Expertise Compact Week, Winter 2016

20161111-172505On the first week of November (7-11 November 2016), the MAIDs and their German master counterparts participated in one of five Compact Week courses that brought them into the world of language labyrinths, visual storytelling, bookbinding, workshop design, and what it takes for a product to be “Made in Germany.”

Throughout the week students worked on their specific and general topics with the help of their lecturers, with the goal of experimenting the possibilities of design research, whether it’s about bridging cultures, playing with languages, or traveling throughout the country in search of German design.

Hedi Schaefer hosted the Workshop Design course entitled “The Art of Transferring Your Knowledge.” Here, participants designed their own workshop based on their interests, which ranged from jewelry making to risk management to baking sweets, using a workshop “cookbook.” After planning and preparation, they invited other students into their own self-hosted workshops, which turned out to be very successful and enjoyable for everyone.

Manfred Schwarz and Rita Lass from the Design Department’s Printing Workshop taught about Bookbinding. Students first learned about the history of printing and how it has developed until now. They could explore by themselves some printing techniques such like press printing, gravure printing and the stencil technique. They also learned how to plan and execute a print project with various techniques. They all made their own interpretation of the German fairytale Märchen als Almanach and by bringing together their spreads also learned some binding techniques. The final result is a collage book which represents not only their point of view but also the cultural wealth of the participants.


Alexandra Klobouk was the lecturer for the Visual Storytelling and Graphic Recording workshop. The participants made illustrations about interviews with people, their countries’ national anthems, and a pictorial cookbook, to name a few.


Language Labyrinths is a practice-based seminar by Tine Melzer on language, its game-like structures and their productive use for designers and artists. Her students made word games and studied the amazing intricacies of language. At the end of the workshop, they made a book containing their outputs literally bound “by a ball of yarn” that they used as an analogy throughout their workshop.

Finally, the excursion workshop “Made in Germany” hosted by Hanne Willmann went out of Dessau in search for companies and products that practiced this philosophy. The students went to Kahla (ceramics), Thonet (bentwood), Rolf Benz (upholstery), and to the Vitra Museum (design campus and museum).

By the end of the week everyone presented their outputs at Building 04 on 11 November.

Photographs by Elena Penni, Imam Ridwan, Hedi Schäfer, and Sam Sanchez.


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