Annika Frye is a german designer based in Offenbach and Berlin. 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 completed her PhD-project at the University of Design Offenbach (HfG Offenbach). The thesis is a research about improvisation in the design process. The project has a focus on design theory, but it also has a practical part that is focussed on improvisation in serial production processes.

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, she 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 she is co-founder of the design office »teilchenbeschleuniger«, a collaborative platform for young designers and design professionals. 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.

Annika is currently researching the possibilties and implications of postindustrial production , whilst also working on projects in furniture design and accessories.


30. April 2016: »Digital/Analog. Von der Künstlichkeit der digitalen Simulation zur
Anschaulichkeit des 3D-Druck-Modells.« Vortrag bei der Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Designgeschichte und der Gesellschaft für Technikgeschichte im NRW-Forum Düsseldorf.

April-Juli 2016: Lehrauftrag an der HFK Bremen, Fachgebiet Integriertes Design. Thema: Digitales Produzieren.

Das Seminar wird von aktuellen Entwürfen und Prozessen aus dem Produktdesign handeln, die additive Fertigungsmethoden und in einem weiteren Sinne postindustrielle Produktionstechniken nutzen. Dabei bietet das Seminar einen Überblick über gegenwärtige Arbeitsweisen des sogenannten Autorendesign, wo postindustrielle Produktionsmethoden ob der Tendenz zur Eigenproduktion, die für das Autorendesign seit den 1960er Jahren kennzeichend ist, eine zentrale Bedeutung besitzen. Ziel der Lehrveranstaltung ist die Frage zu klären, wie diese Prozesse Design verändern und schon längst verändert haben. Die Beispiele und Entwürfe sollen auf tradierte Konzeptionen von DIY und Partizipation aus den 1960er und 1970er Jahren bezogen werden. Zweitens wird herauszuarbeiten sein, was den spezifisch »digitalen« Stil von 3D-Druck-Artefakten ausmacht.

April 2nd – Sept. 9th, 2016: SEMPERING / Design after Design, XXI Esposizione Internazionale, Triennale di Milano 2016. The projects Improvisation Machine and Pre-Mould Lights will be shown during the 21th Triennale in Milan.


»(zʼɛmpərɪŋ); Engl. present continuous voice of the verb “to semper”. In architecture and design, a constructive action on a material or a component which leaves a meaningful formal trace in the final product. Neologism from the surname of the German Architect Gottfried Semper, 1803-1879, author of Der Stil in den technischen und tektonischen Künsten, 1860-63; see Luisa Collina, Cino Zucchi, Sempering: Tectonics and texture in contemporary architecture and design practice, XXI Triennale di Milano International Exhibition, Catalogue, Milano 2016

Engineers? Bricoleurs?

The first Modern, in its reformatory zeal, tried to wipe out every formal paradigm inherited from the past and to set forth the pretended universality of a ‘method’ capable of transforming the gathered data into a design outcome.

The designer dreamt by Modernism strongly resembles the ideal figure of the ‘engineer’ described by Claude Lévi-Strauss in La pensée sauvage (The Savage Mind, 1966): the one who has ‘method’ and not ‘form’, who creates “events through structures”; while his ‘bricoleur’ uses the forms and scraps he has at hand to solve contingent problems, thus generating “structures through events”.

But Sempering does not employ any ideal figure, any abstract model; it simply distances itself for a moment from the scientific and ‘universalist’ obsessions of modern design, and brings back the attention on techniques, on practices rooted in concrete history; it tries to survey a contemporary design attitude which unites experimentation and research through the critical revision of the customs, recipes, even of the technical and formal ‘prejudices’ that every shared culture inevitably reveals.

The research on new materials and on technical innovation put forward by modernism appears today to intertwine with the array of the practices that in history unites the natural elements – stone, wood, clay, iron, cotton – with the known and transmitted modes of their selection and employ in combinations that cannot be found in their original state.

Handicraft practices included in their own body fragments of the current artistic culture in the ancillary vest of ‘decoration’; but the denial of an imitative dimension leaves to the Modern no other figural device than the one of pattern and texture, of the evidence of the joints among the constitutive parts of an object.«

Text by Luisa Collina and Cino Zucchi

Sempering curated by Luisa Collina, Cino Zucchi
with Valentina Auricchio, Simona Galateo

Via Tortona, 54 / Via Bergognone, 34 – Milano
M2 Sant’Agostino o Porta Genova bus 68

12. März 2016: Komm, wir drucken uns ein Haus, Artikel von Marie-Sophie Müller im BMW-Magazine.

Im Februar interviewte mich Marie-Sophie Müller für einen Artikel im BMW-Magazine, der nun erschienen ist. Wie sinnvoll ist 3D-Druck? Handelt es sich um eine »Zaubermaschine« oder ein neues Produktionsverfahren? Mit dabei ist auch mein Woven Table für BigRep sowie NOWlabs Glacier Stool.

BMW magazine

Feb. 2016: Vortragsvideo, DGTF Tagung 2015

Jan. 21th–jan. 24th, 2016: In Basel @ Forum 5, Tools

12400900_954067341341753_7420995929090303701_n Forum 5 ist eine gemeinsame Annäherung an die adäquaten Mittel, Wege, Instrumentarien und Strategien für ein verantwortungsvolles Handeln in neuen Betätigungsfeldern.

Während des 4 Tage dauernden Formats werden DesignerInnen und Nicht-DesignerInnen ihr Wissen und ihre Methodologien austauschen und die Werzeuge erklären, die sie benutzen.

Nov. 2015: I was part of a Discussion that was now published in a brochure that accompanies the »Forum for an Attitude« project by Depot Basel at Vitra Design Gallery. You can find the whole book online here:

forum brochure

Oct. 2015: OBJECTS: HANDLE WITH CARE, book by Trademark Publishing with my Pre-Mould Lights for Steklarna Hrastnik that I developed for BIO50 last year.

Oct. 2015: My Doktorvater Bernhard E. Bürdek updated his book »Design: The History, Theory and Practice of Product Design« and included my work.

Oct. 16th-17th: Reassembling Relationships. People, Systems, Things.

I am doing a lecture on post industrial production and its impact on the design process at the annual conference of the german design research society (DGTF) in Potsdam.


Oct 10th 2015 – Feb 14th 2016: My works on the design process are part of the »forum for an attitude« project by Depot Basel at Vitra Design Museum. I will also do a lecture/workshop in Basel in february in the category »tools«.

FFAA-Depot Basel Poster

Sept. 2015: A video presenting BigRep, the 3D-printing company I designed for during the last months was released. It gives insight into the design process and into the goals and ideas of BigRep.

The video was made by Berlin partner.

IMG_5503 2

Aug. 4th, 2015: I defended my dissertation.


July 2015: I am happy to announce that I am nominated for the German Design Award in the newcomer section. One young designer receives the award for his portfolio. The nomination is already an honour.


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.