Malte Wagenfeld is Senior lecturer in Industrial Design at RMIT; he is a design practitioner, academic, artist, curator and researcher. As an industrial design practitioner, Malte has extensive experience in the design of furniture, appliances, objects and interiors with a specialisation in low volume manufacturing and prototyping. The designs resulting from this have been internationally distributed, exhibited and published.
Malte recently completed a PhD entitled ‘Aesthetics of Air’; a phenomenological investigation into sensual and perceptual atmospheric encounters (sound, light, air, breezes, smells, humidity and temperature) and how ‘re-contextualising’ these can lead to a new design typology of air for interior spaces. The projects, experiments and installations that resulted from this research have been widely exhibited and published. This research has seen a conceptual shift away from the material – object-based design – towards the immaterial, the design of experiences, atmospheres and environments; whereas someone might focus on the object that produces light or moves air, Malte is more interested in designing the qualities of light and air.
As a senior lecturer in design his focus encompasses the design of experiences, environments, sensory design and the role objects, systems and services [things that have been designed – material or immaterial], play in shaping – on a micro level – our daily experiences and – on a macro level – our relationship to the world, and in turn how we [as designers and society] come to shape such objects as a result of our understanding of the world; the intricate and intertwined correlation between design, culture, society, human endeavour and desire. Examples of student work include projects that explored re-shaping, enhancing or playing with peoples understanding or experience of the world through a design that generates a certain experience, atmosphere, encourages behaviour change or alters habits. Final outcomes range from installations and experimental objects or experiences to entirely ‘practical’ products, systems and services that are ‘market ready’.
- ‘The Dynamics of Sensual Atmospheres.’ Book Chapter in Designing the Dynamic: High-Performance Sailing and Real-Time Feedback in Design. Ed Jane Bury, Melbourne Books, Melbourne 2013.
- ‘The Porous-City; Atmospheric Conversations of the Urban | Interior’. Book chapter in Urban Interior: Informal explorations, interventions and occupations. Ed. R. Hinkel, Spurbuchverlag, Germany, 2011.
- ‘Atmosphere and Attrition; designing for material attrition and social transformation’, Wagenfeld Malte, Barnaby Bennett, Bury Mark, ConnectED 2010. UNSW, Sydney 2010.
- ‘The Aesthetics of Air: Experiments in Visualising the Invisible’. Book chapter in ‘Architectural Design: Interior Atmospheres’, Ed. H. Castle and J. Preston. London, John Wiley & Sons 2009.
- ‘The Phenomenology of Air’, Architecture and Phenomenology: Second International Conference. Kyoto Japan 2009.
- 3G+ Conceptual Mobile Communication’ (Book Chapter), in Invention Intervention, Ed Mick Douglas, RMIT Press 2004.
- ‘Atmospheric Structure’, in White Soup & Weighty Air, JAUS, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2013.
- ‘Night Window’ in Cloudy Sensoria, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Bundoora, Victoria Australia, 2012.
- ‘Aesthetics of Air’, solo exhibition, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, 2011.
- ‘Making Scents of High Tea’. In High Tea, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Bundoora, Victoria Australia, 2010 -2011.
- ‘Urban Interior Occupation; Berlin, Brighton, Melbourne’. Melbourne, Guildford Lane Gallery 2009.
- ‘Visualising Air Phase 1; body, air, place and space’, in Urban Interior Occupation, Craft Victoria Gallery Melbourne 2008.
- ‘Visualising Air Phase 2; air, habitation and space’, in Urban Interior Occupation, Craft Victoria Gallery Melbourne 2008.
- ‘Crafty Smells: Outside-in Smells’. In Urban Interior Occupation. Craft Victoria Gallery Melbourne 2008.
- Crafty Smells: The smell of Craft and Crafting Practice. Urban Interior Occupation. Craft Victoria Gallery Melbourne 2008.
- ‘Tyranny of Distance’, in Tokyo Designers Block Japan and Seoul Design Festival, Korea, 2004.
- ‘Cubus’, in 40°, Designmai, Berlin, 2004.
- ‘Skip’, in 100% Design London, 2004.