CD Module 2240

Module code


Module title

Theory of Design II


Communication Design

Module type


Module form


Duration of module

1 semester

Offered in

winter and summer semesters


90 hours

Self-directed workload

150 hours

ECTS credit points


Module leader

Prof. Dr. habil. Georg Kneer

Email address

e-mail address

Learning outcomes

After completing this module successfully you will be able to recognize and systematically analyze social requirements and the societal consequences of design activity. You will know the fundamental terms and definitions of the theory of design and be able to talk about them individually. You will be able to reflect on current developments in design and on current trends in design theory. You will be familiar with the fundamental terms and major concepts of semiotics, semantics, and pragmatics and will be able to discuss these.

Module content

Fundamental sociological terms such as social action, roles, institutions, culture, functions of symbolic consumption. Analysis of socio-cultural circles and target groups. Sociology of innovation. Historical, economic, and social aspects of design. Generating knowledge in design. Historical development of the term design and theoretical positions of design. Developments and tendencies of the future theoretical debate – design as science? Fundamental terms in semiotics, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. Classification of signs.

Teaching units in this module

Sociology of Design (2 contact hours)
Theory of Design 1 (2 contact hours)
Semiotics 1 (2 contact hours)
Seminar/workshop week (0 contact hours)

Module tutors

Prof. Dr. habil. Georg Kneer (Sociology of Design)
Carmen Hartmann-Menzel (Theory of Design II)
Prof. Günther Biste (Semiotics)
Guest lecturers from Germany and abroad (Seminar/workshop Week)

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminar, workshop


Self-directed work, seminar paper, journal, presentation

Teaching language

German, English

Prerequisite for

Module 2340, Theory of Design III

Recommended literature

Henecka, Hans Peter: Grundkurs Soziologie. 9th revised edition , Stuttgart: UTB, 2009.
Feldmann, Klaus: Soziologie kompakt. Eine Einführung. 4th edition, Wiesbaden: VS, 2006.
Moebius, Stephan/Prinz, Sophia (Hg.): Das Design der Gesellschaft. Zur Kultursoziologiedes Designs. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2012.
Brandes, Uta/Erlhoff, Michael/Schemmann, Nadine: Designtheorie und Designforschung.Paderborn: Fink, 2009.
Romero-Tejedor, Felicidad/Jonas, Wolfgang (Hg.): Positionen der Designwissenschaft.Kassel: Kassel University Press, 2010.
Eco, Umberto: Zeichen. Einführung in einen Begriff und seine Geschichte. Frankfurt/M, Suhrkamp, 1977.
Crow, David: Zeichen. Eine Einführung in die Semiotik für Grafikdesigner. 2ndrevisededition, München: Stiebner, 2012.