Product Design at HfG Karlsruhe focuses on the ever growing social need for contemporary design in private households, public space and the working environment. Therefore, this subject deals with the socio-cultural change in a unique way. Along with the classic design for serial production, product designers are expected more and more to work conceptually, consider and critically reflect on the diverse conditions of our industrial culture.

From the very beginning of the degree program, the key focuses have been to offer interdisciplinary training and realistic project work. In the context of this particular degree program, intuitive and emotional access to the task at hand is encouraged and supported along with teaching the basics. To ensure a strong foundation in the subject matter, projects are designed to offer students new perspectives on the subject, new forms of presentation, and resource management skills.

Since 2009, during major events such as the Milan Furniture Fair, the Department of Product Design has been presenting its own product line called kkaarrlls. Their products include furniture, lamps, carpets and home accessories. The products with the best design are then put on the global market and presented to potential clients.

Course website

Simon Diener: "Brittle Objects"

What would products look like that are derived from a design practice that from the beginning bears in mind their later deconstruction in order to win back precious raw materials?

Components in lamps that both visually and physically can simply be separated are extinct with the conventional light bulb.
Analogous to the decomposition of a such, in which a single shock is enough to expose the different materials, the decomposition of "brittle objects" is suggested: In the recycling plant "Brittle's" ceramic parts break and release the conductive grid structure as well as the various other electronic components, which then can be sorted out with the help of overflow magnet, etc.
For this purpose, the dimensioning and design of the electrical components require special attention of the designer, where, according to common understanding, purchased parts only need to be "accommodated". The electronic components are thought of as a lattice structure similar to reinforced concrete. The use of a board is therefore not necessary. The ceramic tiles hold the components in place and and in some ways even interact with them. Hereby the number of required materials can be reduced and it makes it possible to maintain a high quality of materials to be recovered.

Tutor: Prof. Mario Minale, Hansjerg Maier-Aichen

Shanmei Yao: "Versatile Vagabond"

Versatile Vagabond is concept and food for thought for rational travelling.
It's a multifunctional / modular set of clothing for a shorter journey without and to avoid luggage to be checked in. The storage space for lighter luggage, clothing and laundry is distributed over the body by several pockets. The garment offers various combinations and is a modular and experimental system.

Lightness was a central issue when choosing materials, colors and ingredients. Avoiding dead weight plays a big role. Moving weight costs energy. Energy should be saved. The luxury of travelling flexibly to distant destinations nowadays, and in particular flying there, can obviously have a negative impact on environmental pollution and CO2 emissions.

Priorital starting point for the design process was the need for lighter travel:
What do I need on my journey? What is really necessary? What can and do I want to wear? What is the function of the single garment? Which combination options do I have?

Tutor: Prof. Mario Minale / Prof. Volker Albus

Layered Transparency | Displayed Opacity

Diploma by Anne-Sophie Oberkrome

The installation "Layered Transparency | Displayed Opacity" explores a changing perception due to an increasing penetration of analogous, haptic phenomena with virtual and digital offerings in design, presentation and interaction with the objects.
In a total of 4 stations, glass and its source material sand explore the relationship between the real and the virtual world.

  1. The analogue object in analogue space
  2. The analogue object in digital space
  3. The digital object in digital space
  4. The digital object in analogue space

During this process, the initially analogue object goes through various stages of metamorphosis and thus documents the potential influence of the respective form of presentation on itself, the object: from analogue to analogue, to digital to digital, to digital to analogue.

The object shown in each station is a vase. It can tell the stories between analogue and digital. As a thing from everyday life, its function stands between decoration and purpose. Painted vases serve as three-dimensional images for the preservation of the past. Textures, inscriptions and drawings painted on the surface tell of the story in which the object was once embedded.

The material glass forms a bridge and acts as the ultimate boundary between the real and the virtual world, between us and the object. Therefore it is used as material in every form of presentation for staging. A layer that lies before things.

BBQ Workshop

How do you turn scrap metal, wood scraps, ropes and cardboard tubes into a joint celebration?
Under the guidance of students of the department of product design of the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, the students of the first semester are introduced to the workshop and create all tools and utensils to organize a BBQ for the whole department! Cups and plates are formed out of clay, scrap metal is combined into eating and BBQ utensils and other parts are put together to form a grill on which meat and vegetables can be prepared. The loose collection of materials becomes stools or benches on which everyone gathers around a fireplace outside the HfG and starts the semester together.

Tutor: Oliver-Selim Boualam, Christoph Hauf and Florian Knöbl together with Chris Kabel and the workshop team


Academic Assistants

Student & Final Projects 2017/18

Student & Final Projects 2016/17