design akademie berlin

Research at the design akademie berlin, SRH University for Communication and Design touches on future-focussed issues in practice-relevant areas of communication and design. Research projects at the design akademie berlin and collaborations with partner universities, extramural research institutes and companies are testament to the research skills of the university’s professors.

Research projects

Research principles

Rules for ensuring good scientific practice

The academic board at the design akademie berlin announced, during its session on 24 July 2013, the following rules for “ensuring food scientific practice” following the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The rules for good scientific practice include general principles for scientific work, thus

  • heeding general principles of scientific work (lege artis),
  • the responsibility as author for every part of common scientific publications,
  • checking all results of an experiment or study and fully documenting these and securing and saving primary data,
  • being honest with regard to the contributions of partners, competitors and predecessors as well as third-party donors.
  • Further regulations relating to collaboration in work groups, supervision of scientific trainees, security and saving of primary data as well as provision for scientific publications and regulations for false regulations are covered in the senate decision. 


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Research projects at the design akademie berlin

Project title:
“Innovative learning and communication concepts for company succession in Berlin” (LUKU).
Joint research project with HWR Berlin. Supported by ESF (European Social Fund) and the Berlin Senate administration for economy, technology and research and several other Berlin-based companies.
 Ongoing project as of 2012

Project idea: 

In Berlin alone, around 2,500 companies are up for succession every year. The joint research project “Innovative learning and communication concepts for company succession” (LUKU) from the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Mid-tier and Family companies (EMF), the Berlin University of Economics and Law (HWR) and the Marketing Communication department at the design akademie berlin intends to increase awareness of the topic of company succession among the public and with companies affected. This project, led by Prof. Dr. Birgit Felden, is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Berlin Senate Administration for Economy, Technology and Research (SenWTF).

Project description: 

Within the framework of this project, researchers from the EMF Institute at the Berlin University for Economy and Law (HWR) and students from the design akademie berlin and SRH University for Communication and Design will collaboration to design and develop innovative and challenging media on the topic of company succession and will publish this via a number of channels. The term “media” is a broad concept here (wikis, web presences, films, short spots, print motifs, campaign strategies, claims, and many more) and should enrich the topic of company succession, which has often been communicated less innovatively, by means of creative design employing all currently available techniques. Many Berlin partners have been involved in this project. These include the Berlin Initiative for Company Succession (comprising the Berlin chambers HWK and IHK, as well as the Berliner Bank, Berliner Sparkasse and Berliner Volksbank) as well as several regional KMUs from different industries.

The aim of this project is to discover findings as to whether

  • potential followers can be targeted via online media and innovative marketing, having not been reached by classic methods and channels of communication, and, in doing so, discover whether it may be possible to create more followers
  • sensitise KMU better than before using innovative instruments for company succession and ensure that more successions are implemented successfully.
  • have these instruments implemented in economically interesting business models for KMU for the media and consulting industries.

Implemented subprojects at the design akademie berlin:

The following subprojects have been implemented in close collaboration between the scientific employees of the EMF Institute, Michael Graffius and Laura Marwede, as well as professors and students at the design akademie berlin:     

  • Creation of innovative communication concepts and communication campaigns for the “succession wiki” - 2nd semester Bachelor's Marketing Communication
    Summer semester 2012
    Head: Prof.  Jens Junge and Prof. Holger Zumholz

  • Future workshop - conception and design of innovative and futuristic communication measures for as yet unused channels on the topic of succession - 2nd semester Master’s Marketing Communication
    Summer semester 2012
    Head: Prof. Markus Wente
  • Conception and production of innovative advertising spots as well as creation of print campaigns with additional accompanying measures - 2nd semester Master’s Marketing Communication
    Summer semester 2013
    Head: Prof. Gilbert Beronneau and Prof. Bettina Borchardt and Prof. Marcus Fischer

When the game turns serious

Game theory? “What’s that?” Everyone knows the theories of biology, psychology and philosophy. Following the founding of the Institute for Game Theory at the SRH University for Communication and Design (design akademie berlin), we were met with a lot of confused faces. “What are you doing?” Others were embarrassed by the reputed double meaning. Games and gamers were met with surprise. “Hey, great, exciting, finally!”

Latin “ludus”, the game” and the Greek “logos” for teaching leads to “teaching about the game” or “ludology”, also known as game theory.

In recent years, the focus of game theory has been on digital games. This gave rise to questions about the themes of gameplay (game mechanics), game design, learning games, virtual worlds, artificial intelligence and also impact research which observes the influence of computer games.

We view play as something which shapes or even creates our culture. What can we learn from games or with games, in or for other disciplines? We aspire to a transdisciplinary research approach.

“In a nutshell, it’s about dealing with the circumstances (the culture and its requirements of the individual), what is desired ( what is specifically deficient) and the potential ( what is culturally deficient); it is therefore also about the function of games as culturally serious games.”1

Based on this conjecture, the scientists at the Institute for Ludology analyse not just games but also social systems and disclose their regulative systems and implemented rules of play with the aid of game-theoretical concepts. Building on this, we transfer mechanisms and principles tested in game systems into other social systems, companies, institutions or social situations. From game-theoretical approach, the team at the Institute for Ludology develop problem-solving approaches and recommended actions for effective strategies in fast-moving times.

Our core skills are in the following areas:

  • Market-orientated product development
  • Customer interaction and marketing concepts
  • Strategic decision-making processes
  • Organisational structures and company development
  • Management of complex systems

Change management and innovation processes

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

a) What is a game? Which game theories offer nourishing explanatory and decision models for transfer into other areas?

b) What can companies and special start-ups learn from games developers?

c) Game studies and game design: Can digital games world become main media?

d) How can innovation processes in companies be improved with the criteria of successful games mechanisms?

e) Which recommended actions govern low voter turnout and the problem of succession in parties? 

f) How do serious games, or news games, help to prepare information in a comprehensible way and provide impetus for active analysis?

[1] Tan, Wey-Han (2011): Functions of play: Ideologisation, training, mastery, resilience. [online] [consulted on 18/11/2015].