Dr. Rosan Chow

Legienstr. 35
Altbau Legienstr. , L.03.03

Curriculum Vitae:

I hold a Ph.D in Designwissenschaft from the University of Arts Braunschweig in Germany and a Bachelor and a Masters in Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta, Canada. Before coming to Germany, I have practiced at Philips Design in Hong Kong and taught courses at different universities in Canada and United States. Most recently I have been a Senior Research Scientist at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories at the Technical University of Berlin. My research and teaching focus on design theory and methodology. Particularly, I inquire into ‘research through design’ together with the German theorist Wolfgang Jonas and pioneer a design method ‘Rip+Mix’ with the British educator Mike Press. My works are published in major international conferences and journals, disseminated to the industry and taught at the university. Together with Wolfgang Jonas and Felicidad Romero-Tejedor, I have recently co-edited “Design Research in Germany” for the journal “Design Issue”.

Besides, I contribute regularly to the development of doctoral studies in Design in Germany. I am also the co-founder of the online Design Research Network and the co-leader of a special interest group ‘Designwissenschaft’. Through these organizations, I have hosted an international conference for doctoral students, an international symposium for Postdocs and several online discussions. At MKH, together with colleagues and Wissenschaftszentrum Kiel, I hosted the symposium “Dock of Learning” in 2014.


Consultation Hours

Wednesdays 9:00 – 12:00. For appointment, please sign in at Incom Workspace




Edited Book, Journal Special Issue, Dissertation


Chow, Rosan et al, (forthcoming) Dock of Learning: Design von, als und jenseits von Wissen: MKH.


Chow, Rosan, Wolfgang Jonas, and Felicidad Romero-Tejedor (2015) Speical Issue “Design Research in Germany?” Design Issues 31 (1).


Chow. R., W.Jonas and G.Joost (2010) Questions, Hypotheses & Conjectures: Discussions on Projects by Early Stage and Senior Design Researchers: iUniverse.


Wolfgang Jonas, Rosan Chow, and Niels Verhaag (2005). Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the European Academy of Design, EAD06. Design System Evolution – The Application of Systemic and Evolutionary Approaches to Design Theory, Design Practice, Design Research and Design Education. Bremen.


Jonas, W. and R. Chow. 2005. „Knowing and Not Knowing in Design.“ The Design Journal 8: Special Issue


Chow, Rosan (2005). For User Study – The Implications of Design. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Arts Braunschweig, Germany.






Book Chapters & Journal Articles

Jonas, W., S. Grand, and R. Chow. (2014) „Knowing and Not-Knowing in Design of Alternative / Future forms of Design Doctorates.“ in Of Other Thoughts: Non-traditional Approaches to the Doctorate. From Ontology to Action, A Handbook for Candidates and Supervisors, edited by T. Engels-Schwarzpaul. Rotterdam: Sense Publisher.


Chow, R. (2014) „The Method Rip+Mix and Reflection on its Prototypes.“ in Prototype: Craft in the Future Tense, edited by L. Valentine.


Chow.R. (2010) „What Should be Done with the Different Versions of Research Through Design.“ in Entwerfen. Wissen. Produzieren. Designforschung im Anwendungskontext, edited by C. Mareis et. al. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.


Chow. R. (2010) „The Potential of Designwissenschaft.“ in Designwissenschaft, edited by F. Romero- Tejedor & W. Jonas. Kassel: University of Kassel Press.


Chow, R. and W. Jonas (2010). „Case Transfer: A Design Approach by Artefacts and Projection.“ Design Issues Vol.26 Issue 4


Bredies, R. Chow, and G. Joost (2010). „Addressing Use as Design: A Comparison of Constructivist Design Approaches,“ The Design Journal, vol. 13, issue 2, pp. 156-179.


Chow, R. (2009). Projection before Analysis. Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal. Vol 3. No. 1: 341-346




Conference Articles

Gowrishankar, R, K. Bredies, and R. Chow. (2011). „The Music Sleeve: Fabric as the Electronic Interface Medium.“ in 4th Nordic Design Research Conference ‚Making Design Matter‘, edited by I. Koskinen. Helsinki: Aalto University.


Press, M., F. Bruce, R. Chow, and H. White. (2011). „Rip + Mix: Developing and Evaluating a New Design Method in Which the Designer Becomes a DJ.“ in 9th European Academy of Design Conference ‚The Endless End‘, edited by H. Alvelos and S. Barreto. Porto: University of Porto.


Chow, R. and W. Jonas (2010). „Far Beyond Dualism in Methodology: An Integrative Design Research Medium ‚MAPS‘.“ in 2010 DRS International Conference ‚Design & Complexity‘, edited by P. Lalande. Montreal: University of Montreal.


Chow, R. (2009). Abduction Revisited. Paper presented at the Communicating by Design Conference, Brussels.


Chow, R. (2009). Fallman meets Jonas: Compare and Contrast two models of Design Research. Paper presented at the Communicating by Design Conference, Brussels.


Chow, R., Jonas, W., & Schaeffer, N. (2009). Peircean Abduction, Signs & Design Transfer. Paper presented at the 8th European Academy of Design Conference, Aberdeen


Jonas, W., Chow, R., & Schaeffer, N. (2009). Service Design Descriptors: A Step toward Rigorous Discourse. Paper presented at the 8th European Academy of Design Conference, Aberdeen


Buchmueller, S., G. Joost, and R. Chow. 2009. „The role of interface in virtual gender presentations.“ in 5th European Symposium on Gender & ICT, Digital Cultures: Participation, Empowerment, Diversity. Bremen.


Chow, R. (2008). Case Transfer vs. Case Study. An Evaluation of Case Study as a Method for Design Research. Paper presented at the Swiss Design Network Symposium ‚Focused‘. , Bern.


Chow, R., & Jonas, W. (2008). Beyond Dualisms in Methodology. An Integrative Design Research Medium „MAPS“ and some Reflections. Paper presented at the DRS 2008 Conference ‚Undisciplined‘, Sheffield, UK.


Chow, R., & Joost, G. (2008). Best or Worst of the Two Worlds? Experiences in Long-Term University- Industry. Paper presented at the Swiss Design Network Symposium ‚Focused‘, Bern.


Bredies, G. Joost, and R. Chow (2007). „Designing Personalized Intelligent User Interfaces,“ in IASDR 07 Conference Proceedings, Hong Kong, China.


Chow, Rosan & Stan Ruecker (2006). The Many Arts of Designing Research. DIS 2006 Workshop “Exploring Design as a Research Activity”, Penn State University.


Chow, Rosan & Stan Ruecker (2006). Transferability. A Wonder on the Ground of Design Research. DRS International Conference “Wonderground”, Lisbon: IADE.


Chow, Rosan (2005). Evolution, Epigenesis and Recycling in Design Theorizing.

Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the European Academy of Design, EAD06. (Ed. Wolfgang Jonas, Rosan Chow, and Niels Verhaag. Bremen.


Chow, Rosan et al. (2003). Reflection and Inaction. The Good, the Bad, and the Irrelevant. The User and the Future of Information and Communication Technologies, University of Art and Design Helsinki.


Chow, Rosan (2003). Shop Around: Design Theories for Design Education. ICSID 2nd Educational Conference. Critical Motivations and New Dimensions, Hannover: iF International Forum Design GmbH.


Chow, Rosan (2003). Seeing and Using Theory for Design. Communication Space Conference. Edmonton: University of Alberta.


Chow, Rosan (2003). Kindness – A Purpose of Design. The 5th EAD International Conference „Techne, Design, Wisdom‟. Barcelona


Ruecker, Stan & Rosan Chow (2002). The significance of the affordances of prospect in interfaces to health-related Web sites. Human Factors in Universal Design. Edmonton: University of Alberta.


Chow, Rosan (2002). Knowledge Destruction: a fringe view on the relation between design and knowledge in The Basic Paradox.


Seminare und Kurse:

Seminar ‘Conceiving Design’

Master, 2 SWS, 1st Semester, 3 Credits, 90 Workloads

Tuesdays 13:00-15:00, ID Seminar Room

Design is what we think it is, almost. Our conception of design: its intellectual bases and moral purposes, directs our actions that in turn realize or not our concept of design. What is the basis of design: science, art or design itself? What is design’s social, cultural and political role? In this seminar, we will critically examine various responses to these questions. We will also debate their relevancy to contemporary collective issues and students’ particular questions and interests. At the end of the course, students will form their own perspective that will inform their future professional practice.

The seminar is a site of inquiry, thus students are expected to participate actively. The course is composed of reading assignment, presentation and discussion. Each student is required to present and guide discussion on an assigned text once and to be a critical reader twice. Students who need a grade for the class are required to submit a final paper.

This course can be taken as “Vertiefung” or “Wahlpflicht”.

Course Info, assignments and general communication are found on Incom Workspace ‘Conceiving Design’


Seminar ‘Designwissenschaft’

Master, 2 SWS, 3rd Semester, 3 Credits, 90 Workloads

Tuesdays, 15:30-17:30, ID Seminar Room

Design is a form of inquiry. Different types of knowledge are utilized and transformed during the design process to create new products, services, and systems. Traditionally, design knowledge has been mostly generated in practice; however, for the past two decades, organized design research has increased steadily and produced new knowledge systematically. This knowledge, like all other theoretical or practical knowledge, needs to be ‘translated’ into practice. The ability to evaluate and make use of it is essential for today’s design masters as the design profession takes on more and more complex and novel problems in our so-called knowledge economy and information society.

In this course, students will learn about the role, values and limitations of knowledge for design. Furthermore, students will learn to search, read and evaluate scientific and scholarly literature from a design perspective. They will also be introduced to the state-of-the-arts design (research) principles and practices in preparation for the Master thesis. They will be guided to select a topic of interest, narrow a topic to a theme, identify a design problem and finally develop a thesis proposal. Additionally they will learn to develop a project plan and select appropriate design and research methods.

The seminar is composed of lectures, readings, discussions and in-class exercises. A literature review in the form of an oral presentation is due at mid-term. Students needing a grade for the class are required to submit a written thesis proposal at the end.  This course can be taken as “Vertiefung” or “Wahlpflicht”

Course Info, assignments and general communication are found on Incom Workspace ‘Designwissenschaft’


Colloquium ‘BA Thesis’

BA 6th Semester

Wednesdays 9:00-10:30 & Special Arrangement

Main Building Office 03.03 or Library Gruppenraum

In this colloquium, you will be guided to write a BA Thesis in design. You are required to submit writings periodically and attend group meetings. Besides, you are encouraged to seek individual consultations throughout the semester. After each individual consultation, you must submit a meeting protocol.

Course Info and general communication are found on Incom Workspace ‘ID BA Thesis Colloquium WS14/15


Colloquium ‘MA Thesis’

MA 4th Semester

Wednesdays 10:30-12:00 & Special Arrangement

Main Building Office 03.03 or Library Gruppenraum

In this colloquium, we will critique and advice on your master thesis in progress. We will take advantage of the experiences, knowledge, insights and hopefully also moral support from the group. However, you will take the lead in the whole process and you are highly encouraged to submit drafts for discussion and to attend others’ consultation meetings.

Course Info and general communication are found on Incom Workspace ‘ID BA Thesis Colloquium WS14/15


Doctoral Supervision

Special Arrangement

Main Building Office 03.03

Doctoral Student: Stefanie Reich

Dissertation in Progress: Design Mediacal Democratization




Guest Lecture Series “Research Practice Dialogue”

Open to all students

Credits assigned by “Kunst- und Designdiskurs”

At MKH, there are already many guest lectures covering diverse themes from multiple perspectives. The Kunst- und Designdiskurs and Forum offer critical discussions from a scholarly perspective and the Interface Salon and invitations from Design present state-of-arts best practices and debates from a designerly perspective. Despite these important foundations, the developmental changes in design research worldwide and at MKH call for an additional guest lecture series.

“Research” and “Practice” were arguably the most important words in academic design discourse in the last 20 years. These were spoken often in the context of developing design research at the University. Currently there are a number of models established: Research Through Design, Practice-Led/Based Research, Project-Grounded Research, and Constructive Research. They all share the ideas that designing is a form of inquiry which has its own particular methods and subject matters that should be capitalized. Secondly, they see that designing should form a (major) part of design research and should generate trustworthy knowledge to serve and renew practice.

Despite resistance, confusions and problems; design-research-cum-practice is now generally tolerated if not accepted as legitimate by the international academic design community. The most notable evidence is the establishment of the so-called Practice-Based PhD.

MKH has been a member of the Excellent Cluster (a prestigious German federal research funding scheme) for some years. It should be mentioned that MKH is the only Art and Design College that holds such a privileged position and MKH Design is a frequent award-winning institution. It suffices to say that the expertise, the accumulated knowledge and experiences create a fertile ground for further systematic development.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the symposium “Dock of Learning” in 2014 has generated much resonance from both students and faculties: it reflects a deep-felt and long-held desire for engagement. The time has come for a regular, organized and focused discussion on design research at MKH.

The ‘Dialogue’ seeks to bring diverse speakers, positions and themes to further strengthen design research at MKH.

Im Fokus

Im Fokus

Übergeordnetes Ziel der Muthesius Kunsthochschule in Kiel ist es, durch künstlerisch-gestalterische Entwicklungs- und Forschungsvorhaben als Kristallisationspunkt für Arbeiten und geistige Auseinandersetzungen auf den Gebieten der Kunst, der Raumkonzeption und des Design zu wirken. Die Muthesius Kunsthochschule in Kiel als einzige Kunsthochschule des Landes Schleswig-Holstein ist nicht nur ein Ort der Ermöglichung kulturell relevant werdender Biografien, sondern mit ihrem Projektstudium auch ein Ort besonderer Experimente und Realisierungen.
 Die Profile der Masterstudiengänge stellen teilweise in der Bundesrepublik einzigartige Studienangebote und Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten für Studierende dar.

„Im Zentrum der Muthesius Kunsthochschule steht die Kunst, das Künstlerische und das Gestalterische, das Schaffende und die Produktivität. Um diese Mitte bewegt sich auch das grundsätzliche Verhältnis von Theorie und Praxis. Dieses Wechselverhältnis ist ein permanenter Prozess, eine kreisende Bewegung um das von Kunst und Design ausgehaltene Zentrum. Es ist Freiraum nötig, um sich zu bewegen. Deshalb ist die erste Bedingung für Kunst und Design an unserer Hochschule Freiheit! Zum Studium an der Muthesius Kunsthochschule gehört der Wille, diese Freiheit zu nutzen, um zu einer ebenso kreativen wie produktiven Persönlichkeit heranzureifen. So können wir unseren Studierenden persönliche Biografien ermöglichen“, verspricht Präsident Dr. Arne Zerbst.

Rund 580 Studienplätze verteilen sich zur Zeit auf die Studiengänge Freie Kunst, Freie Kunst Lehramt Gymnasium, Raumstrategien, Kommunikationsdesign und Industriedesign.


Die Ausbildung an der Muthesius Kunsthochschule ist projektorientiert. Studierende werden frühzeitig ermutigt, Erfahrungen mit realen Auftraggebern zu machen. Mit dem Projektbüro, dem Raum der Publikation und dem Zentrum für Medien wurden  interdisziplinär arbeitende Einrichtungen geschaffen, die den Studierenden dabei helfen, ihre Projekte erfolgreich zu realisieren.
Durch die Teilnahme an Exzellenzclustern zählt die Muthesius Kunsthochschule zu jenen international sichtbaren und wettbewerbsfähigen Forschungseinrichtungen, die dazu beitragen, den Wissenschaftsstandort Deutschland nachhaltig zu stärken. Zahlreiche Kooperationspartner auf lokaler, nationaler wie internationaler Ebene schätzen an der Muthesius Kunsthochschule ihre interdisziplinäre Kursstruktur sowie das persönliche Klima mit Semesterstärken von maximal 20 Studierenden – eine hervorragende Basis für Diskurse mit Innovationspotential.


Studierende und Lehrende setzen sich jedes Semester im Rahmen interdisziplinärer Workshop-Wochen und hochschulintern organisierter, öffentlicher Symposien mit nationalen und internationalen Positionen in Kunst und Design auseinander. Internationale Dozenten sind stets Bestandteil dieser Pflichtveranstaltungen. Aus über 30 Ländern der Welt kommen junge Menschen in Kiel zum Kunst- und Designstudium zusammen. Ihr Anteil an der Studierendenschaft beträgt 14 Prozent, Tendenz steigend. Damit liegt die Muthesius Kunsthochschule weit über dem Bundesdurchschnitt.


Um die Vielfalt der Muthesius Kunsthochschule darstellbar zu machen, gibt es neben den »offiziellen« Informationsseiten (die farbige Hälfte dieser Webseite) über 30 Weblogs (die weiße Hälfte dieser Webseite), die von den einzelnen Lehrgebieten selbst gepflegt aktualisiert  werden.

Für ganz Eilige haben wir hier eine kurze Bookmarkliste zusammengestellt:
Das digitale Vorlesungsverzeichnis
Who is who an der Muthesius
Medienformationen für die Presse
Die Termine der Mappenberatung

Bibliothek (Katalog und Öffnungszeiten)

Wintersemester 2016/17

Semesterbeginn: 01.10.16
Semesterende: 31.03.17
Vorlesungsbeginn: 17.10.16
Vorlesungsende: 13.02.17

(Unterrichtsfrei: 23.12.16 – 06.01.17)

Sommersemester 2017
Semesterbeginn: 01.04.17
Semesterende: 30.09.17
Vorlesungsbeginn: 03.04.17
Vorlesungsende: 21.07.17

Wintersemester 2017/18
Semesterbeginn: 01.10.17
Semesterende: 31.03.18
Vorlesungsbeginn: 16.10.17
Vorlesungsende: 14.02.18

Unterrichtsfrei: 21.12.17 – 06.01.18


Die Muthesius Kunsthochschule tritt entschieden für die Anerkennung und Akzeptanz jeglicher Identitätskonzepte (LGBTIQ*) jenseits von binärer Geschlechterordnung und Heterosexualität ein.
(Bitte informieren Sie sich über die Gleichstellungsarbeit auf der Website der Gleichstellungskommission: E-Mail: