Tom Bieling is professor for Design Theory at HfG Offenbach and teaches Design Studies at HAWK Hildesheim. At the Centre for Design Research / HAW Hamburg (2019–22) he held the Professorship for Designtheory and Designresearch, previously visiting professorships at the University of Trento and GUC Cairo. Head of Social Design at Design Research Lab / Berlin University of the Arts (2010–19), previously at T-Labs / TU Berlin (2007–10). Chief Editor at Designforschung.org since 2008, co-editor of the book series Design Meanings (Mimesis), founding member of the Design Research Network, and co-founder of the initiative Design promoviert. Elected Young Innovator of the Year by the Falling Walls consortium. Recent books: "Design (&) Activism" (2019), "Inklusion als Entwurf" (2019), "Gender (&) Design" (2020).
1995-2015 tenure professor for Gender Design and Design Research at the Koeln International School of Design, Technical University Cologne – the first ever chair dedicated to gender issues in design; author and editor of numerous publications; frequent lecturer and guest professor at universities in Germany, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Australia and the USA.
Uta Brandes is co-founder of the “German Association for Design Theory and Design History” and co-founder and chair of the „international Gender Design Network / iGDN“.
photo credit: Nele Martensen
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 Berlin University of the Arts / Weizenbaum Institute together with Florian Conradi, as well as teaching as a visiting professor for Open Science / Critical Culture at the Technische Universität Berlin in the context of the 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, teaching and experimental design practice focuses on decolonial, feminist/queer and post-anthropocentric approaches to critical making and free/open technologies.
Sandra Groll is a design researcher and system theorist. From 2016 to 2018, she was visiting professor for Theory and Practice of Design at the University of Arts Kassel / University Kassel. She wrote her Ph.D. on a system theoretical consideration about the role of contemporary design in society. Since 2010 she had taught design theory, design research and humanities at different universities such as the Universities of Applied Science in Potsdam and Bielefeld, University of Art Bremen, Free University Bolzano, Brand University, and Zhejiang Wanli University Ningbo. Sandra studied product design, philosophy and aesthetics at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. Since 2021 she is an ambassador and member of the jury for the German Design Graduates Award.
Jonas holds a PhD in Naval Architecture and the lecture qualification (Habilitation) for Design Theory. He was professor for Process Design in Halle, for Design Theory in Bremen, for System Design in Kassel and, until his retirement in 2019, for Designwissenschaft at Braunschweig University of Art, where he was head of the Institute for Design Research and initiated the MA in Transformation Design. His working areas are systems thinking and methodology, futures studies and scenario approaches and the development of the concept Research through Design.
Ralf Michel completed his doctorate at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and studied design at the KISD in Cologne. He currently teaches and researches at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel, where he coordinates the postgraduate programme. He was interim head of the Institute of Integrative Design and the Master's Studio Design at the university, as well as head of research at the institute. Michel taught at the Zurich University of the Arts and the University of St. Gallen, he initiated the Board of International Research in Design and built up the Swiss Design Network, which he headed as managing director. With his office in Zurich, he advises companies and institutions on the sustainable integration of design into their corporate strategies.
Marc Pfaff is a researcher and lecturer in the fields of design theory, media and cultural studies and currently a PhD candidate in Art and Media Theory at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). His doctoral research deals with the theory and history of designing (Ger. »Entwerfen«) as a both ancient and modern cultural technique from a media theoretical perspective. His other research interests include socio-economic and cultural aspects of digitalization, modern experiences of space and the phenomenology and semiotics of the image. He studied Design at Köln International School of Design and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design.