Design Werkstatt — Berlin 2013

Unfortunately not all of you were able to participate in the workshop or attend to the lectures. For everyone that would have liked to visit us in Berlin, but couldn’t, here is a short summary of what happened.

August 2012, Berlin. We took the chance that our studio mates of our Berlin office were on summer vacation to do the workshop there. It is an old shop with lots of natural light in Kreuzberg, where both, lectures and workshop could take place. Imagine a big white room with two floors, fresh coffee and tea, fruit and sweets. Through the window shined sunlight. Summer in Berlin. The streets were filled with people enjoying the weather. Perfect conditions for the first DW event.

Nevertheless we were pretty nervous on the day before. We were working on DW during the past several years and now we were about to see if it would work or not. DW can’t be compared with any school we taught at before. It is an experiment based on many years of experience in teaching and directing postgraduate degrees.

Having made few advertisement and haven’t organized DW before, we were actually very surprised about the immediate good response to our offer. At the end we had an amazing group of professional designers coming from Denmark, Austria, Spain, Canada and naturally different parts of Germany.

Day by Day

On the first day I gave a three hours introduction to visual systems in typography and graphic design. I talked about the different functions they had in history, showed many examples of different systems and gave recommendations for books.

On the next day we started to analyze visual identities that used flexible visual systems. After having understood how they worked we experimented with new applications. On the day after the results were presented to the group. This work procedure was repeated for different kinds of flexible visual systems. Some focused on type design, some on color, composition, grids or production methods. Like that we became to see lots and lots of analyzes of different graphic design projects. The final assignment was to design your own flexible visual identity and which is the fun part, let it apply by one of the participants of the workshop.
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We were extremely happy with our participants Christina, Brigitte, Mario, Bo, Sarah, Janos, Ann, Adam, Ekhiñe and Peter. Their energy, thirst for knowledge and good mood made the experience unique and give us the energy to keep on working on DW. We are actually right now planning the next event. We can’t say much yet, just so much. We will most likely do workshops in Hamburg (Germany), Berlin (Germany), Kiel (Germany), Stavanger (Norway), Amman (Jordan), Barcelona (Spain) and Århus (Denmark).

What we learned from the first DW event and want to improve in the future is the diversity of offers. For some they need to be shorter and intense workshops, for others longer and less intense. Everybody, no matter in which life and work situation he or she is, should get the chance to keep on learning in a favorable learning environment. It’s our challenge to make that possible.

We say goodbye until our next post and leave you with quotes of some of our DW workshop participants:

“I really liked your approach to start with interesting examples, to analyze and learn from them.” Sarah

“My interest in systems has increased immensely, not just on a visual level. It is kind of hard to explain. It makes me feel safe.” Peter

“The workshop was a great experience. Getting new helpful tools and being presented with a wide selection of case studies gave a good insight to what extend the system have and can be implemented.” Bo

“I was thrilled by your workshop. I’ve felt very comfortable and learned a lot.” Ann

“I had a real great time in Berlin! A DW class reunion, with new workshop every year would be great!” Christina
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DW Feierabendlectures

On wednesdays and fridays we had local design studios coming over at night for lectures, the infamous DW Feierabendbierlectures. We heard inspiring talks by Sebastian Bissinger and Laure Boer of Bank, Hannes Hoepfner, Clemens Behr, Julio Rölle and Sebastian Bagge of 44flavours, Mate Steinforth of Sehsucht, Till Wiedeck of HelloMe, Annette Stahmer of fliegendeTeilchen and Serge Rompza of Node.
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