BA/MA Textile and Surface Design
The Textile and Surface Design course is divided into a four-year bachelor’s program and a one-year master’s program. The object of the study program is the design of surfaces in all their manifold manifestations.
Textile and Surface Design has always been concerned both with the constructive and technical side of materials as well as with their aesthetic, sensual qualities. The expanding spectrum of new materials and their potential for innovative applications is increasingly influencing this field of study.
Through the incorporation of current technological, cultural and socio-economic issues, a broad field of references is established, which transcends the classic notion of textile design. Instead it combines the traditional competencies of the subject with other disciplines to tackle contemporary issues and create innovative design solutions. Thus, taking into account latest developments, textile is considered one of the key technologies of the future. The design of surfaces and the integration of specific functions into textiles has taken on great importance through new technologies, and will broaden the future of this professional field significantly. Within this context, the social perspective, questions of style and trends, aspects of sustainability, economics, and aesthetic play a central role, being addressed throughout the course of the studies.
The bachelor’s program starts with a one-year interdisciplinary foundation course, attended by students across all departments. During the following three years, the focus is on textile and surface design in all its different contexts, including the body, interior and exterior space, as well as design of product surfaces or interfaces. In parallel to the development of conceptual design thinking skills, students engage with both traditional and innovative technical possibilities in the design of textile and non-textile materials, surfaces and membrane structures. An examination of related disciplines, such as fashion, product design, architecture, media, and the visual arts also plays a major role on the course. Social factors are likewise taken into consideration: within what context the creative work is being produced; how do color, materials and fabrics relate to contemporary lifestyles and trends; and how must economic, ecological, technological and global viewpoints be taken into consideration in the work of design. The surface opens connections to many different fields of application, out of which new competencies and spheres of creative action can develop. Conception and design are central components of the course. In addition, comprehensive scientific and creative methods and skills are conveyed. An approach to design that combines pragmatic professionalism, critical thinking, trans-disciplinary exchange and aesthetic autonomy is encouraged.
Cooperations and research projects with partners from external research institutes and the industry ensure a high standard professional practice education, tackling crucial contemporary issues. With the research focus on “Functional Surfaces within an Architectural Context” and “Sensory Soft Interfaces within the Context of Body, Space, Object,” the Textile and Surface Design Department aims to anchor scientific and experimental material research within the context of design at the weißensee academy of art berlin on a long term basis. Interdisciplinary cooperations with a variety of partners from the fields of technology, business, and research enables the realization of visionary concepts in terms of design and aesthetics.
The master’s program “Material“ or „Style”, which builds on the bachelor’s program, offers students the opportunity to choose between two focal areas: „Material“ offering experimental or applied material research in the field of surface and textile design or „Style“ dealing with central stylistic aspects of design.
The master’s program with a focus on „Material“ explores and challenges materials-based creative design practices from contemporary technological, cultural and aesthetic perspectives. On the other hand the master study course with a focus on „Style“ integrates a precise awareness of contemporary cultural trends into the design process and situates the work itself within the stimulating domain of personal identity and social processes.
Throughout the master program the student continues to systematically develop his / her own identity as a designer – both conceptually and practically – and implements that identity in a socially relevant, future-oriented practice-based master project.
Especially for master students, the very virulent research activities of the Textile and Surface Design Department offer valuable practice-orientated possibilities for research, knowledge acquisition and professional qualifications. Department is an active member of research platforms: „greenlab – Laboratory for Sustainable Design Strategies“, „eLab- Laboratory for Interactive Technologies“ and „ smart3 - materials, solutions, growth“ - a research consortium funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research ( BMBF ) - for the development of new, innovative products on the basis of smart materials. Through interdisciplinary cooperations with different external technological, academic and economic partners, a realistic implementation of visionary, challenging design concepts is enabled.