Office for Knowledge Transfer
One of a university’s main tasks is transferring knowledge to business and society. The Office for Knowledge Transfer at HfG Offenbach forms this study and teaching interface with business and public institutions, promotes interdisciplinary exchange and opens up the university to the outside world.
The office advises interested bodies, cultural institutions and companies on the possibilities for cooperation, establishes contact with the relevant partners at HfG Offenbach, and informs the public about the university’s activities.
Moreover, the Office for Knowledge Transfer assists the university’s teaching staff with funding applications (invitations to tender and programs offered by the state, Federal Government, and the EU) and is the contact point for numerous other activities representing research findings at HfG Offenbach.
T +49(0)69.800 59-166
F +49(0)69.800 59-157
The range of cooperation options is diverse – from designing a company’s entire visual communication to redeveloping a product. The forms of collaboration range from specific assignments to conceptual studies, joint events, exhibitions, and research projects.
These partnerships are not just about financing projects, but also knowhow exchange. First and foremost though, partners should regard the joint project with the university not simply as a direct service in the sense of commissioned work, but also as an open experiment.
The prerequisite for a project is the possibility of it being integrated in teaching in the timeframe dictated by the semester structure. For students, the projects provide an insight into clients’ strategies and decision-making processes, as well as practical training.
The Office for Knowledge Transfer represents the university at
As well as communicating the diverse approaches to design and new products developed by HfG Offenbach in publications (print and online), the university also presents the research potential in and with design at national and international specialist fairs. It displays its research findings, for example, at the Hanover Fair, the furniture fairs in Cologne and Milan, Euromold in Frankfurt, on the occasion of the Berlin Film Festival, and at the Berlin Art Week. The Office for Knowledge Transfer supports these exhibitions.
New business start-ups
An above-average number of HfG Offenbach graduates in Communication and Product Design, Art and Media work in independent companies. Having worked on commissioned assignments, they subsequently often found their own design studios.
Around 70 percent of HfG Offenbach graduates become self-employed after receiving their degree, some even while they are still students. By way of support, since 2002 the university has been developing programs especially for the creative professions. The vocational preparation module was implemented in the study and examination regulations of the School of Art and the School of Design and offers courses in copyright and contract law, fees and costs, taxes and bookkeeping, presentation and moderation, as well general business start-up matters, all of which are backed up with practical experience reports.
The courses are the responsibility of the Office for Knowledge Transfer, which conceives and coordinates the vocational preparation events together with Prof. Peter Eckart, Prof. Klaus Hesse, and Prof. Heiner Blum. One of the office’s primary tasks is a three-part introductory event that has been staged every semester since 2011. Furthermore there is a personal advice service entitled »Graduation: what’s next?«, focusing on assessing students’ and graduates’ business ideas and planning their next steps in the start-up process.
»main laden« is a university shop selling student products manufactured in small series. The brief was to turn an idea into a »must have«, set up the production processes and calculate the sales prices. »main laden« has made guest appearances at several venues, including the Festival Junger Talente (2003), Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt (2003), Goethe Institute in Prague (2004), Frankfurt Book Fair (2004), the exhibition »Kunstpositionen« at Allgemeine HypothekenBank Rheinboden (2004), gallery Art to Use (2005) and Paperworld trade fair in Frankfurt (2006), and exhibited its products at the HfG Offenbach Open Days. (2002 to 2011)
- »B-Seite«: HfG Offenbach portrayed the city in which it is based with this magazine on art and design. »B-Seite« presented selected designers and studios and portrayed Offenbach from the point of view of designers, providing an insight into the lively Offenbach scene and its relationship with the city. The Office for Knowledge Transfer devised the concept and was responsible for the editorial work (2005).
- »Parcours – Existenzgründung für Designer«, written by Sophia Muckle, a HfG Offenbach Design graduate and product designer, appeared in early 2006 on the initiative of Ulrike Grünewald, initially as a PDF at HfG Offenbach. Four years later it was published by Verlag Hermann Schmidt in Mainz, and is now in its second edition (2006).
- »Gestalte/Create – Design Medien Kunst«, project management for the publication by avedition on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of HfG Offenbach (2007).
- »Wie alles begann«, Wege in die Selbständigkeit – Unternehmer stellen sich vor (2002)
- »Projektmanagement – The Making of...« (2003)
- »Was bin ich?«, Positionierung und Spezialisierung im Gestaltungsbereich (2004) »reBriefing« (2005)
- »anders: Ungewöhnliche Strategien« (2006)
- »Charakterköpfe« (2007)
- »Kontakt« (2008)
- »Übergänge« (2009)
- »Research« (2010)
- »type talks« (2011)
- »Monstervorträge« (2011 and 2012, together with Planstation)
- »Portfolio« (2012)
- »Werkzeuge fürs Studium« (2013)
An annual series of lectures with people from all fields of design. Renowned designers, artists and entrepreneurs talk about starting up in business, practical examples, success stories and defeats. The lectures in the »Werkzeuge fürs Studium« series address (self-)organization and topics such as teamwork, competition, language skills and presentation, as well as motivation, conflict management, dealing with stress and the ability to accept criticism.
Project management (selected)
- »Neue Bilder für Demenz«, a competition for illustrators staged by Stiftung PflegeZukunft gestalten, initiated by Dr. Judith Borgwart and supervised by Prof. Eike König. The entries submitted won over all the jury members, such that all those taking part in the competition helped design the ensuing publication on the topic, because, as the jury’s statement read, »dementia has as many faces as the people affected by it«. (2014)
- »Citoyenne«, a prize for public spiritedness awarded by the Frankfurt foundation Citoyen. Supervised by Prof. Peter Eckart, HfG Offenbach designed the award sculpture and visual identity of the prize. The sculpture was designed by Reinhard Dienes and Sebastian Herkner, and the graphics by Marie Schoppmann. Ulrike Grünewald from the Office for Knowledge Transfer was an honorary member of the working group which conceived the new prize for the foundation. (2012)
- »1. Grafikdesign Biennale Deutschland China«, lectures and a forum at HfG Offenbach accompanied by an exhibition of posters and books by Chinese and German designers in Schlachthof, the former abattoir in Offenbach, staged by Prof. Klaus Hesse. (2010)
- »Senefelder Skulptur« competition, staged by the Offenbach Rotary Club. Selected HfG Offenbach graduates were able to submit designs for a sculpture in Büsing Palais honoring the inventor of lithography, Alois Senefelder. Submitted by Kai Linke, the winning design was produced a year later. (2009)
- »Neuland«: Be it Japan, Iceland, South Africa, or Queensland, HfG Offenbach students can be found all over the world. The road to a semester or internship abroad can sometimes be a stony one. The competition »Neuland«, which was staged as part of the »go out! studieren weltweit« campaign organized by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), was about precisely these deciding steps. The assignment for the internal university competition was to design a two or three-dimensional work which addressed organizing a stay abroad. (2007)
- Supervised by Prof. Achim Menges, students in the Department of Product Design conceived a new trophy for the »Horizont Award«, which the journal »Horizont« bestows annually. The trophy by Simon Schlör and Lukas Wiesler is based on a surprising principle: Made of acrylic glass and Corian, it remains totally inconspicuous until touched. Only then is a light activated and it reveals its true purpose. (2006)
Ulrike Grünewald was born in 1962 in Mömbris and studied German, Sociology and History of Art in Frankfurt/Main. While still a student she, together with others, founded the nationally acclaimed art magazine »ART Position« and was a member of its editorial team for five years. In the late 1980s she managed the business of the Pentagon Group in Cologne, protagonists of the Neues deutsches Design (New German Design) movement. She subsequently worked for furniture producer Vitsoe (designs by Dieter Rams), the design magazine form and a typical late-1990s Internet start-up. She has worked at Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach (HfG Offenbach) since 2000. She manages the Office for Knowledge Transfer and is responsible for business start-ups, research, and cooperation.