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Manual & Material Culture

Digitalisation has been changing industrial production profoundly for several years now. A “post-industrial age” is now said to be upon us, entailing new forms of labour organisation. The digitalisation of production opens up new perspectives: different, individualised production technologies, a renaissance of manual skills, a new ethics of consumption or alternative cultures of use.

The BA course in Manual & Material Culture focuses specifically on debates about new forms of production, setting out to contextualise them in terms of theory and to develop them for the new technologies. Manual trade, marginalised in the industrial era, plays a key role in this respect, drawing, as it does, on those integral forms of production in which a specific interaction of material and action, temporality and engineering know-how is crucial. It also, however, offers an ethics which is rapidly gaining societal relevance. A new appraisal of manual trade is evolving from the viewpoint of post-industrial production methods: it is not only becoming a model for a sustainable, ethical form of production, but also supplies models for potential forms of production made possible by new digital technologies, establishing a new relationship between subject and object. The course covers an implicit knowledge inherent in manual practices, making this the object of reflection and research.

However, the pertaining diversity and self-determinedness also require new knowledge and skills in terms of content and economics. The course in “Manual & Material Culture” sets out to impart this knowledge and, a dual scheme, to allow both manual workers and graduates of academic secondary schools and secondary technical colleges to take a forward-engineered university course which combines modern manual trade, product design, and business management skills.

Course Director
Univ.-Prof. (NDU) Hans Stefan Moritsch
New Design University

Link: MMC Blog

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