Bad Design

The idea of ‘good design’ is out of fashion. In 1949, Max Bill toured post-war Europe with his exhibition Die gute Form which showcased examples of modernist design to educate the taste of regular people. Today, several post-modernisms later, we are distrustful of such an enterprise. We realised that the traditional notion of ‘good design’ originates from an almost exclusively white, male, and western perspective that is being rightfully questioned today.

But what about bad design? Are there things so non-functional, hideous, or immoral that everyone can agree to dislike them?

In this workshop, we will explore historical and current ideas of bad design together. We will collect, analyse, and discuss various examples of bad design and from which develop our principles for bad design. Together we will curate objects for an experimental exhibition Die schlechte Form (The Bad Form) for which we will develop a visual identity, promotional material, and an online presence. 



This workshop is aimed at designers interested in pushing their boundaries and exploring the idea of quality in design in a tongue-in-cheek way. A background in graphic design, interface design, product design, or architecture is helpful, but not necessary.  



A laptop with an installed layout program.



Day 1: Introduction, input lecture, research
Day 2: Research, concept development, presentation in the evening
Day 3: Second input lecture, design experiments
Day 4–5: Production and final presentation

Bernd Grether studied graphic design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd. His practice focuses on editorial design and visual identities. Since 2015, he has been working as an assistant professor for the Information Design class at the Berlin Unversity of the Arts.

Sam Kim is a graphic designer who is specialized in the design and art direction of visual identities. He works with a focus on strong visual language and systematic implementation. His projects are often developed in close collaboration with the client, from the initial concept to the final realization. He studied at University of the Arts Berlin in the class of Visual Systems from 2011 to 2016. Currently, he is working as a freelance designer based in Berlin and Hamburg.


Run period:
16.08.2021 – 20.08.2021
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 510

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants: