Since 2010, the IDRV is working on the experimental development and content and pedagogical preparation for a purely web-based course on the history of design. The target audience for this will be students in the initial stage of coursework. Educational institutions will subsequently be to use the lectures as a high-quality supplement – or replacement – for course offerings on the history of design. Interest in the implementation of this project has already been expressed by several universities and schools in Austria and abroad.
Visualizations of design objects from private and public collections will serve as the primary basis for the content of the website. The classical modern period will be the main focus. Cooperation with the institutions in which the design objects are physically available is crucial in order to be able to embed innovative digital representations of the works into the educational concept in place of the overused canonical images.
An initial high-value partner has already been found in the Berlin-based Bröhan Design Foundation. Under the direction of the design researcher and collector Torsten Bröhan, the Foundation has an extensive document archive covering the design history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries at its disposal. To date, more than 6,000 design objects have been captured digitally in pictures and text, often with extensive contextual material. In addition to the Bröhan Archive, a collaboration has already begun with the MAK (Austrian Museum of Applied Arts) in Vienna and discussions have taken up with the Tecta Archive and the associated Kragstuhlmuseum in Lower Saxony, as well as with Die Neue Sammlung in Munich and other renowned public collections and museums.
The goal of IDRV Design Lectures is to make materials selected by experts and annotated with video commentaries available as online content equivalent to a one-semester course. Participatory Web 2.0 applications promoting exchanges within the student community as well as between users and experts will also be integrated. At the same time, great emphasis will be placed on a hands-on, collage-like site interface. This will, for example, allow the choice of different navigation paths through the curriculum, ranging from a classic chronological outline to a representation of the networks of relationships between important designer personalities to an ordering on the basis of visual analogies. A module for the computer-based testing of educational objectives will also be integrated into the virtual lecture.
The IDRV Design Lectures project is supported by the Austria Wirtschaftsservice as a part of the Impulse XS program.