LIST OF CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS I TAUGHT (2008–today)
Experimental Art Basics
Hochschule Anhalt, Dessau | since October 2018
This regular weekly 4 SWS* experimental art class for first-semester design students aims at starting a general process of experiencing ways and means of two-dimensional designing. In a variety of crafty, drawing-based excercises students will build up a repertoire of elementary design skills, such as line, shape, composition, colour. Later on, each student will apply those skills on a chosen personal project. Apart from various materials and techniques, the class introduces some practical methods through which existing conceptions or boundaries might hopefully be expanded and new paths open up. The combination of making and subsequent analysis enables students to recognise and apply general design principles. The class therefore really is an excercise in finding form rather than drawing.
Some insights here: instagram.com/mariakleinschmidt
Fachhochschule Potsdam (FHP) | 2015–2017 (4 semesters)
Regular weekly 7 SWS* studio class on colour for design students at FHP (communication design, product design, interface design, media studies). As this course is part of the module “Design Basics” (Gestaltungsgrundlagen), it is addressed primarily to first-year students. For the practical part, the course aims at increasing sensitivity towards colour. Exercises on mixing and combining colour are done with pigments – a wonderfully crafty and hands-on way of experiencing colour. The theoretical part of the course discusses physical, chemical, perceptional, historical and cultural aspects of colour via presentations and excursions. Throughout the semester students develop and present two (artistic) projects on a given task, choosing their concept and medium freely. As the class usually comprises mix of students from all four degree courses, the results show quite different approaches ranging from classical canvas painting to public interventions to app development.
Fachhochschule Potsdam (FHP) | 2015–2017 (4 semesters)
Regular weekly 7 SWS* drawing class focussing on figurative sketching, also part of the module “Design Basics” (Gestaltungsgrundlagen) at FHP. This course has its roots again in the 2008–2013 UdK class, but is stripped off all fashion design elements and instead extended to the sketching of rooms, spaces, and perspective. Step by step the students’ perception is trained in various aspects of drawing as well as seeing: line, shape, movement, light/shade etc. The ultimate goal is to enable students of all four FHP disciplines (communication design, product design, interface design, media studies) to quickly sketch human beings in situations or places, or performing certain actions. Throughout the semester, the class will go through different drawing techniques (pencil, ink, markers, collage) and also through some digital compositing of analogue drawings. Apart from life drawing studio work, there are excursions for drawing directly on location, for instance to Naturkundemuseum Berlin. At the end of the semester students develop and present a printed leaflet or booklet comprising a coherent set of illustrations.
Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW) | 2010, 2010/11, 2011 (3 semesters in total)
Regular weekly 3 SWS* drawing class for first year fashion design students at HTW. This class was a condensed version of the 2008–2013 UdK class (see below), and took place in the beautiful top floor drawing studio at HTW, featuring a view across river Spree with the centre of Berlin on the horizon. Apart from drawing exercises, the course comprised a one day excursion to Modemuseum Schloss Meyenburg, a private collection of historical every day clothes, where students were able to draw on location.
Collage as a Tool for Designing
Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK) | 2010, 1/2 day workshop
This short workshop was part of an advanced vocational training programme teaching creative methods to hairdressers and stylists (LUCA – a collaboration between UdK and L’Oréal). Participants had already gone through trend research, and had worked out moods and concepts for new hair styles. This collage workshop aimed at a very rough first visualisation of shapes, proportions, texture, and colour. Participants would start out cutting, folding, ripping, glueing pieces of coloured paper onto prepared paper heads and thereby re-shaping them. The collage technique is useful at this early playful stage of the design process, as it allows fast and more or less uninhibited working, especially when people feel they are unable to draw. Furthermore, collages support three-dimensional creations, and are therefore to some extent related to hairdressing.
Trendspotted – Fashion Illustration
Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK) | 2010, 3 day workshop (“Kurzzeitprojekt”)
This workshop was part of the design project “Trendspotted” for advanced fashion design students at UdK, lead by Grit Seymour. By the time the workshop started, students had already gone through a semester of working out a concept and putting together two outfits each. The idea of the workshop was to create image illustrations of these finished outfits, which would serve as a backdrop for the presentation of the clothes. So each student had to translate their concept into a visual idea, conveying mood and atmosphere, and matching the style of the clothes. Ideally, the illustration and the concept would enhance one another.
The Big Draw – Large Scale Illustration
Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK) | 2009, 5 day workshop (“Kurzzeitprojekt”)
This workshop, co-taught with Karin Leiberg, was a collaboration with Zitty Modebuch. Students (both fashion design and industrial design) picked a district of Berlin they wanted to portray, collected materials and ideas, and worked them into huge format illustrations that would later be photographed and published in Zitty Modebuch 2010/11. The original works were up to 2 by 3 metres in size, and one of the surprising effects of this workshop was to see how these giant formats turned out once condensed to a half page in a magazine.
Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK) | 2008–2013 (10 semesters in total)
Regular weekly 4 SWS* drawing class for first year UdK fashion design students, running over two semesters. The first semester was dedicated to various aspects of figurative drawing: line, shape, movement, light/shadow, and to a lesser degree also proportions. The second semester focussed on materials, surfaces, structures such as fur, leather, denim, tull, etc., and how they interact with the body. While it was a classical drawing class, the aim was not so much lengthy academic studying but quick and yet precise sketching. Loosening up. Becoming confident. Trying different drawing materials and techniques. Finding one’s path into seeing.
* SWS (“Semesterwochenstunde”) is a teaching unit in the German university system. Never mind …
1 SWS = 45 minutes
3 SWS = 2 hours and 15 minutes
4 SWS = 3 hours
7 SWS = 5 hours and 15 minutes