Consumption and Sustainability


Sustainability is not a new challenge for design tasks. For example, 50 years ago, the German beverage industry agreed on a standard bottle to make the handling of returnable packaging more economical. The pearl bottle selected by Kupetz at that time is now a trademark of German industrial design and stands for a successful model of a sustainable industry solution. Nevertheless, the fountain unit bottle is now being replaced by PET and branded bottles. Who or what is more sustainable is difficult to judge. What is certain is that the consumption of water from bottles has increased enormously, even though this drink also comes directly from the tap into the kitchen.

In interdisciplinary teaching, I would like to encourage reflection and discussion on how the claim of sustainability can be confronted in the different contexts and working methods of our department. What criteria, what standards and what visions do we have? A historical and sociological introduction to the topic provides the basis and orientation for an analysis of design tasks in the future. In practical projects, we can practice the implementation on current tasks of the economy or from the public sector.



All disciplines of the Design Department have a link to the field of exhibition, cultural heritage and museum, whether in spatial or virtual scenography, in museum and event communication or in conservation, restoration and new construction. As preparation for team solutions and for the independent processing of subtasks, it is helpful to become fundamentally familiar with the institution of the museum. Different demands and conventions compete with each other, mostly culturally and nationally influenced, often unspoken. Sometimes, discussions about museums ignite a wider social debate, as is currently the case with the Humboldt Forum in Berlin: How can we decolonise our cultural houses?
I myself have learnt as a speaker in cultural-historical exhibitions and as an assistant curator from A = loan to N = nuit blanche to Z = zinc bite. As a historian, I deal with the ethical, scientific and practical challenges of object handling, digitalisation and staging.

Interdisciplinary Courses in Winter Semester 19/20

Museum, Past and Future.

Course BA Elective in the Polymodule
Seminar: 2 SWS + consolidation 1 SWS
Appointment: Monday 14:00-16:15
Location: Room 103, Paulusplatz 4 (Building S), Campus Design Trier

From architecture and scenography to social media advertising, the designers are formative for the experience of exhibitions and museum spaces. Today, the design industry is in great demand in the broadly diversified exhibition sector, from the design of short-lived installations to the valorisation in the conservational environment of cultural heritage and memorials. Individual new projects - such as the Humboldtforum in Berlin at present - are attracting a great deal of political attention, while classics - such as the Louvre in Paris - are almost suffocating on success. In this course we will develop the basics of the museum as a cultural and social institution, as a material repository and virtual hub. We look at the development towards today's standards of international associations and compare this with our experience as museum visitors at home and abroad.
The interdisciplinary course enables us to bring together areas and problems of museology from all disciplines. Student tasks can be solved either in an interdisciplinary team or in a subject-specific way.


Consumption and Sustainability

Course MA optional in the polymodule
Seminar: 2 SWS & 1 SWS Specialisation

Date: Monday 10-12:15
Room: Room Threuter, Irminenhof, Campus Gestaltung Trier


Warum habe ich nicht meinen alten Morgenmantel behalten? Er passte zu mir, ich passte zu ihm. Er schmiegte sich jeder Wendung meines Körpers an; er hat mich nie gestört…“ 
("Why didn't I keep my old robe? It suited me, I suited him. "He clung to every turn of my body; he never bothered me..." )
With a new, scarlet dressing gown, domestic life gets out of balance instead. The loungewear may be chic, but the home furnishings suddenly look shabby and have to be renewed piece by piece. 250 years ago, the philosopher Denis Diderot lamented the pleasure and suffering of consumption. His story is very vivid and only half invented. Unfortunately, it does not tell us a solution to the still current problem of how the new - whether beautiful or useful - can be compatible with our desire to protect the material resources of our world.

In this seminar, we will look at sustainability as a social concern and look at examples of how design and architecture can incorporate this challenge into design and implementation. It is about the different points of attack of sustainable design, binding standards and new approaches in a confusing market area. Students from all disciplines in the Department of Design are invited to attend this course to learn about the basics of consumption and sustainability, to clarify common questions and to contribute through group work and keynote speeches from their disciplines.

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