Lecturers: Dr Malte Wagenfeld (RMIT) & Prof Wolfgang Laubersheimer (KISD).

Partner: KISD (TU Koln)

This is a ‘Global Intensive’ exchange studio between RMIT and KISD, Cologne Germany. The studio will include two intensive mode sessions, in mid March KISD students will spend 2 weeks at RMIT, and then in early June RMIT students (you) will be in Cologne (Köln) for the final 2 week intensive. The studio will conclude on Friday 15th June, following this you will have the opportunity to travel until the start of semester 2: 16 July 2018. 

This studio will simulate a design factory, RMIT and KISD students will work collaboratively as one team producing a product range – furniture and objects – in a very short timeframe that will then be sold for profit at the end of the studio in a pop-up shop in Cologne Germany. You will work as one team scoping out the overall brand concept, and then in smaller groups developing designs that fit this larger concept.

The studio will have two key research and learning outcomes, the first considers how to generate and produce ‘high design’ – objects with a high level of social / cultural currency – products which challenge current perceptions and thinking; is designing and making objects even still relevant? This is to be a provocation, precedents include Arts & Crafts movement, Memphis / Italian Anti Design movement / Ron Arad One Off Shop / Pentagram / Droog. All these sought to challenge and question the status-quo and intended to drive a cultural, social and economic shift. You will investigate and interrogate these and other precedents.

But these precedents all had another key thing in common, they were not intended as gallery objects – even though many have ended up there – but as products to be sold.  This forms the second focus: how to use design methods, thinking and experimentation to develop an entirely new design and manufacturing enterprise and then to market and sell the product.

We will form and register a company, if successful – if people buy the product at the pop-up shop – then you can fund (at least in part) your travel costs.




Critical Information

Key Dates:

19 – 29 March:  KISD students in Melbourne

04 – 15 June: RMIT students @ KISD in Cologne Germany

Theme: Design Factory; enterprise formation, furniture & object focus; from conception to market.

Extra trave time: At the end of the studio – 15th June – you will have about 4 weeks of free travel time

Expenses: There will be expenses associated with this studio

International Flights: allow for between $900 – 1500 for your flight to Germany (depending on how picky you are), you can fly to Frankfurt and then take the ICE train (45min) or you can fly direct to Cologne/Bonn or Dusseldorf airport.

Accommodation: we have run this studio for the past 2 year, we ask RMIT students to house KISD students and visa versa; so in this case accommodation is free, if however you want a hotel room or your own B&B, expect anywhere between $30 – $100 per night for about 15 nights. For example a 1 room B&B is about $55 per night, if you share it will be less.

Living Expenses: food drink and everything is much cheaper in Germany then Melbourne: especially beer! A coffee at KISD is about $0.75, a bottle of beer is $1.50.

Financial Help: Local RMIT students can get a OS-HELP loan for up to $6,500 which will form part of your HECS loan.




Image 1:                      Memphis Group portrait on Masanori Umeda’s Tawaraya Bed 1981


Image 2:                      Schlicht 2016_Steambending at Thonet Factory Germany


Image 3:                      Ron Arad One Off Shop, London 1984