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Projects of the Design Lab

On this page we present various projects of the Design Lab.


Virtuelle Ringvorlesung Design

DURATION: 4/2020 – 2/2021

The “Virtuelle Ringvorlesung Design“ is an online lecture series on design, the first edition of which took place in the 2020 summer semester. Each semester there will be six lectures by different guest speakers on the subject of digital design and the creation of visual worlds, for example on photography and illustration, but also on social design and service design.

The project was initiated by Prof. Katja Becker, professor of media and interface design, from the Department of Computer Science and Communication at Westphalian University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen.


Urbane Xtopien (Urban Xtopias)

DURATION: 4/2020 – 4/2023

What are desirable scenarios of urban futures? How do we imagine the future? A research consortium develops and tests a tool that provides new perspectives on large-scale urban transformation. How can people be empowered to participate in the debate on how we want to, or do not want to, live in the city of the future? How can we encourage people to question the paths they have taken and to participate in the development and implementation of major urban transformation? In order to initiate a new, meaningful debate about the various possible futures, this research project is concerned with developing ‘Xtopias’ as innovative tools.

The project “Urban Xtopias – Open Spaces of the Future“ is funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung over a period of three years and is implemented by a research association that includes seven partners, among others the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Transition Town Eberwalde, and the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences. Together with the University of Kassel, the German Institute of Urban Affairs (Difu) manages the network.


Designing Academic Curricula for the Digital World

DURATION 10/2020 – 03/2023

How can issues of digital transformation be integrated into a higher education curriculum in the field of computer science? What defines contemporary teaching and learning, and which competencies, skills, methods and contents should be in the focus? Can project-based and research-based teaching and learning help to enable graduates to think in problem-solving patterns? Over the next two years, a project team at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences will develop a viable concept for „media informatics of the future“ as well as an implementation strategy. This includes the expansion or restructuring of both modules and course contents, which are to be taught in a more subject and context-related manner. A focus on research, visualisation and evaluation methods and the anchoring of interface competencies, such as creativity and critical thinking, are also part of this strategy.

The „Curriculum 4.0 NRW – Designing Academic Curricula for the Digital World“ funding project is financed by the NRW Ministry of Culture and Science in cooperation with the Stifterverband für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Innovation (Association for Education, Science and Innovation) and the Digital University NRW for a period of two years and will be developed in a team under the direction of Prof. Becker and Prof. Gerken.


International student project GIPE ("Global Intercultural Project Experience")

DURATION 2020 – 2023

GIPE is a DAAD-funded project that, from 2020-2023, will enable an international and intercultural project experience for students enrolled at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences (WH) and at the three partner universities in Namibia, Peru and Indonesia. In 2021, mixed teams from four countries developed and implemented five different projects for the Indonesian client Puspanita Eco-Spirit Center. In addition to the work on the actual projects, a Spring School took place, which focused on international exchange and intercultural cooperation.

In 2021, Prof. Katja Becker took over as project director of the international student project “Educational Game”; she also was the local coordinator of the German DAAD scholarship holders.

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