Processing Models, Modelling Processes for the HfG Ulm ca. 1952
lecture at the symposium “Digital.Visual.Material” at Carnegie Mellon University
In an undated brochure from the founding days of the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG) in Ulm, a diagram explains to both funding bodies and interested future students the intended ideal process for a product to be developed and shaped in the school: the “old model” enters a sophisticated trajectory of transitions bouncing off poles called “technology” or “design”, following vectors of analyses to find new positions, to finally exit the maze of improvement as “new model”. This elaborate scheme was neither a curricular diagram, which we find a few pages earlier, nor an aesthetic declaraion. Rather, it was the attempt to model a process, one that, as this paper will argue, was not limited to artefacts or buildings, but ultimately included both students and teachers, as well.