Department of Design Teaching Staff

Prof. Dr. Jan-Henning Raff, R. 2.03

Head of Department of Design Campus Berlin


B.A. Graphic Design and Visual Communication

M.A. Communication Design and Creative Strategies



Jan-Henning Raff studied Communication Design at Kunsthochschule Weißensee from 1995 to 2000. In 2001, he joined Prof. Alex Jordan's (Grapus, Nous travaillons ensemble) master class.

“Print is dead!” was proclaimed at the time, so he immersed himself in multimedia design and took his self-constructed hardware and software to Berlin clubs as a VJ. After the first dotcom bubble burst, he specialized in e-learning. Time to be serious. He joined the Media Center at Technische Universität Dresden, where he worked as a research assistant designing e-learning in an interdisciplinary team. Starting in 2007, Jan-Henning headed up the Media Design department at the Media Center. In 2011 he finished his doctorate on design aspects in learning activities at Technische Universität Dresden.

After a move back to Berlin, Jan-Henning worked at the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF) and founded his design studio “Graffik”. In addition, he joined “Webducation”, Austria's most important e-learning provider, to ensure the quality of their didactic design.

In 2013, Jan-Henning joined HMKW Berlin as a Professor for graphic design and visual communication and became Head of the Department of Design in 2014.

His research focuses on the usage aspects of visual communication. In teaching, his focus is on communication in public spaces and interaction design.

Graphic design is not all about the visuals - it has to be useful, too! 


  • Graphic design in public spaces (BA)
  • Foundations of interface and interaction design (BA)
  • Interactive media (BA)
  • User-centered design (MA)

Research- and Teaching Focus

  • Usage aspects of graphic design
  • Research methodology of graphic design
  • Dealing with advertising

Curriculum Vitae


2011Doctorate “Learner as Designer”, Faculty of Education, Technische Universität Dresden
2001Master student under Prof. Alex Jordan, Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee



Communication Design studies, Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee


Work Experience

Since 2014Head of Department of Design at HMKW Berlin
Since 2013Professor of Graphic Design at HMKW University of Applied Sciences, Berlin

Since 2011


Design studio "Graffik"

Since 2011

Concept and didactical design for "Webducation", Vienna


Work at German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF)

2007–2010Head of Department of Media Design, Media Center, Technische Universität Dresden
2004–2007Research Associate, Media Center, Technische Universität Dresden


German Design Award 2014, nomination (Graffik) 

Comenius Medal 2013 (Media Center, TU Dresden)

Design Transfer Bonus Berlin 2012 (Graffik)

100 Best Posters 2011 (Graffik)


German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF)

Other Activities

Organization of World Usability Day 2006–2009 in Dresden

Organization of the colloquium “Design Promoviert 2008” in Dresden

Cooperation on publications and conferences at the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF)

Reviewer at “Design Promoviert (colloquium), Design and Culture (Journal)

Publications and Conference Papers (Selection)

Jan-Henning Raff (2017) Theories to understand graphic design in use: The example of posters, The Graphic Design Reader, London: Bloomsbury Academic

Jan-Henning Raff (2016) Design Research – just do it? Wissenschaft in der Design-Bachelorarbeit, DGTF Jahrestagung 2016 "Reflecting Research"

Jan-Henning Raff (2016). Forschungsfrage und Designproblem – Theorie und Praxis einer BA-Abschlussarbeit, Edulab HTW Berlin

Jan-Henning Raff (2015) Der Umgang mit dem nicht-menschlichen Akteur Werbung, DGTF Jahrestagung 2015 "Reassembling Relationships"

Jan-Henning Raff (2014) Über den Gebrauch von Plakaten – handlungstheoretische Ansätze im Grafikdesign, 100 beste Plakate, pp. 164-177, Mainz: Hermann Schmidt

Jan-Henning Raff (2013) Theoretical frameworks for the conceptualization of graphic design in use, Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research 2(2), pp. 10-21

Jan-Henning Raff (2012) Lernende als Designer – Untersuchungen zum Alltagsdesign in der Lerntätigkeit, Dresden: TUDpress

Jan-Henning Raff, Gavin Melles (2012) Design without designers: thinking everyday design practice, Design Philosophy Papers(1)

Jan-Henning Raff, Jochen Huber, Jürgen Steimle (2011) Media disruptions as a support for learning, IATEL – Interdisciplinary approaches to technology-enhanced learning, Max Mühlhäuser, Werner Sesink, Andreas Kaminski, Jürgen Steimle (ed.), pp. 369-389, Münster: Waxmann

Jan-Henning Raff, Christian Wölfel (2010) How useful is user experience as a concept for design practice?, 21th Biennial Congress of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, Dresden

Jan-Henning Raff, Gavin Melles (2010) Everyday practice as design, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice 3(2), pp. 149-159

Jan-Henning Raff, Gavin Melles (2009) Learner as designer: theoretical approaches to learning and design, Proceedings of the 1st Art.Media.Design | Writing Intersections Conference, pp. 33-34