The areas of Product Design are as diverse as the world of objects around us. Products can be created by hand or manufactured industrially in serial production. They can be the result of digitalized drafting, planning and production processes, and to an increasing degree, a combination of several methods.

The four professors responsible for the Product Design degree programme do not teach the disciplines of product design in the traditional sense. Instead they initiate and supervise projects which focus on a variety of areas, such as industrial or hand-crafted product design, interaction design, design and management, mobility, product and environment, stage design and exhibition design.

This degree programme is taught by the following professors:

The degree programme Product Design offers the following courses:

Standard duration of programme Deadline for application Application
8 Semesters 31 March How to apply

The design criteria have an aesthetic, semantic, symbolic, stylish, technical and material-related character. The design pieces are generally developed and created through research, conceptual consideration, free sensual investigation, sketches, experiments, material testing, digital design tools, presentations, models and patterns.

In addition to the product‘s aesthetics, understandability, necessity and attractiveness, product designers are also expected to consider related issues, e.g. sensible production methods, energy efficiency and resource conservation, and offer possible solutions.

Electronic technologies, in particular, which are firmly anchored in product design and manufacturing, require cooperative working methods and individuals who can reach a compromise without diminishing the quality of the final product. Product distribution, media-driven marketing activities, integration of products in material cycles and consumer behaviour are all fundamental components of design. The field of design must also respond to problems that the academic concept of art fails to resolve.

This pragmatic focus requires students to search, reflect, experiment, discuss and collaborate.

Following the prescribed duration of study of eight semesters, students obtain the »Bachelor of Arts« degree, the first-level certificate of professional qualification.

Standard duration of programme Deadline for application Application
2 Semesters 31 March How to apply

The concept of sustainability describes the use of a regenerative system in such a way that its essential characteristics are preserved and it can replenish its resources naturally.

Consequently, in the master's degree programme »Product Design/ Sustainable Product Cultures«, the research focuses on expanding the relevant criteria of Product Design to include social, environmental and energetic influences on product culture, and on developing new solutions.

The potential of urgently needed energy-saving measures in our product culture exists at several levels:

  • The socio-political circumstances
  • The energy expenditures in the material and product cycles
  • The customers' and target group's usage behaviour

This approach does not merely entail replacing standards of our product culture with presumably environmentally friendly ones and searching for ways to reduce technical expense, but rather investigating the sense of product systems, their conditions of emergence, their cycles, and optimizing the total performance of these systems.

There are two levels to this evaluation of cost and benefit, both of which complement the other – on one hand, to produce more with less material and energy, and on the other, to sustainably change usage behaviour. The former is an established hallmark for sophisticated design and deserves to be critically and vigilantly developed further.

The latter is a task which design must embrace, because political appeals to moral obligation will only result in an environmentally relevant usage behaviour if, for example, energetically effective product reduction can free itself of the stigma of sacrifice and deprivation. Since qualitative values underlie various parameters in this evaluation, the development of a more energy-efficient design standard must not come at the expense of experimentation and diversity of design.

Design will only have a relevant future if designers continue to detach themselves from function, technology, the market, trends and advertising, and focus instead on confidently pursuing their own provocative positions. The prescribed period of study, which includes the completion of the master's thesis, is two semesters. Candidates may only enrol in this degree programme in the winter semester.