in Concept and Organization

Hidden Layers Summer School

At Köln International School of Design, we are hosting the summer school Hidden Layers from July 18 to 22. The event gathers a diverse group of experts to collectively discuss and learn about artificial intelligence in design. It is held by the research project KITeGG on design and AI and combines a public program with talks, an exhibition and workshops with internal meetings of the five art and design schools that are part of the project

Registration to the public program (on- and offline) is free of charge through

Thematically, Hidden Layers addresses the black boxes of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) from a design perspective. What are the aesthetics, potentials, serendipities, biases, and dangers we find inside the hidden layers of deep neural networks and buried in big training data? How can we empower designers to create and use machine learning systems? How do we support a design practice that not only understands how to use these systems, but also why and when we should use them – and when we shouldn’t? The summer school approaches these questions along three thematic threads: Teaching Machine Learning deals with the places and practices that are needed for collectively learning how to design for and with ‘intelligent’ systems. AI & Material looks at the entanglements of AI, objects and people, paying special attention to integrating product design, embedded AI systems, and new forms of use. Finally, AI & Society seeks to reflect on the changes in the way we work and live that are affected by AI – from changes in the design profession to changes in how we design the lives and labor of others.


Organization: Rina Cellarius, Matthias Grund, Jihee Hwang, Omid Akbari Kharazi, Lukas Marvin Kostka, Tim Noah Lingens, Sejal Vatta, Huiling Wang, Felix Raphael Westhoven, Kjell Wistoff, Jiye Kim

Supervised by: Jakob Killian, Laura Wagner, Lasse Scherffig