«design is like history, something that is created rather than inevitable.»
(Otl Aicher, «archithese 15», 1975)
The teaching became increasingly scholarly in the 1960s. Lecturers such as the mathematician Horst Rittel, the sociologist Hanno Kesting, and the industrial designer Bruce Archer favored a methodology based strictly on mathematical operations and analytical studies, for instance, on ergonomics or business analysis. This change in direction led to massive internal conflict. Otl Aicher, Hans Gugelot, Walter Zeischegg, and Tomás Maldonado resisted this development and claimed in contrast that design had to be more than an «analytical method.»
The consequence of this discussion was a large touring exhibition, which was initially shown in Ulm and Stuttgart in 1963, later in the Neue Sammlung in Munich and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The show presented HfG work that had been created in classes. Further consequences of the fundamental debate were changes to the constitution and the reintroduction of a single rector to replace the board of governors.