Design Investigations is a design course at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. It’s for the curious and the critically engaged. It’s for people who want to face the complexities and uncertainties of our world head-on. It’s for the responsible radicals who want to challenge and change the world around them. It’s a place where people come together to design tools, experiences, stories and provocations that help to create a more hopeful and humane future for us all.

AIME

Existing modes of consciousness have failed to find answers and people are living in a constant state of disconnect – from nature and other humans. How can artificial intelligence solve these problems for you? . AIME is the first AI enabled wellness device that presents you with the opportunity to deeply explore and expand your

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A.I. Snake Oil

With AI comes AI SNAKE OIL, the technologically advanced products and services that lead us to believe that the impossible is now possible. . This summer semester brief is all about AI SNAKE OIL, which we kicked off just before the COVID crisis. Students are working in teams and individually to research, investigate, code, experiment,

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A.I. Snake Oil Trade Show Microsite

Our AI Snake oil Trade Show is launching at the Angewandte Festival! Our proposals span fashion, well-being, music and science. Don’t be shy, come on try! https://aisnakeoil.designinvestigations.at/

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Distance Learning during the Corona Crisis

In light of the COVID 19 situation in Austria, and the closure of the Angewandte buildings, the Design Investigations department will continue in ‘distance learning’ mode. The teachers and students are working on the semester brief and diploma projects through virtual tutorials, blogs and online lectures until further notice. Please do write to us if

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IDEO’s Max Lackner talks about his experience at our studio.

Where do you work now, what do you do? What is the nature of your work? I am a Visual Interaction Designer working in San Francisco for the design consultant agency IDEO. IDEO is famous for their human-centered design approach and design thinking methods. My task as a Visual Interaction Designer is finding new ways

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A.I. Oracle

Why Of All Things is a service that aims to assist with answering complex questions based on divination techniques and methods of Artificial Intelligence research. . Contrary to popular belief, both divination and A.I. can be viewed as Information technology, helping externalize thoughts and approaching complex topics from new angles. Several traditions of fortune telling

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The Studio As A Farm

For the 2019-2020 Winter Semester, we converted our Studio into a Farm. We are tackling the brief ‘Hungry Ghosts’ and to understand all aspects of food production, we are using various different techniques: from permaculture to acquaponics to grow food in the studio. We also have mushrooms and mealworms, and even chicken!

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Audiomat

The Audiomat is an AI-driven radio that autonomously broadcasts its own algorithmically generated music, news and stories. . Audiomat offers our listeners three unique channels which can be switched by using the simple dial on the radio. Dial into the Breaking News Channel for the latest news, generated by cross-checking and verifying numerous authentic sources,

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Deep Dive

Contemporary knowledge is faceted, iridescent and omnipresent. It inhabits a fluid shared space, containing and diffracting countless truths of different weight. The way knowledge is steered constitutes our world, what is a fact and a reality. . Deep Dive is a documentary project telling a story of several deep sea species inhabiting the depth of

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Boat Building

To start of the 2018-2019 Winter Semester, we split the class in two teams and build two identical boats out of wood, fabric and a bit of varnish. After every students planned the boat in CAD, the cross sections where cut out with the jigsaw in order to be connected by wooden slats. After the

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Dorian Great

As humans, we are constantly striving to become better. However, we also need encouragement, support and guidance in our individual journeys towards self-improvement. But how do we choose what is best for us, when we are bombarded by thousands of poorly qualified self-improvement coaches selling their wares in a busy market?. . Rather than relying

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Hungry Ghosts: Food in the Age of the Anthropocene

For the winter semester 2019 at Design Investigations, we are using the lens of FOOD, to explore, investigate, prototype and propose new, alternate, even radical ways in which we will mitigate, and adapt to the rapidly unfolding climate crisis.

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SoftWear — Prêt-à-Montrer

SoftWear is the world’s first AI generated digital fashion collection that you can wear as a series of instagram filters. Our unique collection is generated by a bespoke AI, who researches latest trends in the fashion industry from millions of reliable data sources. It then creates hybridised fashion by blending global trends with the marvels

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‘Alsergrund on Display’ wins the Stadtarbeit Prize

Congratulations to our students Lucy Li and Stephanie Kneissl for winning the Stadtarbeit Prize at the Vienna Design Week for their project ‘Alsergrund on Display’. Building on the studio democracy brief ‘Active Citizenry’, Lucy and Stephanie spent the summer creating the tools for their new citizen museum.

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Pillow Talk

‘Pillow Talk – Technology for Awkward Questions’ are four devices to encourage conversations about Sex Education. We are very bad at talking about sex. Technology and sex are already incredibly connected, we rather google our most intimate private questions and concerns than talk to family and friends. Sex education is important because it is fundamentally

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Long Interview with our Professor Anab Jain

Recently, the Dutch National Newspaper, De Volkskrant, published a long interview with our Professor Anab Jain about speculative design, colonial histories and long term futures, technological visions and critical thinking in their weekend edition.

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Political Atmosphere

“Political Atmosphere” amplifies the invisible connections between flight turbulence, climate change and war. . Even though several research papers observe a strong correlation between climate change and conflict, scientists are still unable to explain the underlying mechanisms. As the complexity of this relationship is impossible to quantify, the installation captures this understanding in a more

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Our New Book: After Abundance

We are thrilled to launch our new book, ‘AFTER ABUNDANCE: A SPECULATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ALPS’, published by Birhauser Books. Edited by our Professor Anab Jain and curator Thomas Geisler, ‘After Abundance’ is the culmination of our project originally presented as Austria’s official entry to the London Design Biennale 2018.

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The Farmers Odyssey

“The Farmers Odyssey” is a shadow play about obstacles Austrian farmers have to face in our current food cycle. The protagonist is a regular carrot farmer, who wakes up in a dream as that vegetable himself. On the odyssey of the carrot to the supermarket, the farmer encounters creatures, each representing one of the problems

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DODO at the Global Grad Show

Our graduate Ege Kökel was invited to the Global Grad Show as part of Dubai Design Week this year! She showed her project DODO IN THE ROOM that investigates the de-extinction of animals.

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Overcoming Disgust

Although it would have environmental advantages, many people find the thought of eating insects repulsive. To move insect food in a familiar environment, the cliche-heavy show-cooking experience ‘La Nourriture du Futur’ was invented. The chef creates a show for the customers and prepares seven different meals – all containing insects – on a custom-made cooking

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Guest Lecture by Fiona Raby

Today we welcomed back our former professor Fiona Raby to deliver a guest lecture. She gave a talk in which she outlined her critical practice by showing four projects by her studio Dunne & Raby. The care that goes into the design of their objects and spaces was important for the students to see, and

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Eating Death

This project showcases a ritualistic tasting experience of potent botanical and fungal toxins and seeks to confront our own mortality with the powers of nature. Asking why we strive for immortality and reminding us that nothing will last forever, the ritual marks a moment of reflection in one´s life and explores new ecological more-than-human relationships.

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Visit us at Vienna Design Week!

We are taking part in this years Vienna Design Week at festival headquarters (details below). Come visit us and check out our interactive projects! Here is the context and bracket under which the projects were developed: FUTURES OF DEMOCRACY? The shared political reality of democracy as we we know it in the Western world is

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After Abundance in the Press

We are proud to see the positive responses to the After Abundance Exhibition in international and national media. Extensive coverage included, amongst others, the New York Times, Kurier  and an appearance in the Zeit im Bild, while Metropolis Magazine and Abitare Magazine featured us in their Top Ten picks for the London Design Biennale. Follow

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We are at the London Design Biennale’18

We are thrilled to announce that Design Investigations is representing Austria at the London Design Biennale 2018! Our installation ‘After Abundance’ at the Biennale will be open to the public from the 4th to 23rd September at Somerset House in London. We hope you can come by and see our work.

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Windmills

In the Winter Semester of 2018, Semester Students explored their relationship to electric energy and what it takes to get electrons moving themselves. Each team out of six in total came up with their very own technique of manufacturing three Windmill blades that fit onto an electric Generator. Among these techniques we find; Lasercutting, Wood-Bening,

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Design for Agency at Vienna Biennale

We were honoured to be invited to present a curated show of our projects at the prestigious MAK Museum, for the Vienna Biennale 2017. For this show, we presented a series of projects that emerged from a year long investigation titled ‘DESIGN FOR AGENCY’.

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Listening to Spaces, Stefan Kaegi

Sometimes you don’t need to build scenographies or invent fictions, sometimes it’s enough to stand still and look at where you are. Listen to some thoughts of somebody who is not around anymore or listen to the sounds that are inscribed into those spaces.

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Futures of Democracy?

The shared political reality of democracy as we thought we knew it in the western world is being pro-actively challenged. Amplified by the rapid technological advances in digitalisation, development in AI and social media proliferation we witness an erosion of governmental sovereignty. What are the possible futures for our democracies? How will their evolution transform

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Algorithmic Peepshow

We are under constant surveillance – every step we take online produces data which gets accumulated and analyzed by algorithms for profit or is used to manipulate our behaviour, opinions and consumption online. THE ALGORITHMIC PEEPSHOW is a collection of router like objects that allows us to take a private glance back at these inferred

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OffScreen Virtues

Technological progress has given us tools to become more and more efficient, ensuring that no time is wasted. So now, we use every moment we get between important tasks and appointments to read an e-mail, glance at the news, rate a purchase, like a photo. The installation ‘Offscreen Virtues’ celebrates the absence of duty.  It

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Wilderness in the Anthropocene

Wilderness Tools powered by humans eliminate, counter and reduce anthropogenic influences like the lack of predators or the loss of insects to preserve wilderness and extend it’s capacities.

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Social Media Machines

What is the agenda behind social media? What can our roles as users be? Three machines that confuse the algorithm and break the filter bubble.

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King GAFA

A contemporary fairytale about online privacy – a story to challenge our Internet behaviour and spark a conversation about data sovereignty.

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sociometric.me

As social media became the logbook of people’s lives, we’ve entered an era of immense sharing. Though the straight-forward dangers of sharing is seemingly recognised; lately, we’re evidently on a road heading into a world of lives directly affected by social media. The experience provided by “Sociometric.me” aims at raising awareness on the subject by providing an individual risk analysis of the user’s Facebook profile.

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