What is design research

Design research

The area of ​​responsibility of the design department also includes the development of design and media theory issues and the processing of cultural, ethical and semiotic research. Design research pursues the goal of collecting and expanding knowledge about design-relevant topics in order to make it available to students as well as companies and institutions that address relevant issues to the university.

We offer research, development of solution scenarios, prototyping and impact research in the following fields:

Design theory

In order to be able to carry out investigations on concrete examples, a corresponding documentation archive is being set up. Using individual examples, in close cooperation with companies and institutions, it is possible to define those parameters whose knowledge appears to be decisive for the development of communicative contexts. Appropriate solution models can be developed on the basis of such a questionnaire. Theoretical work is focused on current, practical topics within the research area of ​​the FH Vorarlberg.

Transition design

Can the basic principles of professional design work be transferred to other areas of innovation? We support innovation processes in companies and institutions in order to question and optimize central ideas, goals and processes. Not only visual, acoustic, spatial, tactile or olfactory elements, but also economic, social, cultural or ethical issues can be addressed. The aim of such processes is the joint development of solution-oriented approaches, suitable models, integrated tools and suitable guidelines.


Concepts only develop their effect if they can also be implemented. In the diverse laboratories, new ideas can be tried out directly in practice. The joint practical work is also suitable for exploring new options for action, for example using interactive models (Internet of Things). With the tools available, both analog and digital prototypes can be developed using the latest technology. What cannot be physically implemented with the available resources can be tested using simulation techniques in virtual space, on the web or in an app.