PD Module 3120

Module code


Module title

Foundations of Design I


Product Design

Module type


Module form


Duration of module

1 semester

Offered in

winter and summer semesters

Studio workload

135 hours

Self-directed workload

135 hours

ECTS credit points


Module leader

Prof. Gabriele N. Reichert

Email address

e-mail address

Learning outcomes

After completing this module successfully you will have developed, through project work, design skills and a repertoire of methods and effects of basic visual signs, sign relationships, and processes. You will be familiar with the fundamental concepts, approaches, and theories of the organization of visual structures. You will have developed methodical competence in applying perceptual and phenomenological factors such as pregnance, contrast, figure-ground effects, perception of scale, size, dimensions, perspective, stability, and dynamics.

Module content

Systematic experimental studies of the formal and syntactic characteristics of signs and sign systems (form, dimension, texture, structure, orientation, similarity, proportion, rhythm, symmetry operations). Introduction to design methods and processes such as variation, transformation, combination, analogy, morphology. Analysis of the qualitative, conceptual, and semantic characteristics of visual signs such as aesthetic, pregnance, context, hierarchy.

Module teaching units

2-dimensional Design I (5 contact hours)
Foundations of Typography (4 contact hours)

Module tutors

Prof. Gabriele N. Reichert

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars, project work


Documentation and presentation of development and results

Teaching language


Prerequisite for

Recommended literature

Alsleben, Kurd: Ästhetische Redundanz. Quickborn Schnelle, 1962
Barratt, Crome: Logic and Design in Art, Science and Mathematics. N.Y, 1993
Critchlow, Keith: Order in Space. London, 1987
Zwimpfer, Moritz: 2d – visuelle Wahrnehmung. Basel, 2001
Aicher, Otl; Krampen, Martin: Zeichensysteme der visuellen Kommunikation. Stuttgart, 1996
Forssman, Friedrich; de Jong, Ralf: Detailtypografie. Mainz, 2006
Gerstner, Karl: Kompendium für Alphabeten. Zürich, Niggli, 2000
Müller-Brockmann, Josef.: Grid systems – Rastersysteme für die visuelle Gestaltung. Niggli Zürich, 2008
Spiekermann, Eric: Ursache und Wirkung: Ein typografischer Roman.Mainz, 2004
Schriften identifizieren: www.linotype.com/fontIidentifier?start=1

Buchstabe M
Media laboratory

The Media Laboratory offers an environment for trying out and developing new technologies in augmented reality, virtual reality, and physical computing.