© Munich University of Applied Sciences

Bavaria is pursuing ambitious goals with its Hightech Agenda and providing considerable funds for the purpose. The state in Germany’s south-east is investing roughly EUR 3.5 billion in total to generate innovative, high-tech ideas. It wants to promote AI and “supertech”, support digital transformation in business and, in particular, create 1,000 new professor positions, 13,000 new places at universities and more than 20 cutting-edge research centres. The Department of Design at Munich University of Applied Sciences was the first design faculty in Bavaria to have two internal innovation professorships approved under the Hightech Agenda (HTA). These professors will begin in the 2021 summer semester. With them, the department will expand the domain of design research and broaden its profile to include subjects that will play a key role during society’s transformation.

Professor Ralph Buchner, who has taught photographic design since 2002 and been the department’s Dean of Studies for ten years, had his application approved for the field of “transformative teaching”. The focus for this innovation professorship will be on teaching skills for creative thinking, interdisciplinary dialogue and responsible conduct. Professor Markus Frenzl will be taking on the other innovation professorship for the field of “design and innovation cultures in the context of societal change and transformative processes”. He has taught theory of design and media at the university since 2010, is Associate Dean of the department and coordinates the master’s programme in Advanced Design. As part of the innovation professorship, Frenzl will study the social and cultural aspects of transformation and innovation processes along with design as cultural production. In creating the new professor positions, the department wishes to put a stronger emphasis on the role of design as an interfacing discipline at the centre of innovative processes. Two additional, external professorships approved under the HTA will be advertised soon.

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