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Cultural Spaces and Design

– Prospects of Design Education


Developing research and teaching settings
for design education in a globalised world

Cultural Spaces and Design – Prospects of Design Education is a project situated in the field of Applied Intercultural Design Research. It focuses on the impact of the processes of globalisation on design and examines their consequences for Design Education. Being carried out in international collaboration with lecturers and students from other universities as well as representatives from design practice, the project aims to develop, test, and evaluate model education contents. For this purpose, tools and methods for dealing with different design cultures will be developed, translated into course modules and integrated into Design Education. The course modules will then be tested at HGK Basel (Academy of Art and Design), Switzerland.

What is special about this project?

As in other fields, in Design Education, new approaches, products and prospects result, above all, from cultural exchange and mobility. Until now, however, intercultural student experience has not been made the subject of education and teaching, an omission which conflicts with the more and more common practice to internationalise design teams that is coming with globalisation. In other words, it is high time to start tackling the challenges connected with e.g. such team building strategies while students are still at university. For the students, the central questions in this context concern new ways and objectives of design in the age of globalisation, i.e. what matters here is a lot more than the acquisition of useful organisational skills, applied when carrying out an international project: what is at stake here are the criteria of a type of design practice that promotes cultural diversity instead of serving the doctrine d'unité of Global Design.

At a glance: course of the project

2014 Expanding the network / concept elaboration: introductory workshop carried out by the project team at the Centre for European Studies at the College of Arts & Social Sciences in Canberra (Australia National University – ANU). Preparation of group work activities.
2015-2016 Group work activities in different countries attended by design students from different nationalities. These activities run internationally or in Switzerland and are instructed partly by our project team and partly by lecturers form our partner network.
2016-2017 International colloquium aimed at evaluating the research done and drafting the main aspects relevant to Design Education. Concluding event, resume and definitive evaluation of the research work; formulation of educational objectives and contents. Implementation of the developed course modules; publication (target groups: design students, lecturers, designers, and the relevant levels of education politics).


Prof. Dr. Regine Halter (Project management)
University of Applied Sciences and Arts FHNW HGK
Institute HyperWerk
Freilager-Platz 1
4023 Basel
Ph: 0041 61 228 40 33 / 78


Project Team

The project team has longstanding professional experiences in the field of design education (practice and theory), since several years also focusing on the project's issues.

Regine Halter

Prof. Dr. Regine Halter (Project Management), Design Theory. Until retirement in 2015 leading member of the Institute HyperWerk and the Institute Integrative Design / Masterstudio, Academy of Art and Design Basle.
She holds her PhD in Media Science, Philosophy, and Political Science from the University of Cologne, Germany.
Since 1999 she has been lecturing and teaching Media and Design Theory at HyperWerk, Institute of Postindustrial Design, and since 2008 at the Institute for Integrative Design / Masterstudio too, both Basle, under the University of Applied Science and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland (HGK FHNW). In both institutes she is a member of heads. In her former career, among other things, she also has been actively involved as Dramaturge (Theatre), and as General Secretary, Project Director Deutscher Werkbund (DWB), conceiving and organizing public events as exhibitions and international conferences on Design.
Regine Halter is an author, co-author and editor too. Her interests lie in the changes in human apperception and conceptual acting by and through digital media; Globalisation in Design; Crosscultural Studies and Intercultural Perspectives.


Catherine Walthard

Visual Practices. Leading member of the Institute HyperWerk, Academy of Art and Design Basel.
Prof. Catherine Walthard holds her professor title at HGK FHNW, for the institute HyperWerk in the field of design practices. She is currently deputy head of HyperWerk, the Institute for Post-Industrial Design HGK FHNW, which she co-founded in 1999. She has over 30 years of teaching and directing experience in art education in Switzerland, and presents lectures and workshops in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Walthard's professional activities extend to collaborations with theatres and art galleries and she also contributes as a jury member in art and university committees. The work ranges from fine arts drawings to multimedia productions that have received international awards and prizes. Her interests lie in the supervision of students' projects, the design of portfolios, and work with photography and visual communication within the overall topic of cultural experiences in design education.


Anka Falk

Master of Arts in Rhetorics and Educational Sciences.
Anka Falk M.A. received her MA in Rhetoric and Educational Sciences from the University of Tübingen, Germany. Since 2007 she has been teaching rhetoric, media history, and creativity at HyperWerk, the Institute of Post-industrial Design and Masterstudio at HGK FHNW, and since 2012 also at the School of Visual Arts Bern. From 2007 to 2009 she was co-head of HyperWerk. Since 2003 she has worked on trans-cultural EU projects, and since 2009 she has worked on questions of cultural difference in design education. Recently she has been concentrating on a pan European interview project about different perspectives on current international crises with partners like Art Box, in Thessaloniki, Greece. She has been actively involved in conceiving and arranging conferences, exhibitions and editing publications in cooperation with HyperWerk and institutions like the Museum of Cultures, Basel, and the Theatre of Freiburg, Germany. Her interests lie in how to implement questioning of cultural spaces and differences into design understanding and education.


Research Associates

Andrea Iten

Andrea Iten is born in 1959 Glarus/CH. Lives and works as an artist in Basel/Berlin: drawing, video art, installation and photography. Currently: Researcher and lecturer at Institute HyperWerk HGK FHNW
2005-2014 UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps. Since 2013 Enter Views on Crisis. 2012-13 Co-publisher "CommunityNow". 2011 Master in transdisciplinarity / the Department of Cultural Analysis ZHdK / Zürich. 1989-1991 Assistant to Prof. Peter Jenny / DArch ETH Zürich. 1986-1989 Education Art and Video Class, Basel School of Design. 1997-2001 Art Council Canton Basel-Land (Curating the collection of new media). Various exhibitions, grants, residencies and broadcasts.


Tatiana Tavares

Originally from Brazil and living in New Zealand, Tatiana Tavares has won numerous awards for her illustration and design across Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and the US. Coming from a ten-year career in advertising and graphic design, Tatiana received her MA in Art and Design in 2011 from Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. She is now completing a practice led PhD at AUT University, where she also lectures in illustration, narrative studies and branding. Her particular approach to design crosses diverse disciplines, processes, and materials. Among these are graphic design, photography, storytelling, illustration, collage, prop making, film, sound design, and animation. Her interests lie in self-narrative inquiry and forms of autoethnography, South American mysticism and folklore, magic realism, and cross-cultural studies.


Research Assistant

Eliane Gerber

Eliane Gerber is a communication designer based in Switzerland. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design from HyperWerk HGK FHNW in 2013. Today she uses her design skills to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue, be it in customer, research or artistic projects. Her working tools include graphic design, video production, illustration, photography, animation, and programming.