About BIRD

Board of International Research in Design

The Board of International Research in Design sees itself as a forum for publishing intelligent design research.

BIRD believes that highly qualified design research is important for design in all its complexity and for social, cultural, economic and scientific developments in our societies.

The BIRD series is published by Birkhäuser, an imprint that has made a name for itself not only in the areas of architecture and design, but also as an excellent distribution partner of the independent De Gruyter academic publishing house.

BIRD proposes design research-related projects and papers/books for publication and assists authors throughout the process.

BIRD is constantly looking for excellent presentations of important design research projects and studies.

Editorial Board:

Prof. em. Dr. Michael Erlhoff

Michael Erlhoff was the founding dean of the Köln International School of Design (KISD), where he was also professor of design theory and design history. He was the dean of the department of cultural studies at the Cologne Technical University and CEO of the German Design Council. A curator of numerous art and design exhibitions and a board member of documenta 8, he has written and edited many books on design, art and culture-related themes. He is a member of the German Association for Design Theory and Research (DGTF), of the international Gender Design Network/iGDN and of AICA. He regularly gives guest lectures and conducts workshops at international universities and he is a frequent member of national and international design juries. In 2016, he was made an honorary professor at the Braunschweig University of Art. He resides in Cologne, Germany.


Prof. Dr. des. Michelle Christensen

Michelle Christensen is a sociologist and designer, exploring the spaces in between these realms. Currently, she heads a research group on critical making at the UdK Berlin / Weizenbaum Institute together with Florian Conradi, as well as teaching as a visiting professor for open science at the Technische Universität Berlin / Einstein Center Digital Future. She wrote her Ph.D. in the field of design research at the UdK Berlin, prior to which she studied political sociology at Roskilde University (B.A.), conflict studies at Utrecht University (M.A.), gender studies at the University of Amsterdam (M.Sc.), and integrated design at the KISD in Cologne (M.A.). Her research interests include trans- and postdisciplinarity, the politics of objects and the social dimension of 'thingness’. 



Dr. des. Sandra Groll

Sandra Groll studied product design as well as philosophy and aesthetics at the Karlsruhe University of Arts an Design. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Arts and Design Offenbach. In her phd thesis she works on a system theory of design. From 2016 to 2018 she was visiting professor for "Theory and Practice of Design” at the Kunsthochschule Kassel / University Kassel. She is a member of the Board of International Design Research and a lecturer for design theory and general sciences at the University of the Arts Bremen. Her research focuses on design research, design sociology and the role of design in the next society.


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Jonas

Wolfgang Jonas holds a PhD in Naval Architecture from TU Berlin and the postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) for Design Theory from Wuppertal University. He has been professor for Process Design in Halle, for Design Theory in Bremen and for System Design in Kassel. Since 2010 he is professor for Designwissenschaft and head of the Institute for Design Research at Braunschweig University of Art, where he runs the Master in Transformation Design. His main working areas are systems thinking and methodology, futures studies and scenario approaches and the development of the concept ‘Research through Design’.


Dr. Ralf Michel

Ralf Michel leads the teaching in the Masterstudio Design of the HGK Basel and built up the research in the Institute Integrative Design. He received his doctorate at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and acquired his diploma as a designer at the Cologne International School of Design, KISD. Michel teaches and researches in the context of design and sustainable innovation, he publishes on design research and is the publisher of the series 'Schriften zur Gestaltung' published by Birkhäuser de Gruyter Verlag. Ralf Michel lives in Zurich from where he advises companies in the context of sustainable design strategies and curates exhibitions.


Marc Pfaff

Marc Pfaff is a doctoral candidate in Design Science at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). In his PhD thesis on the "poetology of design", he develops a media-theoretical perspective on designing as a cultural technique. He studied Design at Köln International School of Design (KISD) and Hong Kong Polytechnic University and has since taught several courses and projects at both universities. He co-authored, together with Oliver Baron, the book "Design und Ökonomie" (UTB, 2015) and is the author of "Pace Space. Zur Phänomenologie des gelebten Raumes im Zeitalter maschineller Transportmittel" (KISDedition, 2011).