
Images play a fundamental role in everyday life, such as images in social networks, images of war, terror and catastrophes, scientific and forensic images, imaginary images of possible worlds or operational images made for machines rather than humans. This lecture series investigate the nature of the visual in our understanding of the world and in our interaction and communication.

The Morality and Ideology of Things
What is the relationship between design objects and the quality of human life? This course investigates the cultural, ideological and moral values inscribed in everyday objects.

Design as Inquiry
Design is mainly understood as an activity of producing useful artefacts—whether mass produced, prototypical or conceptual—rather than as an activity of inquiry. This lecture series investigates design objects as objects for refection and contemplation rather than practical use, and thus as media for inquiry that provide new perspectives on the world.

Design Theory Seminars

Visual Culture
The "unseen" image—by that we mean the image that was not meant to be seen or that is not meant for human eyes, the image that is being hidden or ignored for various reasons, the image of things that don't exist or of things that might not yet exist, as well as the image that only exists in our minds, in our imagination or dreams.

Design, Politics and Society
How can we think about design as a tool for political and social activism? This course examines the political dimension of design as well as the physical and visual designing of policy.

Design as Critical Practice
This seminar explores design as a critical practice that aims to broaden the field of design and the role of the designer by challenging its sometimes limiting views, values and practices. It takes the ideologies and consequences of the production of artefacts into account and aims to form a critical perspective on these issues.

Matters of Life and Death
How can designers rethink survival strategies for economic, cultural and ecological survival in the midst of social, environmental and economic change? This course reflects upon the possibilities of design to address this question.

The Aestetices of Decision Making
Ethics is he philosophical foundation for a good life. One of the main aspect of a good life is to make good decisions in the right moments. This course investigates the visual and material aspects of moments of decision both in personal as well as social context.

Design Studio Courses

Matters of Life and Death
The long term survival of humans on earth seems to be in jeopardy in the face of massive social, technological and ecological problems. This course addresses these issues not by attempting to solve them but to survive them.

The Aesthetics of Accidents
This course uses design as a medium to explore accidents of various kinds aesthetically, in particular their material, visual, narrative, spatial and temporal aspects.

The World as a Quarry
This course explores natural, social, scientific or political phenomena by seeing the world as a quarry and by using design as a medium to examine the aesthetic and rhetorical possibilities of expressing these phenomena and thereby produce an experience.

Selected Student Projects