Author: Uta

Zitat Franz Kafka

“Paths are made by walking”

Here, Kafka precisely describes the activity of the (male only) flaneur, who emerged in the second half of the 19th century. Much later, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the concept of the flaneur was taken up and modified in new, playful and analytical ways as psycho-geography: one walks about, or has only an abstract destination in mind, one’s movement influenced by all kinds of situations – and one thus experiences being alive. This, however, does not only apply to walking, but also to writing, which develops in the process of writing; similarly, this is also true for hearing or tasting, even in love or in life itself.  

Dumme Wörter Definition


Both in everyday life and in allegedly scientific or scholarly papers definitions play an essential role because they are believed to lend clarity and security to each form of analysis or other expression. What utter humbug! From its Latin origin definition means that one should deduce and explain everything from the end – de finis – without, however, knowing the slightest bit about an end. If anything, definitions belong to religion, but certainly not to the intellect. They hover in infinity and deceive themselves.  

Zitat Benjamin Lieke

The brain is smarter than you think

Unfortunately, very little is known about the author. He has published a few texts and is said to live in San Francisco. The above quote plausibly explains that, sometimes, deliberate thinking hinders insight because thinking often persists in the logical compulsion to transfer what we seek, or what we want to comprehend, to such logical deduction. A is followed by B etc. And this is the case although the often unfortunately stupid common sense, is, by way of exception, completely right when recommending that you should think of something else when you cannot remember a name, a date or a place. If we do so, the term we are looking for suddenly springs to mind, at least mostly it does. The reason for this is, of course, that, with this method, we have given ourselves over to free association, just trusting in the neuronal networks of our brains and, possibly, of our bodies too. Hence, when giving a talk and sensing that we will not remember a name or date in the next part of …

Dumme Wörter Information


People are enthusiastically talking about information and the information society. If there is an argument at all, then it’s about whether or not a piece of information is true or false and about how information is processed. However, using the term information as if it was a quality is completely mindless: who actually wants to be put into form by others? We don’t!  

Dumme Wörter Kommunikation


Many years ago, in his book Das bedingte Leben (The Conditioned Life), the theoretician Friedrich Wolfram Heubach quite rightly pointed out that the word ‘communication’ was constantly completely misunderstood. As is generally known, the word is commonly used in order to indicate – often in a rather pathos-laden way – that everything and everybody chats with each other and is related to one another. There is, for example, the so-called communication design, which shapes communication through typography and layout, but also in the field of high tech and in the new media. Communication is seen as something to be proud of because it promises openness, an endless preparedness for conversation, transparency and correct social behaviour. But, back then, Heubach already showed that communication was exclusive rather than integrative: it always excludes all those from the social group, who do not understand the symbols used by those who are communicating. Who do not speak the same language, who read in a different way, who do not know the latest fashionable acronyms and phrases. This is already …

Third Nerd Conference 2019

THIRD NERD Conference

With its particular consideration of the fact that all aspects of everyday life are designed, design research reveals an astounding ability to discuss current economic, social, environmental and media-related processes. This kind of design research, when intelligently implemented, also provides a fundamental critique of design as well as a variety of possible perspectives to better understand the present and prospects for the future.


Reverse branding

Luca Éva Toth’s video was part of a project at the Köln International School of Design (KISD). She reversed the principle of beautiy reality shows „before and after“: She re-branded of Uta Brandes from a flashy and colorful appearance to a plain Jane.  

be/sprechen im Riphahn Gerhart Baum

be//sprechen (be//speak) event

an event series organized by Uta Brandes and Michael Erlhoff. It took place at the Cologne restaurant “riphahn” in 2014 and 2016. Each time one person from different fields (such as literature, politics, art, design, fashion, movies, music …) was invited for relaxed talks and discussions, gently moderated by the organizers, in order to involve the audience from the beginning. The guests: Gerhart Baum, politician, former minister of the interior, lawyer, committed supporter of culture and human rights. Dr. Martin Stankowski, publicist, author, storyteller, comedian   Prof. Dr. Gesche Joost, professor for design research at the University of the Arts, Berlin, head of the Design Research Lab, member of the supervisory board of several DAX companies Ilse Stammberger, fashion designer and owner of the fashion label “Ilse Stammberger” Prof. em. Dr. Hans Ulrich Reck, former director and professor of the Art and Media Academy Cologne, image and cultural scientist Heinz Holtmann, gallery owner, art historian, former chair of the federal association of German galleries and art dealers, and former chair of the central archive of …