Maria Appleton: Not a city that was

Maria Appleton comes from Lisbon, Portugal, where she completed a two-year training course in textile design. She then moved to London, where she graduated in textile design from Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, in July 2019. In 2018 she received a scholarship from Kyoto University of Technology for a research project in the field of textiles. She also developed a sustainable collection for children’s clothing with Zara and designed shoe prototypes for NIKE. Maria Appleton currently lives and works in Lisbon.

“Not a city that was”

Maria Appleton´s work explores the relationship between bodies and spaces/places, using textiles as a medium that allows different perspectives upon an architectural system. In Pforzheim, Maria Appleton created a work in the former public swimming pool hall, one of the few remaining historical buildings in this city. Because this place is not physically accessible and can only be visited virtually, her work deals with concepts of presence, healing properties and mindscapes, being in direct relationship with the »Bad« culture in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.


It is not about death
It is about the virtual and the real.
About the real and its nature.
It is about so natural that seems unreal,
and distortion that is true.
It is about bodies in spaces
In places looking for them..
It is about fabric, fluid, water like it.
It is not about death,
It is not about a city that doesn’t exist
It is not about memory
But about a celebratory existence of the new.
About the present that is in front,
Rising, turning into future
In present space
Onde presencialmente estou

It is about physicality
About the dough
About the power of physics and scientific looking through
Reliable – Perspective – incapable of being from one
It is about a space that is always a continuum:
vertically and horizontally.
It is about healing,
Sanus per Aquam,
It is about you – diving,
Me – observing
It is about Connection Interconnection and Interstitiality.
It is about you towards the hole
Leaning against
or under the whole.
A space that partially was non existent
If you didn’t, in it, exist
Now that you do
It is matter forever
It is the chance
The possibility
Of a reality, conceived, understood
It is not about preconception
It is The allowance for free conception
By you
Rising a city
A city of new beginnings
It is not about a city that was,
Its is not about fixing
Its is not about death
It is a sacred – standing – manifestation on being
on zeitgeist
on you in space.

Maria Appleton 2020

Mira Kim: In Flux

Mira Kim was born in Seoul, where she also studied metal design at Hanyang University. Afterwards she completed a master’s degree in gemstone and jewellery at the University of Applied Sciences Trier in Idar-Oberstein. In 2019 she exhibited her work at the Marzee Graduation Show in Munich and was awarded by klimt02 as a “Selected Graduate” for the University of Applied Sciences Trier.

“In Flux”

In her work, Mira Kim uses information to create impressions and new perspectives, what allows the viewer to reprocess these information. In Pforzheim, Mira Kim created objects and jewellery that refer to the space where they are exhibited: She conducted research and interviews about the former swimming pool, and implemented these information in her work, taking also into account the virtual experience of her work. In order to study the exhibition space, the former swimming pool, and to obtain information as material, research and interviews were conducted. Through these processes, Mira Kim found connection points between the space and the time when people frequented the swimming pool, and this information was implemented into her work.

Jaspar Rogers: Political playground

Jaspar Rogers first studied natural sciences before graduating in design from Goldsmiths University of London in 2019. Rogers describes himself as an anti-disciplinary designer, his focus is on the creation of social goods and ecological sustainability. For example, he has already realised projects on topics such as homelessness, environmental pollution, gender stereotypes or the recycling of plastic.

“Political playground”

To Jaspar Rogers politics is the process of interpreting information to devise a strategy, make decisions and to solve entangled problems. But how do we navigate floods of information in an age of simplification, misinformation, algorithmic validation, and divisive language, and can it be taught? Through workshopping political strategies in schools, Jaspar Rogers identified thinking structures that help children to understand political processes. His »political playground« is the physical manifestation of these thinking structures.

1.The Connector
Once a topic of interest is chosen the connector validates its agenda by presenting its links with other topics. This demonstrates system thinking and can help to expand ones perspective of positive and negative outcomes. Each green block represents one of fourteen policy areas. To use the play tool the participant must physically connect their initial category with as many other blocks as they can. When doing this, the user should consider how changes in the any other block could affect their starting point and visa versa. Once completed, the player should choose one string of connection that they want to focus on and bring it forward to the next game. For instance the user may be interested in climate change but may not have considered the impact that Housing has on the climate.

2. The Shooter
Focused on problem solving, the Shooter continuously generates ideas for strategy or policy with the aim aim of achieving a particular outcome. Then by rationalising and critiquing each hypothetical scenario the shooters idea becomes more refined with each iteration. The shooter is granted ammo for each new idea it comes up with and to pitch a successful idea it must aim to land its shot in the target on the other side of the mat. By going through this process before being allowed to proceed, the player is forced to think more deeply about the multifaceted nature of the problem they have chosen. The solution that the player successfully pitches is then brought forward to the next exercise.


3. The Builder
To build a stable structure that supports its proposal, the builder recognises the risks associated with its ambition and plans from the top down, before building up. This way the foundations are in place to preempt problems at different stages of its political assembly. The green balls represent solutions and each black ring represents a problem that could occur from the solution above it. To release the balls and build their pyramid, the players must recognise 2 problems that could occur from the idea above, then the next ball under that problem represents its solution, and so on. For instance if the players idea was to ban cars from city centres – 2 problems could be: congestion on public transport, and the disregard for people who already have cars and rely on cars for accessibility. The next three balls would then be used to address those issues and the process repeats.

4. The Balancer
Having a variety of concerns and agendas is like a balancing act. The balancer is able to weigh up the different aspects of its ideal scenario and find an equilibrium through compromise. The player may have found that they touched on topics through this process that they didn’t originally connect to their starting point, in this case they should return to the first exercise and connect them now. The seesaw represents the Overton window, a scale of change from, no change in the middle, to radical change on either side. The players should try to balance their blocks in order of time, with the first change they would make at the bottom, whilst considering the scale. This exercise forces players to think of a thorough strategy and weigh up how radical they are willing to be when another topic may be at stake.


Sam Tho Duong/ Jewelry designer

After his apprenticeship as a goldsmith at  the Berufskolleg für Design, Schmuck und Gerät in Pforzheim and at Dr. Wellendorff GmbH, Sam Tho Duong attended  the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Pforzheim, where he graduated with a diploma in 2002. Since then he has worked as a freelance designer and is known for his detailed and complex body and neck jewellery, especially for his “Frozen” collection of freshwater rice grain pearls. His works are part of private and museum collections, among others at the Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, the Museum of Art and Design in New York or the CODA Museum Apeldoorn. He has also received numerous prizes, including the Baden-Württemberg State Prize, the Friedrich Becker Prize and the Herbert Hofmann Prize.


Bettina Weiss/ Senior designer at adidas

Bettina Weiss studied fashion design at Pforzheim University after her tailor graduation and an employment at the theatre. During her studies, she worked as a Technical & Color Designer for Adidas Stella Mc Cartney and afterwards for Adidas Sport Performance Design. Currently, Bettina Weiss is Senior Designer at Adidas Heartbeat Sports/Specialist Sports. Since 2016, she is also lecturing in Sportswear and Leisure Wear at Pforzheim University´s Faculty of Design.

Stefan Lippert/ Managing Director UP Designstudio

Stefan Lippert is one of the managing partners of UP Designstudio, one of the larger product design consultancies in Germany. The office works for its predominantly market-leading clients in the fields of user experience – innovation – design. The work of UP Designstudio has won more than forty renowned international design awards for creative solutions in design and development. In addition to his work as managing director and consultant at UP Designstudio, Stefan Lippert is also active as a startup-entrepreneur. This is how the ELMOTO electric motorcycle and GIBBON Slacklines were created under his management.