The working world of communication designers is changing faster today than in the past: classic fields of work are disappearing, new fields of work are emerging. Consequently, new demands are being placed on design training. We are also currently dealing with the further development and reorientation of communication design teaching at the Münchberg campus in order to prepare students for a variety of problems and lifelong learning.
Excursions to agencies, companies and production sites expand the content of practice-oriented teaching. Students learn how various design disciplines - graphic design, information design, user experience, editorial, animation, and interaction - are applied in the workplace. In recent years, we have visited art+com, betahaus Berlin, Infographics Group, Fablab Berlin, FontShop, think moto and Gestalten Verlag, for example. This is where the first contacts for the internship semester are made.
In the fourth and sixth semesters, the focus is on cooperation projects with museums, civil society organizations or industry. In recent years, we have collaborated with the Richard Wagner Museum, the Iwalewahaus, the art museum in Bayreuth as well as with the Theater Hof and the Hof Symphony Orchestra, with Siemens Healthineers, Zeiss Meditec, Meinel Bräu and Bleed Clothing. These projects result in research projects and jobs for our students.
From March to July 2022, students used Lindenstr. 11 in Münchberg as an open "urban space" - a jointly organized space that enabled encounters, generated cohesion and thus enriched life in the city. Upon request, the city of Münchberg made a store available for trustful use for the duration of one semester within the framework of the funding program "Leerstand beleben" ("Revitalize vacant spaces").
In the summer semester of 2021, students from the 4th and 6th semesters developed and presented their concepts, designs and prototypes for a planned forest experience center in Mehlmeisel in the Fichtel Mountains. This is a cooperative project between Hof University of Applied Sciences and the Bayreuth - Münchberg Office for Food, Agriculture and Forestry as well as the Bavarian Forestry Administration.
As part of the EFRE WiMiT project Economy 4.0 in SMEs, a team of our students researched the possibilities and challenges of robots for conveying information in museums. At the Information Center for Rye Culture, a series of interaction scenarios and user experience methods were carried out with the humanoid robot Pepper from Softbank Robotics.
Pepper is now being used to introduce the exhibition and explain different types of grains.
In cooperation with the Brose Group's Future Workshop in Bamberg, Prof. Michael Zöllner and students worked on the topic "Future Micromobility". The objective was to improve the user experience of last-mile mobility with e-scooters and to develop solutions for urban areas and small towns.
The students analyzed the current, urban situation of e-scooters in Munich, tested and evaluated all scooter providers in terms of hardware, logistics and digital services. The findings were transferred into concepts with a focus on UX, interaction and information design and functional prototypes.
Symotiv is a design-oriented research project that deals with bringing the classical orchestra into digital representations. Many of the aspects that orchestral music involves are shown and explained with new means. The basis for the project is the cooperation of the Hof Symphonic Orchestra with the research group Interactiondesign Hof University Campus Münchberg.
For the exhibition One for All(s) (11.07. - 28.11.2021) about the engineer and architect of the baroque Maximilian von Welsch in the Fürstenbau of the Rosenberg Fortress, Prof. Michael Zöllner's team developed a series of explanatory and informative apps.
On the occasion of the university's 25th anniversary, the students designed an exhibition that presented an inventory and reflection as well as a picture of the university's future.
"All the world's a stage." This phrase by William Shakespeare, which has become a commonplace, set the thematic framework for the students' collaborative project with the Richard Wagner Museum Bayreuth. The museum took the reopening of the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth as an opportunity to question the concept of world theater in the summer exhibition and commissioned the young designers with the entire exhibition design.
At JuniorLab Berlin, girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 14 playfully learn about the creative possibilities of hardware and software. For one week, they build superheroes, compose favorite songs on self-made instruments and design intelligent clothing. During the Easter and fall vacations, the participants of the workshops learn about terms of digitalization such as Arduino, creative coding, soldering, 3D printing or wearables. Terms that our students also encounter in the course of their media design studies.
Students from the media design program are regular mentors in the Juniorlab and impart knowledge that they have learned themselves during their studies.
"Students from our university's media design department were also involved in the 35th Bavarian Theater Days in Hof. In the seminar "Editorial" with Prof. Claudia Siegel, the students designed the visual appearance of the Bavarian Theater Days, which could be seen everywhere in the Hof cityscape at the beginning of May. Flags and posters called for a "change of shift" with decisive gestures and significant red.
The motto of the theater days initiated a political discussion about the change of work and power relations, about individual life plans and social values. In addition, students in the "Interaction and Information Design" seminars taught by Prof. Michael Zöllner experimented with projections, intelligent automata, virtual reality, and designed classic information graphics that explain the creation, organization, and financing of a stage play in the theater."
- Excerpt from the campus magazine "CamPuls", March 2017
Due to its approx. 130 sqm area and a room height of about 6 m, the studio offers almost unlimited possibilities for shootings, setups and installations. For photography and film, there are two permanently installed background systems, a variety of powerful flash heads for combining all conceivable forms of light.
The size of the room here allows us to make digital recordings, 3D scans and interactive room installations. Large-format setups in the area of design in space and exhibition design are created here in original size.
A table tennis table invites to movement and communication.
A design process can also be advanced starting from the medium and material - by trying it out. In the paper workshop, possibilities of realization can be explored and the implementation of prototypes and presentations can be realized. In the book binding workshops, students acquire craft skills, learn technical terms and sharpen their assessment skills.
The typography workshop has a Risograph EZ 570. Small print runs can be produced quickly and cost-effectively. The principle of impositioning printed sheets is taught in a practical way. The Riso is ideal for demonstrating and testing color mixtures, color separations and image screening. The color saturated and imperfect print image is what makes it so appealing: It is used with sustained enthusiasm by students, stimulating experimentation and inviting them to publish their own attitudes.
In the age of digitalization, it is important to always work quickly with the latest technologies. To this end, our interaction lab provides a wide range of technical tools on which not only learning takes place, but also experimentation and research. From robots, 360° cameras and conductive ink to VR goggles and MultiTouch Tables to film plotters and 3D printers. And new tools are constantly coming onto the market and thus into our lab.
Together with the textile design program, we operate a laser cutter. Here, as with 3D printing, it goes from the rapid production of ideas and designs in paper, cardboard, wood, textiles and acrylic to research with material and virtuality.
From the idea to real prototyping within a few hours. With our CNC milling machine (DIN A1), three 3D printers (Ultimaker) and laser cutter (Zing), this is a matter of course in our seminars. We already teach our students the basics for this in their basic studies.
The exhibition at the end of each semester requires the completion of semester projects and bachelor's theses by a set date. Students work for weeks toward this sensitive deadline. By showing and viewing, students learn from and with each other. The works demonstrate conceptual and design exploration in the disciplines of editorial, digital storytelling, and interaction and information design.