Annika Frye is a german designer and design researcher based in Offenbach and Kiel. She works in between practice and theory. Annika’s interests concern the aesthetic qualities of serial production, experimental processes and the design process as source of innovation. She has recently published her dissertation on improvisation in design. After finishing her PhD-project on improvisation at University of Art and Design Offenbach she started researching the changes of design processes regarding the connection of digital technology and materiality.

Frye gave lectures and workshops at design schools and museums such as HbK Braunschweig and MAK Vienna, has worked as a teacher at HfG Offenbach and at HfK Bremen. Annika Frye is affiliated with IXDM Basle. She is co-founder of the design office »teilchenbeschleuniger«, a collaborative platform for young designers and design professionals. Her projects have been exhibited in the New Museum in New York, during the Triennial in Milan, at Depot Basel and at Vitra Design Gallery, at the NAI in Rotterdam, at the MAK in Vienna and at the Design Museum Holon. Her work was published in FRAME Magazine, ELLE, form and in various design blogs. She was nominated twice for the German Design Award as well as receiving a honorable mention from the Raymond Loewy Foundation.

Since April 2017, Annika Frye holds a professorship for design science and design research at Muthesius University of Arts and Design Kiel. Furthermore, she is working on design projects in the field of experimental industrial design.



Mein Buch Design und Improvisation. Produkte, Prozesse und Methoden ist im Juni 2017 in der Reihe »Architektur und Design« bei transcript erschienen. Es handelt sich um die Überarbeitung meiner Doktorarbeit Improvisation in Designprozessen von 2015.


Designer_innen müssen improvisieren, wenn sie entwerfen. Die Entwicklung des Braun-Rasierapparates ebenso wie die Arbeiten des Designers Sebastian Herkner zeigen, dass Improvisation Modelle und Prototypen hervorbringt und Fertigungsprozesse überlistet.

Doch Improvisation ist nicht nur eine Notwendigkeit – sie ist auch konzeptionell von Bedeutung. Als formgebendes Prinzip führt sie seit dem gestalterischen Postmodernismus zu eigenständigen Einzelstücken. In der Nachkriegszeit versuchte man jedoch, Design als einen Planungsprozess darzustellen. Annika Frye belegt: Für diesen rationalistischen Designbegriff, der bis heute die Diskurse über Design prägt, erweist sich ein am Prozess und seinen Improvisationen orientiertes Designkonzept als äußerst folgenreich.

(Ankündigungstext des Verlags)

Cover – Abbildung: Erster Braun Rasierapparat (Prototyp), Fa. Braun 1943. Aus: Klatt, Jo; Braun, Artur: Max Brauns Rasierer. Die Geschichte einer erfolgreichen Erfindung. Limitierte Nachauflage eines Privatdrucks von 1996, Königstein 2007, S. 24. Mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Jo Klatt.

May 25th – Oct. 29th, 2017: Faraway, so close. 25th Biennial of Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The BIO 25 design biennial in Slovenia understands itself as an experimental lab connecting designers and local context. As part of the occupying woods group led by Matali Crasset, I devoloped an experimental setting to investigate the formal quality of the forest by 3d-scanning leftovers and materials. The scans were then 3d-printed. They are are shown inside the Museum of Architecture in Ljubljana (MAO) together with documentation materials.

Annika Frye_Occupying Woods (1 von 10)

May 25th- May 29th, 2017: Dundee Design Festival

The improvisation machine objects, my pre-mould lamps and my woven table were exhibited at Dundee Design festival in  a former printing factory.


May 18th–20th, 2017: Symposium: How we do research?

At Muthesius University of Arts and Design different formats of doing a PhD or a Dr. phil are being discussed. In my presentation, I will focus on the process of connceting theory and practice.


Art and design, like other classical scientifc disciplines, pose specific questions and ex­plore them using their own instruments and techniques. They contribute to the genera­tion of knowledge and discourse not only in their own fields of research but they are involved in the overall discourse in society and the development of knowledge. Since the »Bologna Process« initiated the formal­isation of knowledge at universities, other independent forms of theory and reflection — namely arts and design — have experienced a further increase in significance. The contextualisation of one’s own artistic forms of expression and the development of inde­pendent forms of theory and reflection are therefore an important part of the curricula in art and design education at art academies and universities.

Full program of the conference

April 2017: Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel

Bildschirmfoto 2017-04-01 um 12.56.20 (2)