Teaching Staff

Courses of the MA Design are lectured by professional designers and design researchers. Below, we present our current lecturers:

Autumn Semester 2018

Design with Social Impact

Minou Afzali is a lecturer at Bern University of the Arts and teaches design with social impact in our master programme. After studying at Basel School of Design and at Offenbach University of Art and Design she worked for ten years as a professional designer in the area of product, furniture, exhibition and communication design. Since 2008 Minou Afzali is a design researcher at Bern University of the Arts in the research area communication design. Her research focusses on design in social contexts, such as healthcare and migration. Since 2011 she is also a PhD canditate at Graduate School of the Arts (GSA), Bern. Her research topic is “Communication Design in Culturally Sensitive Nursing Homes”. More about Minou


Design Entrepreneurship

Thierry Blancpain, as co-founder of the type foundry Grilli Type, he leads the executive side, web-design and development, as well as communications. Previously a freelance interaction and brand identity designer for clients like NZZ, Weltformat poster festival, Zurich University of the Arts, and Edition Patrick Frey. Co-organizer of the TEDxZurich conference 2010–2012. After a commercial apprenticeship with Swiss Films he received his BA Visual Communication at the Bern University of the Arts in 2010. More about Thierry


Florian Jakober is one half of Afrika, a Swiss design studio he founded in 2011 with Michael Zehnder. After earning his Bachelor Degree in Visual Communication in Zurich and Rotterdam in 2009, he gained work experience with leading international design studios, such as Graphic Thought Facility in London and HI in Lucerne. Whilst mainly working in the field of Graphic Design and Type Design, Afrika constantly expands it’s boundaries to new fields like Art Direction, Textile Design and Programming. Collaborating today as design partners in projects with both Swiss and international clients, they have so far worked with Museum für Gestaltung, Holzer Kobler Architects, Rico and Michael, Studio Omar Sosa, Musée Visionnaire, Edition Patrick Frey, Swisscom, Unesco, and many more.


Design Research

Arne Scheuermann is Head of the Main Research Unit Communication Design and Professor of Design Theory at the Bern University of the Arts, since 2005. Graduation as Communication Designer, several years of international professional experience in creative direction and design consultance; 2000-2005 lecturer at the University of Wuppertal; PhD in Communication Design (on design as rhetoric and on affects in film); author of several short films; Co-founder and -head of the Health Care Communication Design working group; since 2014 President of the Swiss Design Network; main focus of research activities: Social Communication, Visual Rhetoric. More about Arne


Selected publications:

  • Zur Theorie des Filmemachens. edition text + kritik: Munich 2009.

  • Design als Rhetorik. (Co-editor with Gesche Joost) Birkhäuser: Basel 2008.


Design Processes and Story Frameworks

After finishing a Digital Experience Design Master’s programme at Hyper Island in Manchester, UK in 2016, Dan Nessler has joined Swiss agency, Hinderling Volkart, as UX Director. He teaches as a part-time lecturer and for almost ten years, has held positions in the digital field at agencies such as Jung von Matt/Limmat, Publicis and Scholz & Friends. Additionally, he has been publishing on medium.com and he contributes to publications such as uxdesign.cc, uxplanet.org or uxchat.me. More about Dan


Problem-Oriented Design

Ulrike Felsing has been a lecturer at the Bern University of the Arts since 2010. She studied visual communication at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig. In 2004-2011 she worked as a research associate at the Design2context Institute of Research, Zurich Academy of the Arts. In collaboration with Ruedi Baur she is conducting a research project entitled “The Exploration of Design Methods in the Field of Transcultural Visual Communication”, which is being funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation in 2010-2015. Her research into “Dynamic Identities in Cultural and Public Context” was published in 2010. She is doing her PhD on reflective practice in contemporary editorial design, supervised by Beatrice von Bismarck. More about Ulrike

Spring Semester 2018

Field Trip to Portugal

Vera Sacchetti is a design critic, curator of TEOK Basel and founder of editorial consultancy Superscript. She serves in a variety of curatorial, research and editorial roles. Her writing has appeared in Disegno, Metropolis and HOLO, among others. More about Vera


MAD Course: Design Criticism – Kritik über, durch und für Design

Meret Ernst (Dr. phil.) ist Redaktorin für Design & Kultur bei Hochparterre, Dozentin für Designgeschichte an der FHNW HGK, ist seit 2011 Fachhochschulrätin der Zürcher Fachhochschule, seit 2010 Vizepräsidentin Swiss Design Association. Vor 2003 kuratierte sie Ausstellungen zu Alltagskultur, Grafik und Design.


MAD Course: Sustainable Design in Action

Florian Sametinger is a design researcher and PhD candidate at the Design Research Lab of the University of the Arts Berlin. His work revolves around (socially) sustainable design and participatory approaches in practice.
Jan Henrik Arnold is an independent product and communications designer with a background in holistic sustainable design.


MAD Course: Designing with Blockchain – Creating democratic, decentralized Systems for healthy Communities

Susanne Stauch is a designer and facilitator currently pursuing a PhD on transformational efficacy of design in transdisciplinary, participatory settings. Peter Harris is a web developer of 20 years and founder of a blockchain-based streaming music cooperative.


MAD Course: Fundraising and Writing Applications in Entrepreneurship

Matthias Vatter vermittelt, initiiert und gründet. Der gelernte Lehrer, studierte Historiker, projekterfahrene Firmengründer und Mit-Gründer (www.lernetz.ch, www.projektforum.ch, www.vatterundvatter.ch, www.vatter-vermittelt.ch) und Ideenschmied hat sich auf die Vermittlung von Inhalten spezialisiert. Und findet dafür immer wieder neue Formen und Formate.


MAD Course: Fundraising and Writing applications in Research

Ulrike Felsing ist seit 2010 Lehrbeauftragte im MA Design an der Hochschule der Künste Bern. Sie studierte «Visuelle Kommunikation» an der Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig. Von 2004 – 2011 war sie wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Institut Design2context der ZHdK und arbeitete an verschiedenen transdisziplinären Forschungen mit. In Zusammenarbeit mit Ruedi Baur leitet sie das Projekt «Die Koexistenz der chinesischen und lateinischen Zeichen und visuellen Kulturen»; gefördert vom SNF: 2010-2015. Ulrike forschte zum Thema «Dynamische Erscheinungsbilder im kulturellen und öffentlichen Raum», publiziert 2010. Derzeit promoviert sie über «Medienreflexive Gestaltungspraxis in zeitgenössischem Design» («Der Katalog als Ausstellung, Film und Hypertext»), Betreuung: Beatrice von Bismarck und Claudia Mareis.


MAD Course: Present your Projects – Verbal, Visual, Spatial

Ferdinand Vogler’s passion for making the world better understandable matured by studying Communication Design in Berlin and doing his M.A. in Design Entrepreneurship. He has gotten around Europe to work as a Designer and Developer in Berlin, Berne and Zurich.

Josh Levent spends his days designing solutions for clients as Chief Innovation Officer of Muutu, a technology design studio in Berne, Switzerland. He completed his Master in Business Design at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy.

The curator and designer Matylda Krzykowski is associated with transdisciplinary formats and methods. Her exhibitions and projects are presented internationally. She has given lectures worldwide in which she examines contemporary topics.


MAD Course: Science Fiction Storytelling as a Means for Innovation

Michaela Büsse’s practice focuses on the creation, curation and communication of emerging trends and future scenarios in society and technology. She has an interdisciplinary background in media, design, and urban studies and obtained post-graduate degrees in Zurich and Moscow.

Konstantin Mitrokhov works across photography and video investigating multilayered topologies of contemporary urban environments. He has background in photography, cybernetics, and urban studies and obtained his post-graduate degree in Moscow.

Previous lecturers

Andrea Augsten

Lucas Conte

Dominic Fiechter

Michael Flückiger

Angela Haas

Meike Hardt

Dr. Tanja Herdt

Beatrice Kaufmann

Theresia Leuenberger

Ignazio Morello

Matthias Rohrbach

Hugo Ryser

Annina Schneller

Daniel Schoeneck

Christoph Stähli Weisbrod