Patricia Hepp

A selection of my courses and lectures are documented herein. For over twenty years (WS 95/96) I have been teaching the complex challenges of design processes with great commitment and enthusiasm. At the HTW in Dresden, at the HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd and at the FH Düsseldorf as well as currently at the KISD in Cologne, at the RWTH in Aachen, as visiting professor at the New Design University in St. Pölten, Austria and at the FH Würzburg Faculty of Design, I have always received very good feedback and excellent evaluations of my courses – from students as well as colleagues. I consider the development of a training concept to be a design process that establishes itself as a whole through the course of the project work and the results.

In my teaching I focus on the relationship of the body and thus of personal identity to its surroundings, the architectural and social space. Here, the clothing, the surrounding objects and architecture is a model of layers around the body, which I call „body coverings“ (in German: „Körperhüllen“), these act as information carriers for the content. I motivate the students to investigate this social and cultural meaning of the surrounding surfaces and spaces in their interconnectedness to the content and in their construction to the environment, furthermore to develop their study projects on this model of thinking. It is about a conceptual design approach to examine and speculate about living units and aims at a design of idea development rather than finished design products.

Each study project begins with a specifically defined topic, such as the projects between one and another, after the end of this world or Not Beautiful listed in the examples. In the approach to subject matter, research and realization, the interface between analogue and digital design methods is generally important to me. The main project includes an analogue production of prototypes on a scale of 1:1. An important aim is the final presentation, organized as teamwork with distributed responsibilities and the processing of the project in a common book catalogue, film and exhibition.

My field of research addresses the relation of the body and the personal self towards the environment, the social and physical ambiance. Investigating the social and cultural identity via the „body coverings“, the layered enclosures around a person in their psychological as well as physical construction. This concept of multilayered enclosures, formed by the textile surfaces and further the surrounding objects and the architectonic environment leads to a consideration of the analogy of clothing, interior objects and architecture. According to this architectonical view towards our layered ambiance, the spatial phenomena of clothing is explored. Requesting and provoking conventions of inner and outer spaces are challenged to find new design concepts. A focus in my research lays in the positive acknowledgment of diversity, a multiple society. How can the matrix of a normative society, of stereotype identities, be reflected, loosened, opened up in order to redesign social constructions, and to find alternative ways of thinking and acting in society.

Two lectures are documented herein, the presentation of the paper „Body Coverings – Interior Space“ at the conference „The Time, Space + Body Project“ in Sept 2015 in Oxford. The talk „What surrounds us“, given in May 2016 in Cologne at the KISD, can be accessed via the link as a film recording.