Annika Frye *1985, is a german designer based in Offenbach and Berlin. Annika’s interest concerns the aesthetic qualities of serial production, experimental processes and the design process as source of innovation. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. project at the school of Design Offenbach (HfG Offenbach). The thesis is a research about improvisation in the design process.

The project »Improvisation in Design« discusses the relevance of improvisation in the design discourse by comparing case studies and design theories. Models and drawings, but also talks in the studios point to the relevance of improvisation. Opposed to this, design processes had been defined as planned operations during the 1960’s design methods movement and in traditional industrial design. But improvisation is needed in every design process. Especially today improvisation gains more and more importance as a method of design in Open Design processes – for example during the development of the RepRap printer.

The project has a focus on design theory, but it also has a practical part, where Annika is working on improvisation in serial production processes.


June 2015: I am now working as Inhouse-Designer at BigRep. BigRep is a Berlin-based 3D-printing company that is building a large-scale FDM-printer. It prints furniture, but also technical parts. I am developing products for the printer, I am doing material research, and I am also involved in the design of the machine itself.

April 2015: I handed in my thesis. it still has to be reviewed by the profs, I need to defend and publish it, but I am proceeding to new projects since the major writing process is done.


April 14th – April 19th, 2015 : The glass pieces I made for the BIO50 biennial in Ljubljana in october are now on show during milan design week 2015, at Palazzo Clerici. Find out more about BIO50 here:


Jan. 2015: French furniture editor and producer Hartô, who is now since one year editing my lamp Claude will be present at both Imm Cologne and Maison et Objet Paris. Hartô will show new designs that have been added to the collection plus the again the Claude light.


The Hartô-collection in jan. 2015. (Photo: Hartô)


Dec. 3rd, 2014: Lecture about Improvisation in the Design Process at University of Vechta.

Nov. 2014: DDC Award for re/set. The design conference re/set received a DDC-Award in the Newcomer Category for its graphic concept. Together with Sophia Preußner, the graphic designer of the conference, we developed a ci that was used in various media: print, online and even for the event itself. The conference that was inititated by Prof. Peter Eckart of HfG Offenbach took place in may 2014, it is part of my research on the design process.

ddc reset

Sept 18th – Dec 7th, 2014: New project Pre-Mould lamps with glass factory Steklarna Hrastnik at BIO 50 (Biennial of Design in Ljubljana). I was selected amongst other european designers to participate in the BIO50 design biennial in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The biennial has a collaborative and participatory approach, and I am part of the group »Hidden Craft« that is mentored by Tulga Beyerle. The task is to make a design for a local producer.


Statement by Jan Boelen, director of BIO:

Fifty years ago, it was the changes in everyday life that led to the foundation of the Biennial of Industrial Design. The driving force behind BIO’s foundation was the ambition to establish design as an integral part of the industrial production of objects for a better everyday life. At the first edition of the biennial, architect Marjan Tepina called industrial design an indispensable discipline of the socialist social order and designing objects for a better everyday life thus became a part of the (socialist) modernization project. For the next fifty years, BIO exhibitions tried to present the best in design and the best in industrial production. With international selection, comparison and evaluation of exhibits, BIO strived to highlight the outstanding within the average. Early on in its history, there were also discussions on what BIO should be, as well as calls for a more direct approach to questions on the role of design in society (BIO 5, BIO 7). New industrial products helped make life more comfortable, but it soon became clear there is also a downside to industrial production and consumerism. Can life really be made better with more new, albeit well-designed consumer products – the question appeared, so to speak, of its own accord.

Sept 6th – Sept. 10th 2014: Maison et Objet Paris. Hartô is presenting its new collection including my big and small CLAUDE lamps (Hall 8 B37).

Flyer of the Hartô-collection in sept. 2014

Flyer of the Hartô-collection in sept. 2014

Sept. 2014: I am putting together the pieces of my thesis.