Presseinfo +ultra
Presseinfo +ultra

Press release

+ultra. knowledge & gestaltung

An exhibition by the Excellence Cluster »Image Knowledge Gestaltung. An Interdisciplinary Laboratory« at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

30 September 2016 to 8 January 2017  

Martin-Gropius-Bau | Niederkirchnerstraße 7 | 10963 Berlin

Weds–Mon, 10 am–7 pm, closed Tues | Open on public holidays, closed 24 December and 31 December

Press conference: Thursday, 29 September 2016, 11 am
Opening: Thursday, 29 September 2016, 19 am 

Knowledge is Gestaltung (design), and design produces knowledge. Digital technologies have contributed to a fundamental change in our perceptions and knowledge: they determine what is possible, guide and structure people’s actions, and they shape and influence knowledge of the physical and virtual worlds. Yet up until now one fundamental aspect has not been fully appreciated: objects designed by people, technology or nature themselves actively mould and influence the knowledge that they generate.

The exhibition +ultra. knowledge & gestaltung presents new perspectives on the theory and practice of creative processes in science and research, design and architecture, and explores the challenges that scientific/technological and social developments pose for design today.

It presents design processes in experiments, models, images and processes. From the hand axe to simulated organ functions, from image-guided actions to 3D-printed timber, the exhibition takes objects from the past and present and interactive installations to shed light on historical continuities and identifies fundamental changes, such as the introduction of computer-aided design.

The ten chapters of the exhibition +ultra. knowledge & gestaltung reveal the interrelationships between artistic, scientific and technological design processes in terms of form, material and image, and uncover their social and political dimensions. »Nature as grammar«, »Living cybernetics«, »Bioconstructivism«, »Code and matter«, »Data bodies« and »Image operations« signal current and historical border crossings between the opposing forces of nature and technology, and reveal the transformation processes triggered by design and science. An expansive scenography by raumlaborberlin presents the mechanisms and scope of contemporary design.

With +ultra. knowledge & gestaltung, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is continuing its tradition of science- and research-based exhibitions. Theatrum naturae et artis (2000) and WeltWissen. 300 Years of Science in Berlin (2009/2010) made scientific research accessible to a wide audience, just as +ultra. knowledge & gestaltung enables visitors of all ages to gain an insight into current trends in research. Using objects from the natural world, artefacts and walk-in, interactive installations, the exhibition introduces visitors to the techniques of observing, describing, analysing and designing.

The interdisciplinary, transepochal exhibition catalogue sheds light on the challenges that scientific/technological and social developments pose for design today. Drawing on the Excellence Cluster’s priority areas, which are dedicated to research on form processes, active matter and image operations, the contributions explore artistic, natural, scientific and technological processes as well as examining design in the social and political fields. The illustrated catalogue (384 pages) is published by E.A. Seemann Verlag, Leipzig. 

Communications programme and accompanying events
What do researchers do in a research cluster? An extensive programme of talks, conferences, workshops and guided tours will accompany the exhibition. In the GESTALTEN Series, figures from science, research and design will give fascinating insights into their current projects and how they work. At workshops, researchers from the Excellence Cluster will invite visitors to find out about the techniques they use in their work. Here visitors will have their own chance to actively create and produce objects, which will later be shown in the exhibition. Special workshops for children aged 7 to 14 years will be held on four children’s Sundays, where they can create, build, make and design around the exhibition’s themes with toy developers, comic book artists and professional chefs. You can find detailed information on the guided tours and the communications and accompanying programme here >>

In game(+ultra) visitors themselves become researchers, embarking on captivating missions as they make their way through the exhibition with the help of their smartphone. Key scientists, researchers and designers from the past and present day act as their virtual guides. All the answers and solutions are hidden in the exhibits – their mission is to uncover them. Where is the hand axe with an impression of a mussel? What is an Embryological House, and can apes smile? Visitors who find the right objects will broaden their knowledge and learn about the famous scientists or designers who guided them through the exhibition.

30 September 2016 to 8 January 2017

Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin | Niederkirchnerstraße 7 | 10963 Berlin

»Image Knowledge Gestaltung. An Interdisciplinary Laboratory« at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Dr. Nikola Doll in collaboration with Katharina Lee Chichester, MA

Supported by
The Excellence Cluster »Image Knowledge Gestaltung. An Interdisciplinary Laboratory« is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Additional sponsors
Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin, Einstein Foundation Berlin, Ernst Schering Foundation, Berliner Sparkasse, Humboldt-Universitäts-Gesellschaft

Media partners
Berliner Zeitung, ZITTY, tip berlin, Himbeer-Magazin Berlin

Press contact
Claudia Lamas Cornejo | 

Press photos can be provided in a higher resolution on request. 

We are happy to arrange interviews.

Overview of press photos 

Download the press release