On 11th and 12th of June graduates of the Institute for Design and Communication were invited to share some of their learnings with our current students. In eight lectures on two days, former students shared their experiences of success and defeat entering the work life.

On the first day of the Graduate Lectures the speakers Verena Pöschl, Hellmut Monz, Daniela Gruber and Sanja Zdrnja offered a broad field of experiences, impressions and findings.

Verena Pöschl explained that in her professional life, spaces always play an important role. The former Information Design student knows about the impact of space on the people moving inside. Assembly lines, office halls or sales floors have an intermediary purpose and need to be designed accordingly.

Hellmut Monz took us on a short trip to ancient greek and explained the pleasure in playing with logics. After studying Information Design and during several residences in New York, Berlin and Melbourne he explored the physic, metaphysic and pataphysic dimension of the digitalisation of the unconscious game of psychophysical body movements.

In her talk, Daniela Gruber spoke about the genesis and backgrounds of her master thesis which she wrote after studying Information Design in Graz at the Zurich University of the Arts. Her plan was to find her personal access towards autism in her thesis. with the help of interviews, reports and documentaries she tried to generate an impression of an autistic world.

Sanja Zdrnja finished her master’s degree in Interaction Design while doing her PhD at the University of Arts Belgrade. Besides her multi-medially artistic works, she is researching about the possibility of transformation of sculptures in space, by using several interdisciplinary processes of new media. This theoretical knowledge was already realized in international exhibitions.

The second day of our Graduate Lectures took off with a talk from Evelyn Schlagbauer about her personal detours, one-ways and dead-ends which finally lead her to Vienna in 2012. There she is focusing on consulting, planning and workshops for long-lasting strategies in corporate communication, besides creating corporate identities and classical corporate designs for print and web.

What “Design thru the Heart” means was elaborated on by Tina Fleck and Valentin Zhuber-Okrog who run the design unit as art directors at En Garde. How “Design thru the Heart” was established and how it is now used by En Garde and why sometimes design needs to hurt was depicted with practical examples.

The Graduate Lectures were completed by Kseniia Eröss and Annabell Spötl, who both studied Exhibition Design at the department for Design and Communication at the FH JOANNEUM.

The role of painting and how important painting is for designers was discussed by the illustrator, artist and exhibition designer Kseniia Eröss. By accident, she transformed a hobby into her profession. She talked about how she uses these skills in designing exhibitions.

“Lessons learned” was the title of Annabell Spötls lecture and she vividly presented the lessons she had to learn by showing different examples from her work life in the final lecture of the Graduate Lectures. These examples came from problems that arose from her work in exhibition design and scenography. Today she can use these experiences in creating concepts for international Exhibitions, pop-up stores and events as exhibition designer for Swarovski.

Text & Photography: Michael Forster