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Lisa Hillers

Where at the ZHdK can you be found?
Rather than in the home office, these past few weeks you’d have found me increasingly in the office of the Department of Design (4.E03). As often as possible, I grab my laptop and attend lectures or watch the dancers during their rehearsals.

Which topics are you focussing on at the moment?
I work at the interface between anthropology and design and really enjoy combining the different disciplines. It is important to me to tell a global story of design that includes postcolonial and feminist positions and those that have thus far been ignored. So I would have loved to bring together, for example, Paul Gilroy, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Alvar Aalto at a big round table and listen to what they’d have to say to each other. Instead, I sometimes tune in to Formfunk when I work or 99%invisible, which are almost as good.

What is your personal definition of design?
I used to regard design above all as an iterative, often entrepreneurial creative process, but these days it feels more playful to me. That is likely also because of the ZHdK. Now I would say: design is a formal-aesthetic creative process which affects us in different ways – at times subversive, matter-of-fact, imaginative, visible or invisible – while reliably mixing new with old. The boundaries between design and art have also become a little less rigid for me, which I am grateful for. Overall, definitions don’t seem to be quite as important anymore as the focus has shifted towards impact and participation.

Who would you like to work with one day?
When I don’t work for the ZHdK, I sometimes DJ. «Uknowhowwedo» by Bahamadia is almost always my outro track. A week together in the studio with her – that would be amazing.

Deputy Head Bachelor of Arts in Design & Study Coordinator Bachelor of Arts in Design
Departement Design
Lisa Hillers
Photo: David Jäggi. © ZHdK.
Photo: David Jäggi. © ZHdK.