Institute for Design Exchange (IDEe)

IDEe staff members also active in teaching programme Design History and Theory

  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemp
  • Lecturer Matthias Wagner K
  • Lecturer Dr. Thilo Schwer
  • Dipl.-Des. Pia Scharf, doctoral candidate and academic assistant

The term ‘design’ is now commonplace in numerous contexts. Surprisingly, despite its widespread usage, knowledge about the related content has diminished. Nowadays, design reveals itself in scores of different media - visually, materially, verbally, but also in processes and services. Due to this vast array, greater professionalisation is needed for the provision of content, design approaches and formal features. This is the only way to make informed discourses possible between those directly involved in the design process and a broad public; beyond tasteless and shallow assessments. For this, Klaus Klemp intends contributing though research and facilitation, via the institute that he founded in the spring of 2017.

The institute is based on the idea of a socially, culturally, economically and ecologically responsible design of real human living environments and their communication processes. Here there is a need for compulsory links between universities, designers, engineers, technicians, entrepreneurs, institutions and users.

It is to be seen as an action- and practice-oriented research institute that actively contributes to improving the quality of tangible objects surrounding people as well as their significances and relationships from an understanding of historical and current product developments. Here design, drafting, production and consumption processes are reflected upon from a social, cultural, economic and political context. Within this framework, the IDEe strives for close networking and an intensive exchange with other institutions.

The aim of the institute's work is the promotion and interaction of design culture, which places people, their exchanges and their needs at the centre of the examination. This requires an overarching process of intermediation. Its main aim is therefore the research and promotion of the quality of communication, participation and interaction between all those involved in design, production and use process via appropriate measures by the institute.

Of importance to the institute is the promotion of young talent in design professions. To this end, suitable strategies and approaches are being developed to improve the education and knowledge of design students and young professionals. This also includes increasing the quality of teaching programmes through lectures by external speakers, workshops and journalistic activity.

The Institute of Design Exchange is primarily active in the following areas:

Research on the history and theory of design, on design processes, on design strategies and design methodologies, on the innovative use of media and, in particular, museum-like intermediation strategies.

The institute actively supports all forms of design education within the framework of the institute's objectives. This is especially the case through the support and promotion of current courses of study in the areas of ​​design curation and design criticism as well as the development of novel intermediation strategies.

Own projects are initiated or carried out on the following topics: basic knowledge of user-oriented product fields and systems, development and support of sustainable design processes. Further regarding design intermediation: the development and treatment of design-historical, contemporary and possible future topics, new formats for exhibitions, publications and other kinds of communication as well as novel interactive and participatory processes.

A close cooperation exist between the Institute and the Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt a.M. The director of IDEe is the co-editor of “Bibliothek für Designer” (a book series for designers) by avedition Stuttgart and has many years of experience as exhibition curator and author of design themes.