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Katharina Tietze

What does your day-to-day work look like?
I alternate between emails and meetings, between big strategic questions and sometimes very detailed coordination processes. It's often tiring, but I'm encouraged by my colleagues who are either struggling with the same problems or finding constructive solutions. I am happy when I can delve into very different topics together with the students while teaching. I love developing new projects with the fantastic team at Trends & Identity. I also enjoy the exchange in interdepartmental working groups, such as the Equal Opportunities Committee or with colleagues from the T-Minors. I try to organize time for research projects or simply to think and practice taking a step back from the ZHdK from time to time, which is not so easy for me.

What topics are you personally working on at the moment?
A cooperation project has just started in which students from Trends & Identity and Visual Communication are designing shop windows for Hermès on Paradeplatz. Rebecca Morganti-Pfaffhauser and I are being supported by David Walsh, a graduate of Industrial Design. We're going to Paris together to visit the flagship store on Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré. I am excited. I'm also working with Anna-Brigitte Schlittler on the final corrections to our conference proceedings on fashion and gender. It contains contributions to the current debate from historical and theoretical, design and academic perspectives. Together with the Museum für Gestaltung, I am designing a research project on the history of the textile class at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich. I am particularly interested in how a feminist design history can be written.

What drives you?
Exchanging ideas with students, who are always asking new questions.The opportunity to shape education and standing up for justice at an institution like ours.

What is your personal definition of design?
For me, design is a good balance of aesthetics and function. «In our puritanical and critical country, something beautiful is already a little suspicious from the outset.» Max Bill said. Yet we need aesthetic pleasure, especially in times of crisis like these. This is complemented by a critical perspective on society and a willingness to take responsibility. And thirdly, an analytical look at the past to shape an informed future.

Head of Subject Area
Trends & Identity
Katharina Tietze
Photo: David Jäggi. © ZHdK.
Photo: David Jäggi. © ZHdK.