design academy berlin

Research at the design akademie berlin, SRH Hochschule für Kommunikation und Design focuses on forward-thinking questions in practice-relevant areas of communication and design. Research projects at the design akademie berlin and in cooperation with partner universities, non-university research institutions and companies document the research activities of the university's professors.

Research Projects

Research principles

Rules to ensure good scientific practice

In its meeting on July 24th, 2013, the Academic Senate of the design akademie berlin decided on the following rules for "securing good scientific practice", based on the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The rules of good scientific practice include general principles of scientific work, thus:

  • to follow the general principles of scientific work (lege artis),
  • To take responsibility as author for each part of joint scientific publications,
  • To review all results of an experiment or a study, to document them completely and to save and store the primary data,
  • To be honest with regard to contributions from partners, competitors, predecessors and third-party funding providers.

Further regulations regarding cooperation in working groups, the support of young scientists, the safeguarding and storage of primary data, as well as, provisions for scientific publications and regulations on false information are laid down in the Senate resolution.


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Research projects of the design akademie berlin

Project title:
"Innovative learning and communication concepts for corporate succession in Berlin" (LUKU).
Joint research project with HWR Berlin. Supported by ESF - the European Social Fund and the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research, as well as, several Berlin companies.

Project idea: 

In Berlin alone, around 2,500 companies are due to undergo corporate succession every year. The joint research project "Innovative Learning and Communication Concepts for Corporate Succession" (LUKU) of the Institut für Entrepreneurship, Mittelstand und Familienunternehmen (EMF, The Institute for Entrepreneurship, the Middle Class and Family Businesses) of the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin (HWR, The University of Economics and Law) and the Department of Marketing Communication of the design akademie berlin aims to raise awareness of the topic of corporate succession among the public and affected companies. This project, led by Prof. Dr. Birgit Felden, is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research (SenWTF).

Project description: 

In close cooperation with researchers from the EMF Institute of the HWR and students of the design akademie berlin, SRH Hochschule für Kommunikation und Design, innovative and challenging media on the topic of corporate succession are to be conceived, developed and published via various channels. The term "media" can be broadly understood as a combination of wiki pages, websites, films, short spots, print motifs, campaign strategies, claims, etc. The aim is to enrich the topic of corporate succession with all currently available techniques of creative design. Many Berlin partners are also involved in this project. These include the Berlin Unternehmensnachfolge initiative (Corporate Succession, consisting of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, the HWK and the IHK, as well as, two Berlin-based banks, Berliner Sparkasse and Berliner Volksbank), and several regional SMEs from various sectors.

The aim of the project is to find out whether potential successors can be reached through online media and innovative marketing, who could not be reached previously with classical communication instruments and communication channels.

Using innovative instruments, SMEs can be made more aware of company succession and thus more successors can be successfully implemented.
These instruments can be implemented in economically interesting business models for SMEs in the media and consulting industry.

Sub-projects at the design akademie berlin:

In close cooperation between the scientific staff of the EMF Institute, Michael Graffius and Laura Marwede, as well as professors and students of the design akademie berlin, the following sub-projects were implemented:    

  • Development of innovative communication concepts and communication campaigns for the "Successor Wiki" - 2nd semester Bachelor Marketing Communication
    Summer term 2012
    Management: Prof. Jens Junge and Prof. Holger Zumholz
  • Future Workshop - Conceptualisation and design of innovative and futuristic communication measures for previously unused channels on the topic of succession - 2nd semester of the Master's in Marketing Communication
    Summer term 2012
    Management: Prof. Markus Wente

  • Conceptualisation and production of innovative advertising spots, as well as, the creation of print campaigns with further accompanying measures - 2nd semester of the Master's in Marketing Communication
    Summer term 2013
    Management: Prof. Gilbert Beronneau, as well as, Prof. Bettina Borchardt and Prof. Marcus Fischer

When the game gets serious

Ludology? What is that? Everyone knows biology, psychology and philosophy. After the founding of the Institute for Ludology at the design akademie berlin, SRH Hochschule für Kommunikation und Design, we saw questioning faces. "What are you doing?" Others were embarrassed by the alleged ambiguity. Players and gamers, however, had a different reaction: "Hey! Great! Exciting! Finally!"

The Latin "ludus", means the game, and the Greek "logos" means teaching, leading to "teaching about the game", ludology, or game studies.

In recent years, the focus of game studies has been on digital games. This led to questions about gameplay (game mechanics), game design, learning games, virtual worlds, artificial intelligence or even impact research, which asks about the influence of computer games.

We regard playing as a culturally shaping or even culturally creative component. What can we learn about games that has an application for other disciplines? Our claim comprises a transdisciplinary research approach.

"In short, it is about dealing with the given (culture and its demands on the individual), the desired (the individually deficient) and the potential (the culturally deficient); it is thus also about the function of games as culturally serious games."1

Based on this assumption, we, scientists, at the Institute of Ludology analyze not only games but also social systems and disclose their regulatory orders and implemented rules of play with the help of game studies approaches. Building on this, we transfer the mechanisms and principles tested in game systems to other social systems, companies, institutions or even social issues. The team of the Institute of Ludology develops solutions and recommendations for effective strategies in a fast-moving age, based on this game-scientific approach.

Our core competencies are in the following areas:

  • Market-oriented product development
  • Customer interaction and marketing concepts
  • Strategic decision-making processes
  • Organizational structures and corporate development
  • Management of complex systems
  • Change management and innovation processes

The Institute of Ludology is currently working on the following questions:

a) What is a game? Which game theories offer models of explanation and decision making that can be relevant and transferred into other subject areas?
b) What can companies, especially startups, learn from game developers?
c) Game Studies and Game Design: Can digital game worlds become the leading medium?
d) How can innovation processes in companies be improved by applying the criteria of successful game mechanisms?
e) What's the action plan to counteract the low voter turnout and the problem of a shortage of young people in political parties?
f) How do "serious games" or news games help process information in a comprehensible way and provide an incentive to actively deal with the news?

1] Tan, Wey-Han (2011): Funktionen des Spiels: Ideologisierung, Training, Bewältigung, Resilienz. (Functions of the game: ideologization, training, coping, resilience.) [online][accessed on 18.11.2015].