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About the institute

As the result of a vivid reframing, we are pleased to announce the initiation of the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures of the Academy of Art and Design FHNW and the opening of its novel research facilitites at the schools’s new Campus of the Arts Basel.

The Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures develops and carries out fundamental, practice-oriented research projects at the converging point between design, media arts, science and technology. Our work revolves around analyzing, critiquing and exploring design and media practices, processes and artifacts in the context of cutting-edge media technologies and current lines of questioning in the field of knowledge generation. Our research agenda thus comprises the three fields design theories and methods, designing knowledge, and experimental media practices.

Emergent digital media technologies not only open new possibilities in terms of socio-material interaction and knowledge production, they have also fundamentally changed the conditions and character of experience, action and knowledge. The way in which knowledge is produced and disseminated in the (post-)digital age, in which new technologies are tangibly experienced and materially at hand, is something deeply connected to design and media aesthetics. Thus our research explores new ways to not only analyze lifeworlds that are conveyed through technology and media, but also to have a projective hand in shaping them and making them the object of designerly experimentation and media-aesthetic critique.

Research at the ixdm affiliates itself with a virulent line of questioning that is ongoing in the cultural and media sciences as well as in academic and technical research. A further task is to conveying innovative research questions, working formats, forms of presentation, and tools from the designerly and artistic perspectives represented at the Academy of Art and Design.

The institute itself along with its Critical Media Lab function as an interdisciplinary experimental space in which design and knowledge, as both analyzed and constructed things, merge and become the very object of the experimental activities. The boundaries between disciplinary knowledge production temporarily dissolve in the dynamic process of knowledge generation – controversies are allowed to arise, methods are developed and research results are applied in the areas of culture, science or politics. This heterogeneous »idea engineering« brings together various actors from the fields of design, research and technology, both regarding external partners and within the interdisciplinary research team of theorists, designers and engineers of the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures itself.

The research culture fostered at the institute complements a explorative designerly and experimental approach with a strong historico-theoretical foundation. In the individual projects as well as in the Critical Media Lab, combinations and reconfigurations of scientific and artistic forms of working, thinking and expressing are investigated and probed in diverse ways.

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