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Designer in Residence en spezifisch

Designer in Residence —
a programme of the HfG-Archiv Ulm


The Programme

Since 2011, the archive of the former Ulm School of Design is housed in the heritage building. Also, the archive’s holding, consisting out of over 6.500 graphics, 350 models, 11.000 photographs, and 30.000 documents, is part of the municipal Museum Ulm since 1993. In this respect, the HfG-Archiv fulfils a double function: it serves as an archive and museum at the same time. As such, its main purpose is to open up the history, content and impact of the former school to a broad public. This takes place through making the archival inventory accessible for external research, but also through internal scientific research, contributing to publications, conferences, or exhibitions.

“The Ulm School of Design is a role-model in educating designers until today: the designer’s occupational profile and numerous basic guidelines of design are defined by the former school, still affecting our present.” (Dagmar Rinker, to ulm up 2009, S. 2.)

By initiating a Designer in Residence programme, the archive’s goal is to fulfill the own doubled function as a museum and archive in the rooms of the former school while combining with contemporary research and education in design.

In addition, there’s going to be a theme per residence, which leads to the special potential of the programme: On one hand, international talents at the beginning of their career get the opportunity to work on their own creative and professional profile at a unique place of post-war design history. In that case, the archive’s collection functions as approach and inspiration. On the other hand, it’s not only the task, but also the utmost concern of the archive to bring the cultural heritage of the Ulm School of Design together with contemporary issues and future questions of design. That means imparting the heritage by also questioning it in the face of contemporary subjects of interest. Finally, it seeks to turn the historic place into a platform for active debates.

In autumn 2018 the very first residency will take place dedicated to the theme “Gender Design”. After the residence, an exhibition on Gender Design, scheduled for early 2019, will refer to the residencies’ results and aims for open up the discussion to the public.


Who is called to apply?

By this international open call, we ask designers to apply for a three-month-residence-scholarship. The residence is an invitation to examine the school’s heritage experimentally, technically, artistically and scientifically referring to a contemporary design approach. Since the mere historic research is already given through internal and external research, the programme systematically promotes young designers in the field of design practice and/or at the interface of applied design research. Base for reference are the historic school’s departments and teaching subjects (architecture, visual communication, product design, information, film, and photography) and the corresponding holdings of the archive. Interdisciplinary approaches are also welcome.


What is offered to the selected resident?

The scholar will be selected by a jury to receive a residence-scholarship for a three month period by the HfG-Archiv Ulm, containing the following benefits:

  • monthly expense allowance of 1.200 €
  • production and material budget (to be issued)
  • compensation for travel expenses (arrival / departure from/to Ulm), train ticket or (in case of a journey distance more than 6 hours) flight ticket, both 2nd / economy class
  • working space in the archive, where needed: research assistance, technical and logistical support, access to workshops
  • free accommodation in one of the former teacher’s houses at the campus, courtesy of Stiftung Hochschule für Gestaltung HfG Ulm
  • support in public relations and contacts with local partners, opportunities for presentation and talks
  • involvement and public presentation of the residencies results in the exhibition on Gender Design in early 2019


What are the resident’s commitments?

  • medical and indemnity insurance, where nessecary visa, subsistence, and living costs
  • residence attendance of 3 months in Ulm (to be issued between Sept.-Dec. 2018)
  • purchase of materials required for own work (support by the HfG-Archiv)
  • recording of the residency, especially documentation of own working progress, to contribute to the exhibition in 2019 (form unspecified)


How to apply?

  • CV and portfolio (recent projects)
  • Letter of motivation and description of a project connected to the residence at the HfG-Archiv and the theme “Gender Design” (if possible with cost calculation and / or sketches), max. 2 pages, in German or English


Input on the residence theme “Gender Design”:

While the principle of ‘what we design, designs us back’ is an universalist one, the Ulm School of Design aimed to influence society by design. “Gute Form” is a term, which evolved in the 1950s, shaped by Max Bill. Not only, does this term mean a timeless and functional design, but it is also connected to a moral and democratic claim – a design, meant to be for everybody.

On the other hand, Gender Design as an approach is today’s expression of a permanently evolving, globally connected world. Then, for everybody is the trial to fulfill everybody’s needs in that world. Approaches such as Social, Universal, Critical or Eco Design, can be seen as reflections on these circumstances. ‘Gender’ in the sense of the English language (and in opposition to ‘sex’) is revealed as a social constructed category. In the context of design, gender allows diverse perspectives at cultural everyday life. Until today, only few questions on gender in design, but also on what it means at all, to produce a genderspecific, -sensitive, -neutral design were proposed. What it implies for the design process and the result, seeing Gender Design as a centre point of formfinding, therefore is a crucial issue of the residency and the planned exhibition.


How about the application process?

  • applications only via E-Mail (PDF, max. 15 MB) to: k.kurz[at], deadline: July, 15th July 2018
  • the jury will meet by the end of July to select the resident based on the applications
  • the decision-making process will be completed at the beginning of August, applicants will be notified without explanatory statement
  • the jury consists of:
    · Prof. Dr. em. Uta Brandes (Design theorist, subject-specific member “Gender Design”)
    · Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Wetzig (CEO Board of Trustees Stiftung HfG Ulm)
    · Dr. Martin Mäntele (Director HfG-Archiv Ulm)
    · Katharina Kurz (scientific project manager Designer in Residence, HfG-Archiv Ulm)


There is no legal claim to receive the scholarship from applicating for the residence. Only applications, that were sent via E-Mail until 15th of July 2018 can be taken into consideration. The resident will be selected by the jury.

Contact: HfG-Archiv / Museum Ulm, Designer in Residence – Katharina Kurz, Am Hochsträß 8, 89081 Ulm, +49 (0)731/161-4376, k.kurz[at]