for social


The GEGENWARTSAKADEMIE is a temporary creative lab for social sustainability.


Due to what we call „refugee crisis“ in Europe this project is dedicated to the question:

What can design do for people shelterless, on the run or without resources?


"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"

Albert Einstein

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How can we then create solutions for people shelterless, on the run or without resources?


How do we meet their needs when we do not include the target group in an intercultural developing process?

The GEGENWARTSAKADEMIE is an open social laboratory wich tries to explore the needs of people shelterless, on the run or without resources in applied research process by the means of design thinking methods.


In that sense knowledge and experience will be exchanged or even better generated between participants of different disciplines with hands on work to identify and solve social and cultural barriers.


In a applied design research this project tries to identify new issues in cooperation of designers, students, citizens, teachers from Europe and affected people shelterless, on the run or without resources.


In the second step of the project will work on solutions for these issues by means of design thinking while taking in consideration the cultural and social backgrounds of all stakeholders.


The research lounge of designxport will host the GEGENWARTSAKADEMIE during a time period of five weeks (19th of May - 23rd of June on Tuesday + Wednesday + Thursday during the time of 12:00 - 05:30 p.m.).


All in all 15 „applied researchers“ will work in interdisciplinary and intercultural teams guided by three teachers not only to develop solutions for affected people but together with affected people by participation.



All results will be shown in public by an exhibition event at designxport wich will be accompanied by short lectures and an open forum to initiate a public discussion.


Most of the time solutions are a result of specialists who are not part of the target group but stakeholders in an economic process.


At first glance it seems to be astonishing to combine words like refugee and design because we usually associate beautiful and expensive goods promoted by design brands with the expression design.


But we do believe in design thinking as tool of inclusion and try to explore by this project how design can support the idea of social sustainability.




Prof. Sudipto Dasgupta, Shristi Institute Bangalore


Prof. Florian Borkenhagen; AMD Hamburg


Dipl. Des. Christian Schüten, BFGF Design Studios Hamburg / designxport e.V.




designxport Hamburg - Shristi Institute, Bangalore, India - AMD - Akademie Mode Design, Hamburg - HAW Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg - HfbK - Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg - HOD - House of Design Foundation, Groningen, Netherlands - Frisian Design Factory, Leeuwarden, Netherlands - SDS - The Sustainable Design School, Nice, France - BFGF Design Labs, Hamburg - Mutter Design Consultants, Hamburg



19th of May - 23rd of June

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays

12:00 - 05:30 p.m


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till 24th of April 12:00 p.m.

number of participants is limited

(email-address will be announced soon)




Hongkongstraße 8

20457 Hamburg


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Nomination of participants 28th of April till 12:00 a.m.

Nominees will be informed via mail.

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Responsible for this website:  Dipl. Des. Christian Schüten, BFGF Design Studios Hamburg / designxport e.V.