Projects by the students of the
Bachelor Major in Art, Major in Design,
and the Master in Eco-Social Design

The Big Wait

Study Programme

BA Major Design


BA Product Design Project



Summer semester

Are we not all currently trapped in a Big Wait, anticipating a better time to come as a “new normal”?

We wait on hotlines, at the public office, in queues and in traffic jams. Waiting for an idea, for sleep and for a diagnosis. We wait in waiting halls and waiting rooms at stations, airports and doctors’ surgeries. Waiting with social distance and private isolation constraints. We wait while sitting, lying or standing, each in a slightly different way.

Waiting seems to be an anthropological constant. Those who wait often anticipate a future that may never arrive. Uncertainty, however, triggers a fundamental cultural achievement: the creative imagination. Moments of waiting – the ability to await, renounce distraction and act with anticipation – open up the space for creative impulses, for associative and intuitive processes.

In his 1922 essay “Those Who Wait” (dt. Die Wartenden.), the cultural sociologist and trained architect Siegfried Kracauer refers to waiting as a state of “hesitant openness”, an attitude of tense activity and engaged self-preparation, that does not refuse reality, but also does not simply give in to the course of events.

Following Kracauer’s idea, nineteen young creatives went on field-trips to investigate the current phenomena of waiting, its socio-cultural background, material culture and places in order to develop concrete solutions for everyday waiting problems. The resulting projects are wide-ranging, from improvements in animal welfare to product systems for queuing, from public furniture to micro-architectures designed to enhance the quality of waiting.

The Big Wait project was carried out in collaboration with Dr. Waltraud Kofler, Head of the Platform Cultural Heritage / Cultural Production.

The Big Wait on Instagram