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Profile: Digital Transformation – Urban Futures Design ∙ Build ∙ Preserve

Product Design (BA)

Studierende im Seminar in der Modellwerkstatt
© Bernd Hiepe

Almost every object in our immediate environment is a design object. There are hardly any products left that have not been involved in a design process - whether they are chairs, mobile phones, trams, entire workplaces or infrastructural systems. Design is thus a central aspect of our product society, but also of our individual self-image: designed objects are part of our identity.

Product designers therefore have a decisive influence on the comprehensibility, sustainability, attractiveness, and last but not least on the acceptance and thus also on the social and economic success of a product.

Bachelor of Arts
Full time
Course language:
Standard study period:
8 semesters, including a practical semester
Start of study:
Winter semester
Application deadline:
15/06 - 15/07 (free of admission)
Admission requirements:
General university entrance qualification/ entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences/ equivalently recognised prior vocational training, passed aptitude test
240 ECTS credits
Module Manuals & Regulations

Antworten auf drängende und unbequeme Fragen der Zeit

Gestaltung zielt auf Attraktivität – was uns attraktiv erscheint, scheint erstrebenswert, plausibel und kann - bestenfalls - verzaubern. In diesem Sinne liefert gute Gestaltung attraktive Antworten auf Fragen, die uns interessieren, selbst, wenn wir erst über die Antwort, dem Produkt der Gestaltung, mit der Frage konfrontiert werden. Gestalten heisst demzufolge zuerst, Fragen stellen - die Fragen leiten uns über den Prozess der Gestaltung zur Form. Ernstzunehmende Gestaltung heute widmet sich deshalb den drängenden und manchmal unbequemen Fragen der Zeit – gerechtes und sozialverträgliches Leben, Gestalten und Wirtschaften innerhalb planetarer Grenzen.

  • Our house with our satellite on wheels

    Ansicht vom Haus D
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • The eye eats with you – our canteen

    Bild vom Campus mit Mensa
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • We don't just play with shapes

    Studierende beim Vopllyballspiel
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Studying with us always leads to the top

    Ansicht vom Foyer von Haus D
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Movement as a formality

    Ansicht vom  Haus D Seminarraum
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Pressure rules with us – in the 3D lab

    Studierende im 3-D Lab
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • We get our hands dirty in our plaster and ceramics workshop

    Studierende in der Keramikwerkstatt
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Head and handicraft in our model making workshop

    Studierende in der Holzwerkstatt
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Heavy metal – our metal workshop

    Studierende in der  Metallwerkstat
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Juki is not a dessert, but the name of a sewing machine in our TexLab

    Studierende im TexLab
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Good in shape in our bank premises

    Studierende in der Modellbauwerkstatt
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Art with physical effort – our studio

    Studierende im Atelier beim Zeichnen
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • We always cut a good figure in our FotoLab

    Studierende im Fotolabor beim Fotografieren
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Cyberspace in the 3D DigitalLab

    Studierende im Seminarraum
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Vision needs form through 3D digitisation

    Studierende in der Interface Werkstatt
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • You have to start somewhere – Basic Skills

    Studierende in der  VR Werkstatt
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • The good form, a question of expression – the Riso screen printing workshop

    Studierende in der Siebdruckwerkstatt an der Risomaschine
    © Bernd Hiepe
  • Realitycheck – Future simulation, our VR Lab

    Studierende in der Werkstatt mit VR Brillen
    © Bernd Hiepe

Concept | The Potsdam Approach

Prototyp eines zukünftigen Warentransportsystems vom Studenten Janis Specks

Attitude in design

Contemporary design, as we understand it, is essential in relation to the representation of cultural identity. It addresses the sustainability of developments, the question of sharing in the wealth of our resources – both spiritual and material. Design is transformation: it provides the blueprint for translating ideas of the world into attractive possibilities. These are challenging and also pressing questions that move us, these are the questions of our time. That is why we challenge ourselves and our students. What counts for us is a level of excellence that can be measured against international standards. We are guided by originality, which means nothing other than an inspired understanding of design and quality. Attitude in design – that's what the Potsdam approach stands for.

Leuchtendesign vom Studenten Constantin Schmidt

From object to subject study

The Potsdam approach pursues student-centred teaching in which the development of competences, a culture of thinking, self-organised and active learning and research curiosity are the starting points. It thus follows the path in favour of a learning culture instead of a teaching culture. By conveying the object of observation as the result of structural interrelationships, the Potsdam approach strengthens problem awareness, personal goal setting and an understanding of the possibilities of constructively influencing one's own environment. The approach thus conveys knowledge of systems, goals and actions. The Potsdam approach thus contributes to professional personality and opinion formation.

Beispiel einer parametrisch gestalteten Oberfläche von Student Martin Zerr

From recipe to method

In view of a practice-oriented education, the Potsdam approach contributes to closing a theory and practice gap in the design disciplines through pragmatic, solution-oriented methods. The aim is to introduce students to design tasks in a structured and progressive way. Here, awareness of communicative functions and the meanings of our designed environment as well as its dynamics in terms of plausibility and topicality plays a central role. In its application, the approach supports the development of a differentiated communication and technical language about design. It encourages students to adopt a critical, discursive and interpretive approach to evaluating design, opportunities and consequences.

Schuhdesign der Studentin Valentina Lenk

From ideology to reflection

By addressing the degree of subjectivity and structural dependency to which communication and perception are subject, the approach enables students to reflect on the interaction between their own task, their own environment and their own competences. This forces the development of a critical awareness of problems that follows challenges and opportunities rather than liabilities and rules. Nevertheless, this does not happen without a stop. The basis is a curriculum that is based on the many years of know-how of teachers who are aware that a good structure is characterised by the fact that it is plausible, grows with the students and adapts to the challenges.

Prototyp eines Gerätes zum Staubfangen vom Studenten Lukas Uhlitz

From the I to the We

Studying in Potsdam means learning with and through others. Discourse is at the centre of the Potsdam approach. Efficiency in this context means learning with and through others. An approach to design is made possible that does not require in-depth basic knowledge. Instead, the design process is understood as "basic-oriented". For this purpose, theoretical basics and practical skills are taught and retrieved within the framework of the respective assignments. This updates the students' level of knowledge and horizon of experience. In order to do justice to this dynamic in the best possible way, the Potsdam approach advocates face-to-face study.

Dose "Himmelskörper" der Studentin Lisa Sperber

From form to position

The Potsdam approach is interested in the evidence of questions, both general and specific, in relation to the development of design, backgrounds and conditions as well as the understanding of problems of the subjects concerned. We understand design as fundamentally context-based and primarily as the medium that helps the future take shape. In this sense, we see designers as creators of restlessness and meaning. Attitude in design – this is what the Potsdam approach stands for.


More projects
Urnenprojekt Sepulcrum Gewinnerurne

sepulcrum – Biodegradable Urns for Humans or Animals

In the "sepulcrum" seminar, contemporary and biodegradable urns for humans or animals were designed in cooperation with the family business and urn manufacturer Völsing. In a final presentation with jury meeting at the Baumschulenweg crematorium, the best urn designs were awarded prizes.

Keyvisual des Forschungsprojekts "Unfolding Spaces"

Unfolding Spaces

Development of an English-language online course between the Design Department and the College of Design at the partner university NTUT in Taiwan

Titelbild der Ausstellung Metall im Fluss. Vom Guss zur Form

Metal in Flux. From Casting to Mould

An exhibition project with the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin with the question: What potential do archives have for designers and what new types of design processes can be conceived in art casting?

Taiwan – DAAD ISAP-Programms

International Study and Training Partnership with the National Taipei University of Technology (Taiwan)

Exchange programme for students and teachers within the framework of the DAAD ISAP programme

Is this degree programme right for me?

In the product design degree programme, you will receive a basic theoretical education on the one hand and an insight into the practical work of product designers in workshop units and project work on the other. During your studies, you will develop solutions for given or self-selected tasks.

You bring these qualities with you

  • Enjoy design, art, culture, media, people and technology
  • Fun in developing new ideas and concepts
  • Creativity, independence and curiosity
  • Ability to communicate and work in a team

Podcast of the Campus Specialists

Rebekka and Toni explain everything prospective students need to know about the product design and communication design degree programme. In addition to tips on aptitude tests or the study process, they give insights into their student life.

To the podcast


Let yourself be inspired! In our virtual showcase you will find current projects and works from the courses of study of the design department.

Showcase of the Design Department


The colleagues at the student counselling service provide information to prospective students, first-year students, parents, teachers and students on all general questions about studying. If you have specific questions or concerns about the bachelor's degree programme in product design, please contact the subject counselling service.

Subject Counselling Service

These degree programmes might also interest you

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Degree programme Teaching language Start of study Application deadline
Communication Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/05 – 15/07 (restricted admission)
Design (MA) German Summer semester, Winter semester
15/06 – 15/08 and 15/02 – 15/03 (restricted admission)
European Media Studies (BA) German Winter semester
until 15/07 at the University of Potsdam (admission restricted)
European Media Studies (MA) German Winter semester
until 01/06 at the University of Potsdam
Interface Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/06 – 15/07 (free of admission)
Product Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/06 - 15/07 (free of admission)
Study Structure

We have a plan

More precisely: a module plan. Modules are thematic containers or questions for individual seminars. And the module plan is a timetable through your studies. It indicates in which module groups how many credits must be earned. And since almost all of our seminars are elective courses, the module plan is a practical guard rail. In the following, we will go through the module plan for each study section (StAb) – StAb I describes the subject semesters 1 to 3, StAb II the subject semesters 4 to 8.

Modulpläne der Bachelor-Designstudiengänge

In the currently valid module handbooks, study and examination regulations and statutes of the design department you will find the module overview, a detailed description of the modules and study contents, the study plan as well as the statutes for determining the course-related aptitude for the product design degree programme.

First stage of studies: basics and orientation

Please get on board!
For the first three semesters, there is a thoroughly ambitious programme that you can put together individually from many offers. Our »module plan« provides a rough guide for this, which must be fulfilled not in the order shown, but in the sum of the ECTS credit points (CP) from the respective module groups. The following sections explain our current module plan, broken down into its module groups.

All seminars in the area of design basics take place across degree programmes and semesters, i.e. together with students from interface and product design who are in their first three semesters. We recommend that you complete the seminars in this module group at the beginning of your studies.

Modulgruppe I/1 Gestaltungsgrundlagen

Elementary Design

The seminars in the area of »Elementary Design« are concerned with teaching elementary, i.e. decidedly not (yet) applied, design basics through the development of representational and technical skills (11EG-B, Basics = Basic Representational Techniques), through the development of an understanding of formal-aesthetic-contentual interactions (11EG-K, Context = Perception and Differentiation) as well as the creative and methodical ability to act for designing (11EG-P, Process = Design Processes and Methods).

Our professors for elementary design Prof. Klaus Keller, Prof. Alexandra Martini (focus on »3D«) and Prof. Myriel Milicevic (focus on »form and process«) teach here. In the elementary design modules, three certificates of achievement must be completed in the first stage of study.


In the »atelier« area of the design fundamentals, artistic representation techniques are trained and creative explorations are undertaken. In the studio area, we draw, paint, collage on site - it's all about experiencing composition, proportion, situation, body, space, body, light, colour. ...

Our academic staff members Maria Kleinschmidt and Anna Rosinke (drawing and colour) teach here. In the studio area, two certificates of achievement must be completed in the first part of the course.

This is where it is applied: All eight teaching areas of the product design degree programme teach their respective subject-specific basics here. The aim is to try out the essential design and analysis methods of a subject. In addition, you will gain a first perspective insight into the field of activity of product design.

Ausschnitt aus der Studien- und Prüfungsordnung: Modulgruppe „Entwurfsgrundlagen“ im ersten Studienabschnitt Produktdesign

Technology + Product

In the module »Technology + Product«, students learn how to deal with the basic building blocks of form and product development as well as basic knowledge of materials and their processing.

Form + Purpose

The module »Form and Purpose« deals with the topics and conditions of contemporary product culture in order to interpret the knowledge gained in a creative way in exemplary »application«. In this case, »application orientation« means exclusively the concrete relationship between the phenomenon, i.e. the investigation of design developments in relation to the respective socio-cultural conditions and the theoretical and design interpretations to be derived from this.

Space + Context

The module »Space + Context« spans the range between different design disciplines: from room and shop design, exhibition and trade fair design to the design of virtual spaces. Topics of interior design, visual interior design, the staging of events, are taught in a practical manner both in terms of design, conception, technology and organisation with regard to concrete requirements.

Object + Intention

In the module »Object + Intention«, socially relevant questions are presented as the starting point for the conception of possible products, systems, services and scenarios. The reflection of economic, ecological, social or cultural effects of product design is central. The subject of the teaching is the introduction of essential tools for scenario development, conception and the translation of the development results into concrete designs.

Prof. Silvia Knüppel (Design and Perspective), Prof. Hermann Weizenegger (industrial design), Prof. Holger Jahn (mobility and design), Prof. Dr. Sebastian Meier (design of knowledge transfer), Prof. Jörg Hundertpfund (product design) teach here.

In the module group design fundamentals, 5 credits must be completed in the first stage of study, at least 3 of which must be from the student's own degree programme. Our speciality in Potsdam: The other credits can also be obtained in seminars from interface and communication design.

In the module group »Theory«, the basic professional-scientific knowledge is taught and tested. The goal is a basic knowledge of analytical, historical, contextual as well as operational (strategic, economic, procedural, legal) methods, practices, facts and theories. The seminars are offered across all degree programmes.

Modulgruppe I/3 Theorie

The subject canon of the theory module group offers an analytical approach with the modules Design Media Theory (13Th-DMT), a historical-sociopolitical approach with Design/Cultural History (13Th-DKG) and an operational approach with Design Management and Design Law (13Th-DMR).

In this module group, our colleagues Prof. Dr. Marion Godau (design, art and cultural history), Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke (design theory), Prof. Dr. Nico Heise (design law) and Prof. Dr. Enrico Sass (business start-up and management techniques) teach full-time.

In this module group, 2 certificates of achievement must be provided.

Our workshops – like the entire degree programme – are interdisciplinary per se, but there are, of course, workshops that are strongly associated with the respective degree programmes and teaching areas. Here, the technical and craft basics of the respective trades are taught. Each student can take an individual workshop portfolio that also extends beyond the boundaries of their own subject area.

Ausschnitt aus der Studien- und Prüfungsordnung: Modulgruppe „Werkstattpraxis“ im ersten Studienabschnitt Produktdesign

Modelling Workshop / Plastic Design

The subject of the module »Modelling Workshop« is modelling and moulding techniques as the basis of creative design development and presentation. Using classical materials such as clay and plaster, classical additive methods of three-dimensional object construction and the translation into plaster models are introduced and practised.

Analogue Model Making Workshops / Wood, Metal, Finish

In the module »Analogue Model Making Workshops«, the variety of classical applications in model making is illustrated. A wide variety of materials such as wood, metal, plastic and textiles are presented here on the basis of traditional as well as contemporary materials and techniques. Based on concrete tasks, the various model functions from quick mock-up model construction to prototype construction are presented and practised.

Digital model making workshops / CAD, CAM

In the module »Digital Model Making Workshops«, CAD-based model making techniques (rapid prototyping) are presented. Based on concrete tasks using digital design development, the interface topic as well as the range of technical and design possibilities, such as 3D print, CAD-based milling techniques, among others, will be explored and implemented in a trial and error manner.

The following colleagues lead our workshops in product design: Anne Boenisch (model-making workshops) Jörg Misch (plaster workshop), Sebastian Reichel (CAD / 3D print workshop), Samira Akhavan-Malyer (Tex-Lab), Peter Kerscher (Mac-Lab).

From this module group, 12 ECTS credit points are required in the first study section, which means the equivalent of 3 to 6 credit points, depending on the course intensity. Some workshop courses are offered in combination with design subjects and are additionally credited.

»Perspectives and Social Skills« are our little »disruption machine«, because here we specifically promote thinking outside the box.

Modulgruppe I/5 Social Skills

The module group »Perspectives and Social Skills« includes the module Project Weeks, (15PSs-PW), which is the first course for students in the first semester as one of the few compulsory courses at the beginning of the winter semester. In addition, events are developed and carried out in interdisciplinary teams in the module Project Organisation (15PSs-PO). The flex module (15PSs-FM) enables students to participate in university-wide, interdisciplinary courses - i.e. also from other departments of the university of applied sciences.

The »Colloquium« is a cross-module examination in which the students critically reflect on the subjectively central results of the 1st study section, document them and present them to a commission. The subject of the assessment is not the quality of the work shown, but the quality of the presentation, reflection and documentation. The presentation leads to a personal discussion between the candidate and the commission with critical feedback as well as recommendations for the further course of studies.

Modulgruppe I/6 Kolloquium

The colloquium is developed independently - the department organises an information event in preparation. The examination is taken in front of a commission of three lecturers from the design department and lasts about one hour.

Second stage of studies: diversification or specialisation

Keep going!

It's your turn! Semesters four to eight can be devoted entirely to personal development. The majority of the credits are earned in the design seminars – but you set the focus yourself: You have the option of specialisation and can intensively deepen your favoured discipline, or you go for diversification and try out many different areas or even other design courses – our basic elective principle makes both paths possible for you.

We understand »designing« as a cultural practice that allows different approaches through design: product design as problem solving, as speculation, as design research and as artistic practice. All four design approaches move thematically in the domains of »Society and Public Sector«, »Mobility and Urbanism«, »Culture and Transformation«, »Consumption and Production«, »Science and Technology« or »Economy and Commerce«. This allows for additional alignment of one's own course portfolio to specific knowledge areas.

Ausschnitt aus der Studien- und Prüfungsordnung: Modulgruppe „Entwurf“ im zweiten Studienabschnitt Produktdesign

The subject of the module product design as problem solving is the topic of the practice-oriented and thus central requirement for designers to be able to respond to concrete questions with competent, practical designs. In contrast, the module product design as speculation addresses questions of the time in a more general and, as the title already suggests, speculative form. Here, social and cultural developments and requirements of the future are to be anticipated and translated into imaginable and representable scenarios and products. In the module product design as design research, design is at the same time an instrument, object and method of gaining knowledge and generating knowledge: design itself as an object of research interest as well as an enablement for connection or integration in research processes of other disciplines. Product design as an artistic practice focuses on the aesthetic issues of design in the formation of a design language and in mediation competence as a contribution to a contemporary discourse on reception and identity culture.

Prof. Silvia Knüppel (design and perspective), Prof. Hermann Weizenegger (industrial design), Prof. Holger Jahn (mobility and design), Prof. Dr. Sebastian Meier (design of knowledge transfer), Prof. Jörg Hundertpfund (product design) teach here.

Although the module group is called »Theory«, it usually comes across as quite practical: The subject canon of the module group »Theory« offers an analytical approach with the modules design and media theory (13Th-DMT), a historical-sociopolitical approach with design/cultural history (13Th-DKG) and an operational approach with design management and law (13Th-DMR). The seminars are offered across all degree programmes.

Modulgruppe II/2 Theorie
Modulgruppe II/2 Theorie, Studien- und Prüfungsordnung 2019

In this module group, our colleagues Prof. Dr. Marion Godau (design, art and cultural history), Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke (design theory), Prof. Dr. Nico Heise (design law) and Prof. Dr. Enrico Sass (business start-up and management techniques) teach full-time.

In this module group, 3 certificates of achievement must be provided.

A 6-month internship is integrated into our curriculum; however, the timing within the second degree programme as well as the internship location can be freely chosen. For quality assurance, the internships are »reviewed« by the respective internship supervisors.

Modulgruppe II/3 Praxissemester
Modulgruppe II/3 Praxissemester, Studien- und Prüfungsordnung 2019

In this module group, 2 credits must be achieved; one for the internship itself (28 CP) and another for the internship report (2 CP). Both certificates are ungraded.

This module group is a kind of »disruption machine«. Here there is the possibility of earning credits within the project weeks with offers (24PSs-PW - one is even compulsory!): with interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary offers from the Flex programme of the FHP (24PSs-FL), with the organisation of one's own (design ) projects (24PSs-PO) as well as with in-depth offers from the area of workshops (24PSs-HT) or in the studio formats (24PSs-AT). In addition, there is the possibility to offer and receive credit for initial small teaching formats (accompanied by a professor) with tutoring (24PSs-T).

Modulgruppe II/4 Perspektiven & Social Skills
Modulgruppe II/4 Perspektiven & Social Skills, Studien- und Prüfungsordnung 2019

A total of 8 CP must be earned in this module group; three to four certificates of achievement are necessary for this, because the credits can be measured differently depending on the course-specific scope of work.

The bachelor's thesis, the individual final paper, is represented by a cluster of three modules: the conception and draft within the framework of the bachelor's thesis itself (25 BA), the personal work overview within the framework of the bachelor's portfolio (25 BP) and the presentation and argumentation within the framework of the bachelor's disputation (25 BD).

Modulgruppe II/5 Bachelorthesis
Modulgruppe II/5 Bachelorthesis, Studien- und Prüfungsordnung 2019

The processing time is 3 months; the topics for the bachelor's thesis are chosen by the student and coordinated with the supervisors, who are also chosen by the student, in advance of the registration deadline.

Teaching Areas & Workshops

The five teaching areas & main topics in product design

"Design and Attitude"

"Design and Attitude" poses the question of the ethical dimension in design. In this sense, designing the future means designing perspectives. Design is always geared to the future and, in order to be taken seriously, must be "appropriate" in time; it must detach itself from a monovalent optimism of progress and understand the signs of the times.

By means of design, paradigm shifts become visible and liveable. But the applied design itself must also readjust. The development horizon has expanded. An isolated understanding of problems and issues is not compatible with a global perspective. Questions of the development context, development perspectives and possible effects beyond the design object move to the centre of the discourse. "Product & Perspective" understands the product as standing in context, as part of an option, but also as part of an issue: design as the result of a transformational process of negotiating technology, application and social perspective.

"Design and Transformation"

"Design and Transformation" deals with the role of product design against the background of new development, communication and manufacturing scenarios. On the one hand, this refers to the exponential development of new materials and technical processes and the effects on the classic product development and production context. On the other hand, it refers to corresponding, mostly web-based developments that describe new design, production and distribution horizons (e.g. open source, internet of things, manufacture 4.0, space lab, construct lab, co-working, digital prototyping). These processes in particular, which are emerging alongside traditional development contexts, outline a space of possibilities that is already becoming concrete, both culturally and economically, and which has a considerable influence on product design. In this context, among other things, the resources of industrial and artisanal production are renegotiated in relation to technical-semi-craft approaches. The classic service provider designer in the expert debate is being replaced by a new type of designer. This new type of designer is no longer confronted with users, but with critical prosumers who first want to be convinced of a special design competence. Designers must be able to recognise the possibilities of the new conditions and translate them into modern design statements through the use of contemporary media and technologies. By taking up initiatives, recognising avant-gardes, not only in product development, they must prove themselves to be experts in cultural development, as well as in communication and the use of current strategies of product conception.

"Design and process

The understanding of problem solving usually associated with the term design process is no longer sufficient against the background of current development scenarios. The development of new materials and technical processes have an impact on the classic product development and production context. In addition, web-based developments describe new design, production and distribution horizons that suggest new methods and instruments for controlling product development processes. Designers, as the ones who are supposed to translate a project into a product, increasingly have the role of linking multi-process aspects of a development and translating them across disciplinary and communication boundaries - away from a doctrine of feasibility towards a discourse of plausibility. They must be in a position to formulate, organise, integrate or themselves perform many aspects of development, from post-industrial production to critical reception. They have the role of mediating contemporary product development.

Prof. Jörg Hundertpfund

"Material & Material Culture"

Material culture refers to the totality of devices, tools, weapons, buildings, clothing, jewellery and other material things produced by a culture or society. Historical artefacts give us information about ways of life and cultural techniques. Material creates identification for people, e.g. in professions and regions. Material must be thought of holistically, i.e. its origin, properties, processing possibilities and recyclability should be included. In particular, it is about which atmospheres and which old and new aesthetic qualities can be created by material. Material is always an indicator of a social mood and should be seen as anthropological. Material has narrative qualities and appeals to all the senses.

"Object/Series & Production Society" or "Autonomy of Production".

Objects and products can be created in different contexts - in the studio, start-up, craft, manufacture, in industry and research institutions. Production takes place in a wide variety of social and cultural spaces. Objects and goods are created by hand, with 3D printers, robots and CNC-controlled machines. A cultural space is attached to productions, they are subject to a production atmosphere and are guided and judged by experts. Questions need to be asked about this: How are production and production relations changing in the age of digitalisation? Which new production strategies and tools are available to designers and which do they have to reinvent (maker culture)? In which interdisciplinary constellations can innovation take place without values? What new spaces for action and experimentation must be developed for the future? What new understanding of the role of designers will result from this?

Prof. Hermann Weizenegger

"Experimental Design"

Experimentation is an indispensable tool in the laboratory kitchen of contemporary design education. It opens up new spaces and creates new expressive possibilities to see or do things in a way they have never been seen or done before. Experimental design methods offer the opportunity to develop new forms, perspectives and their combinations, to put the forgotten and the traditional into a new context and to overcome known boundaries to explore new fields.

"Textile & Design"

Contact with textiles is an integral part of our everyday lives. In a product design degree, the examination of and knowledge about textiles cannot be missing. Textile products have always been an important area of product design as well as an important economic factor with great potential and many future-oriented dimensions.

Healthy Materials & Circular Economy

As designers, we have a special influence on the manufacturing processes and thus also on the sustainability of products. Cradle to Cradle is a design concept in which products are always returned to the cycle, thus saving CO₂ and producing as little waste as possible. Healthy materials are the prerequisite for a functioning circular economy. Material compositions and manufacturing processes of our everyday consumer goods must be made more transparent to enable self-responsible purchasing decisions.

Prof. Silvia Knüppel


The car and other fossil-based mobility solutions have left a lasting mark on our society and our built environment. In the sense of a holistic mobility turnaround, we need radical solutions that rethink mobility from the ground up. For a mobility that is oriented towards people and the environment, we need innovative concepts that range from new means of transport to mobility platforms to social change and are dedicated to a holistic mobility turnaround.


What does it mean to design products - especially in times of climate change, conflicts over raw materials and environmental pollution through waste? Design has made a significant contribution to the emergence of our current consumer culture. How can we as designers show new ways of producing and using products? What do concepts like cradle-to-cradle or the circular economy mean for the design process? How can we promote sustainable user behaviour through the design of products and services?

One Planet Design

The artefacts and processes we designers are involved in shape our physical world and our society. The lifestyle of industrialised nations is pushing the planet to its limits (planetary boundaries). Not only on an ecological level, but also socially, we are facing major global challenges for an inclusive and sustainable future.

How can we as designers take a stance in this discourse and contribute to the path towards a better future through our work?

Prof. Holger Jahn

»Digital design process«

Modern design processes are completely digitalised. The digital presents itself to us as a space of endless innovative possibilities. But the real potential of the digital is reserved for those who know how to shape the space through data and code. Digital sovereignty in design is based on a deep understanding of digital structures, limitations of the digital and an empowerment to shape the digital space in a self-determined way.

»Knowledge transfer in form and space«

In times of abstract topics like climate change, financial crises and globalisation, we need new forms of knowledge transfer - formats that go beyond unidirectional educational offers, holistically designed mediation offers that address us humans with all our senses and needs. How can we, as designers, make a positive contribution to the conception and design of innovative mediation formats and techniques?

»Product as interface«

Physical and digital space are ubiquitously interwoven. The devices we use, the vehicles that transport us or even the buildings we enter are equipped with sensors, displays and controls. How can we shape the interplay between the physical and the digital? What influence do the two dimensions have on each other?

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Meier

Tools & Skills

The professionally equipped teaching workshops of the design department in the Laboratory and workshop building (LW) allow students and researchers to realise their own projects with professional equipment. These can be realised practically with hands, machines and the support of various digital processes. The direct contact allows creative work for the further development of product processes or design strategies. This supports our claim of a solid craft and technical education and manifests the idea of a practice-oriented degree programme.

Studierende in der Holzwerkstatt
© Bernd Hiepe

Wood Workshop / 3-D Analogue

Whether it's a piece of furniture, a prototype or a mock-up, in LW/Room 018 and LW/Room 019 wood and wood-based materials can be brought into almost any dimension and shape. A large selection of professional machines and tools for sawing, drilling, milling, turning/turning, sanding and joining are available. Anne Boenisch imparts comprehensive knowledge which is necessary for the safe, independent use of the workshops and provides support in many ways.

Studierende in der  Metallwerkstat
© Bernd Hiepe

Metal workshop / 3-D analogue

Steel and metals have comparatively high strength values. Therefore, particularly stable machines and tools are available in LW/Room 022. This workshop is also run by Anne Boenisch is in charge. A cross-cut saw, a pillar drilling machine and a universal milling machine are available for processing metal profiles and pipes. Sheet metal can be processed using guillotine shears, lever plate shears, a swivel bending machine and a beading machine. Bending and rounding machines are also available.

Studierende im TexLab
© Bernd Hiepe

TexLab / Technology & Material

In order to design textile products with sustainable material cycles, knowledge of textile processes and fibre science is essential. The TexLab teaches the technologies of sewing, embroidery, weaving, knitting and tufting, which are applied in designs or deepened in the form of material developments. The lab is supervised by Prof. Silvia Knüppel and Samira Akhavan . The equipment of the lab includes hand knitting machines, dobby looms, an embroidery machine and industrial sewing machines.

Studierende in der Keramikwerkstatt
© Bernd Hiepe

Plastic Design / 3-D Analogue

Through modelling, moulding, mould making and casting, in the modelling workshop in LW/room 138 under the expert guidance of Jörg Misch both form studies and design prototypes or small series can be created. The focus here is on the materials clay, plaster and industrial plasticine/clay and ceramics. A vacuum thermoforming unit enables the moulding of plastic sheets. In addition to the most beautiful terrace at the university, the workshop has a kiln with which ceramic objects can be fired and glazed.

Studierende im 3-D Lab
© Bernd Hiepe

PrintLab / 3-D Digital

3D printers build models layer by layer, mostly from plastic or hard wax. By adding many layers, a three-dimensional model is created. Several fused filament fabrication 3D printers are available in the 3D-PrintLab. After successful participation in the 3D printing introductions, the FFF 3D printers are available to students 24/7 for independent use. 3D printing is an important tool in the project courses to check final models and moulds or to create tools (positive or negative moulds) for further production steps. The lab is led by Sebastian Reichel.

Studierende am Bigrep Drucker
© Bernd Hiepe

PrintLab / 3-D Digital

3D printers build models layer by layer, mostly from plastic. By adding many layers, a three-dimensional model is created. A Big MSLA Printer Phenom L and a 3D printer BigRep ONE are available in the Digital Model Making Lab. In the Peopoly Phenom L, which works with the MSLA process, a liquid photopolymer is cured in thin layers with the help of UV light. Additive manufacturing with the large-scale BigRep ONE fused-film 3D printer (FFF) enables the innovative production of design models, prototypes and products in the digital age with an installation space of 1.2 sqm.


Studierender an der Wiesner CNC Fräse
© Bernd Hiepe

CNC Milling / 3-D Digital

The 3-axis CNC milling machine and the 5-axis high-speed CNC milling machine produce three-dimensional models from model building foam or wood materials. The milling paths are calculated with 3D programmes. Successful participation in the introductory course CNC milling technology is a prerequisite for students to use the CNC milling machine. The results are final models or tools (positive or negative moulds) for further model making. The lab is led by Sebastian Reichel .

Studierende im ComputerLab
© Bernd Hiepe

ComputerLab / 2-D Digital

A core competence for designers is to be able to communicate their designs and ideas. The digital design of documentation and presentations in Adobe programmes such as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop is part of the tools of the trade. On the one hand, introductory courses in all important design programmes take place in the ComputerLab, on the other hand, the room can be used by students for independent work. The Lab is run by Peter Kerscher is in charge.

Studierende im Seminar in der Modellwerkstatt
© Bernd Hiepe

Ad-hoc Model Making / 3-D Analogue

A quick bit of gluing or spontaneously cutting a first form study out of cardboard - these are things that are part of the daily routine in design studies and especially in model making. Work that doesn't require large machines can be done in the ad hoc workshop, where the tables can also get dirty. Materials such as wire, modelling clay, corrugated cardboard and paper are ideal for quick mental exercises to communicate initial ideas.

Studierende im Atelier beim Zeichnen
© Bernd Hiepe

Studio / 2-D Analogue

Colour and drawings are creative means of expression in the designer's toolbox, not only in the design process. In the studio, the students work under the direction of Maria Kleinschmidt and Anna Rosinke, the students deal with the artistic potential of colour and drawing at the easel and on paper in a practical, analogue way.

Studierende im Atelier mit Plakaten von Handzeichnungen
© Torsten Redlich

Constructive Drawing / 2-D Analogue

In constructive drawing, Torsten Redlich teaches the essential aspects of design drawing, from perspective constructions to two- and three-dimensional freeform drawing and rendering techniques. The aim is both to be able to visualise ideas freehand using simple techniques and to develop a technical understanding of the development of forms at the interface of design and engineering.

Laser in der Werkstatt
© Hermann Weizenegger

Laser / 3-D Analogue

The laser is a popular tool with our students to easily produce two-dimensional surfaces from fabric, plywood, plastic or cardboard. The laser beam also allows the surfaces only to be burned, which means that typography and graphics can be displayed on the material. The system can be used to produce models for basic projects, simple volume models using frame construction or prototypes up to small series.

Teachers in the product design degree programme

Gruppenfoto der Lehrenden des Studiengangs Produktdesign
© Simon Lou Schüler
Career Prospects

Career prospects

The career profile of graduates of the product design degree programme focuses primarily on designing, optimising and ultimately marketing products. Thanks to the interdisciplinary degree programme at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, you will not only be able to shine with expertise from the field of product design, but also from communication design and interface design. This generalist education offers numerous advantages for employers, as you can be employed in responsible interface functions.


There is a lively creative industry in the Berlin/Potsdam region. There is a large number of small and medium-sized design agencies that have a constant need for designers. In addition, there are spin-offs from the many research institutions and universities. These start-ups often aim to develop and later market products. The frequent enquiries to the product design degree programme show that there is a high demand for product design here. In the greater Berlin-Potsdam area there are a number of large media agencies that increasingly function as overall providers of corporate communication. The professional fields are the consumer goods industry (household appliances, decorative items, furniture, fashion and toys), the communication goods industry (product packaging, advertising media) and product and exhibition/message design.

Design agency

The function of product and industrial design in development processes in industry and in large companies is sufficiently well known in the sense of a job description. The role of design has increased significantly in recent years. In industry, product designers are also increasingly found in strategic and management positions, as they have the ability to plan and design across different media and technologies in a visionary and integrative way. The master's programme in particular prepares you for such leadership positions. There is a particularly high demand for product designers in the following industries: Automotive and aerospace industry, automotive suppliers, mechanical engineering companies, interior design, consumer goods industry and engineering service providers.


After graduating with a bachelor's degree, you can work directly as a self-employed product designer. In practice, there are a number of successful models. Depending on your own profile, you can be called in by companies and agencies on a project basis and work purely as a freelancer. Of course, the path directly to founding a company is also open and is actively supported at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam through the FHP Entrepreneurship School and the start-up service. Here you will also find numerous examples of successful company start-ups.

Entrepreneurship School & Start-up Service

Science & Research

Research is conducted at institutions such as the Fraunhofer Institute and at state universities. In recent years, the role of design in research projects has changed significantly. Especially in related sciences, there is a noticeable increase in the demand for qualified product and industrial designers. In the context of research projects, designers are also qualified to develop and visualise scenarios. In the role of research assistants, they can deal with research questions and sometimes also actively work on research projects. Active research can also open the way to a doctorate.

Master program Design

Scannertisch mit Bildschirm
© Max Stein

Transfer & Research in Product Design

The product design degree programme researches and cooperates at the interfaces of material, product, service, system and space with a focus on innovation, digitalisation, education for sustainable development and shaping the socio-ecological transformation. It is involved in collaborative projects and initiatives such as the "Innovative University" project InNoWest. The focus is on the cooperation and implementation of practical projects with regional partners from the economy and the promotion of innovative start-ups.

The degree programme offers diverse opportunities to design, develop, realise and produce objects, scenarios and environments. An important component is the project study as well as the multidimensional examination of the systemic challenges of our time.

Topic-specific workshops and laboratories are available for teaching, transfer and development activities: tex lab, one planet design lab, material knowledge lab, mobility design lab. These offer the opportunity to learn about and apply basic and future-oriented technologies and materials.

Prototype from the research project PaSyMobil - Mobile Participatory Modelling for Urban Systems © mobility design lab



Stefan Rechsteiner, Velt Studio GmbH – shoe and bag label

"What still inspires me today is how many inspiring people met, how teachers and students understood each other as like-minded people and realised projects together. Friendships have grown out of this that are more than just a professional network."

Bild von Armbanduhr

Mark Braun, Studio Mark Braun - Product Design & Professor Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar

"... but also the openness of the FHP to encourage students to take advantage of Erasmus programmes in their main studies, to do internships or to study at other universities in parallel as a guest student has helped me to advance my own personal and professional development. In detail, this was my stay at the Design Academie Eindhoven or the cooperation with Burg Giebichenstein Halle. What I learned there I was then able to combine ideally in my diploma at the FHP. Not to forget the FHP's start-up programmes, which prepared me very well for my entry into self-employment.

Form Magazine

Anton Rawhles – Co-Editor-in-Chief Form GmbH

"When I think of my time at the FHP, the people I met there are what I remember most. Workshops, infrastructure, reputation - all good and important. But what really has a lasting effect on my life are friends and professors who have shown me new perspectives and supported me. The open structure of the FHP is not an empty promise. I think it's great that the FHP pays more attention to the individual needs of students than to bureaucratic processes, for example. This practical and applied realism helps me every day to cope with my professional everyday life. As for my attitude as a designer: to consider design both as a discipline that can be criticised and as a critical discipline is something I learned at the FHP."

Creation von Essen auf einen Teller

Inés Lauber, Studio Inés Lauber – Fooddesign

"I also really enjoyed the fact that access to the workshops was basically possible 24/7 and that you only had to adhere to opening hours in exceptional cases. Even though I put food at the centre of my work, the exposure to many different materials during my studies still had a strong impact on me. Studying product design definitely trained my sense for design, but also for aesthetics, and at the same time taught me to think in a solution-oriented and far-sighted way. But I was also able to take away that it is absolutely possible to dream and make seemingly crazy things come true."


Sina Gwosdzik & Jakob Dannenfeldt, Studio Jäll & Tofta – Kitchen and Interior Design

"The wide range of courses on offer at the time and the various opportunities to try things out in the workshops at the FHP. In the meantime, I understand design more and more as a method for solving challenges. In product design studies, the challenges were often on an aesthetic or functional level. Now I use the same methods to develop approaches to solving the social and ecological challenges of our time."


Sofia Souidi, Studio Sofia Souidi – Research & Material Development

"I liked the opportunity to study in an interdisciplinary way and to be able to choose my own courses. I also liked the well-equipped workshops with free access. Since the course was very free, studying in Potsdam helped me organise my projects myself and get in touch with manufacturing companies."

These degree programmes might also interest you

More courses
Degree programme Teaching language Start of study Application deadline
Communication Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/05 – 15/07 (restricted admission)
Design (MA) German Summer semester, Winter semester
15/06 – 15/08 and 15/02 – 15/03 (restricted admission)
European Media Studies (BA) German Winter semester
until 15/07 at the University of Potsdam (admission restricted)
European Media Studies (MA) German Winter semester
until 01/06 at the University of Potsdam
Interface Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/06 – 15/07 (free of admission)
Product Design (BA) German Winter semester
15/06 - 15/07 (free of admission)
Application & Contact

At a glance

The most important deadlines, dates and admission requirements for the bachelor's degree programme in product design are compiled here. You can find out which steps you need to take for a successful application in the next section.

Deadlines & Dates

  • by 01 April: register for the qualifying examination
  • by 15 July: apply for matriculation
  • by 15 July: application for a higher semester in order to continue a started degree programme at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Access requirements

  • General university entrance qualification according to the Brandenburg university act: General universityentrance qualification or entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences or previous vocational training recognised as equivalent
  • Passed aptitude test

This is how you apply!

In the following, we explain which aspects you should pay attention to from the registration for the qualifying examination to the matriculation (enrolment).

Online registration for the qualifying examination

After registration

  • You will receive the date of the examination and the topic of the homework assignment. You should work on the assignment independently and present it during the qualifying examination.
  • Fill out the enclosed application form and return it in a correctly addressed envelope (0.85 euros).
  • For the aptitude test, create a portfolio with a maximum of ten of your own creative works or recent work samples.
  • Work on the homework assignment. Be creative , avoid clichés and convince with your concept. Formalities are important, but your innovative ideas are of particular interest.

Note on the portfolio

In order to get to know your creative abilities and get a clear idea of your interests, your portfolio should present an authentic picture of you and show that you are able to communicate your ideas effectively. The following are accepted as work samples:

  • Visual material up to DIN A0 format or digital: drawings, sketches, photographs, paintings
  • Three-dimensional visual objects: Models, sculptures, installations
  • Computer representations: Renderings, web designs, websites, computer codes, graphic software
  • Films, games, videos, animations, music pieces, stories

Insights & Tips

On the website of the campus ambulance you will find many helpful tips and answers to questions about the aptitude test in the field of design: What should be considered for the homework? What are the requirements for the portfolio? How does the examination proceed?

The campus ambulance team, consisting of students, offers you advice and is on site during the exams to ensure a pleasant atmosphere between all the new impressions.

The artistic-design aptitude test takes place online. You can find the dates for the aptitude test on the page about the organisation of studies at the design department. In the aptitude test, you will have an interview with the responsible examination board and present your homework as well as the portfolio with your work samples.

Assessment criteria

  • Creativity, intensity
  • Ability to reflect and abstract, problem orientation
  • Technique and craft
  • Motivation and identification
  • Communicative skills
  • Design-specific talent

After the aptitude test

After the aptitude test, the individual examination boards will confer and decide whether aptitude has been established. In the following weeks, you will receive a letter informing you of the result. If you have successfully passed the aptitude test, you can apply for enrolment.

For detailed information on determining the artistic aptitude for the bachelor's degree programmes in interface design, communication design and product design, please refer to the statutes for determining the aptitude for the degree programme, which you can find on the page of the module handbooks and study and examination regulations of the design department.

Do you have a university entrance qualification and have passed the aptitude test? Then you have the opportunity to submit an enrolment application for the upcoming winter semester from 15 June to 15 July on the MyCampus university portal of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Once you have submitted your online application for enrolment, please submit the printed and signed application together with all required documents in paper form by the deadline. The day of the enrolment deadline is decisive for the submission of the documents, whereby the date of receipt by post at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam is decisive.

Documents to be submitted

Submit the following documents with your enrolment application:

  • Officially certified copy of the university entrance qualification or the university degree certificate
  • Proof of health insurance coverage for students or proof of exemption from compulsory health insurance coverage: Information on health insurance for applicants
  • Proof of payment or order confirmation of semester fees
  • Photo for issuing the Campus.Card
  • Exmatriculation certificate from the last university attended, if applicable

Please refer to the enrolment application form to find out whether you need to submit any further documents.

Do you have questions about the enrolment process at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam? We have compiled frequently asked questions and answers regarding enrolment and admission.

Start your studies

After you have successfully completed the application process, we recommend that you take a look at the start of studies page of the design department. There you will find important information and dates regarding the start of your studies at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Further information

The following links provide you, and especially international applicants, with further information on the topics of application and enrolment at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Girlande mit internationalen Flaggen

International applicants

You would like to apply for studies from the first or a higher semester and have acquired your school-leaving qualification and/or university degree abroad? Then you can have degrees and achievements acquired abroad recognised and study with us.

Application information for internationals

Drei Studierende schauen sich Infomaterialien der FH Potsdam an

Application & Enrolment Procedure

The application and study service provides information and advice on general questions regarding the application process, admission and enrolment at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, application for a higher semester, but also on topics such as compensation for disadvantages, part-time studies, waiting semesters and hardship applications.

Application & Enrolment University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Contact & Services

The student counselling service provides information and advice on general questions about studying as well as on topics such as choosing a degree programme, application, enrolment and study organisation.

For subject-specific questions on module content, credit transfer, examinations or specialisations in the product design degree programme, the subject counselling service is the right place to go.

Subject Counselling Service

Student Financing

Room 3.02a

Family Affairs Commissioner

Room 026

Office hours

Tue and Thu 9.30 am – 1.30 pm

Commissioner for University Employees with Impairment

Room 201

Office hours

by arrangement

Contact Persons Department of Student Affairs