• Research
  • IAF

Institute for Applied Research (IAF)

The Institute for Applied Research (IAF) is the central scientific institution of the University of Applied Sciences Schwäbisch Gmünd, and it embraces all the HfG’s research and development projects. The IAF is also the service organization for staff and clients.

Applied design research enjoys a high priority at the HfG. All research activities are centralized in an Institute for Applied Research. This focuses on research and development activities related to the University’s three core areas of Interaction, Communication, and Product Design. Current research activities include the ergonomic design of medical products and systems, studies of the interaction between humans and designed products and systems, evaluations of the usability of products, analyses of development and working processes, and the development of Internet applications.


Managing Director
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Held
Participatory ergonomics, Innovation processes

Dr. Brigitte Hirner
Research Consultant

e-mail address
07171 | 602 663

e-mail address
07171 | 602 697


Research area Interaction Design
Groß, Benedikt, Prof., Generative desig, visualization of data
Krämer, Hans, Prof., Digital media

Research area Communication Design
Biste, Günter, Prof., Transmedia visualization of Information and Knowledge transmission
Dringenberg, Ralf, Prof., Visualization in dynamic systems in unstable media
Kneer, Georg, Prof. Dr., Sociology, cultural analysis, theory of communication and media
Rinker, Dagmar, Prof. Dr., History of design, design and exhibition theory
Schendzielorz, Ulrich, Prof., Media authoring
Schmid, Tabea, M.A., Design and exhibition theory

Research area Product Design
Belthle, Andreas, M.A., Learning by research
Held, Jürgen, Prof. Dr., Participative ergonomics, Innovation processes
Held, Matthias, Prof., Innovative product and process design, medical technology, energy technology
Karger, Angelika Prof. Dr., Semiotics, theory of science, theory of design and media
Reichert, Gerhard, Prof., Innovation methodologies, innovative product and process design
Saur, Jörg, B.A., Sustainable Design
Schade, Susanne, Prof. Dr., Innovative product and process design, sustainable design
Schneider, Stefanie, B.A., Sustainable Design
Willnauer, Sigmar, Prof., Sustainable design, innovation methodologies

Student Research Teams

Buchstabe A

The University encourages participation in the more important student design competitions, including the Mia Seeger Prize, Red Dot Award, IF Concept Award, and the Lucky Strike Junior Design Award.