The Design Institute of Technology (DIT) is a project and research platform of the Industrial Design department at the Offenbach University of Applied Sciences.
For more than a decade, design research and development has been carried out on a third-party funded basis for major brands and companies from all industries; including Audi, Bosch, BMW, Brother, FSB, Gaggenau, Hansgrohe, Hewi, Lamy, Linde, Lufthansa, Porsche, Siemens or Viessmann.
Since 2012, the Institute has been working closely with the Central Association for Sanitation, Heating and Air Conditioning (ZVSHK Zentralverband Sanitär Heizung Klima) to develop solutions for the care industry and universal design in innovation and design projects. In doing so, common goals are projected with care associations and the craft associations as well as with the most important industrial companies in the sector.
In 2019, the first LOEWE research project at the HfG Offenbach was successfully completed: founded in 2015 by the DIT and the IHK Offenbach and carried out and executed from 2016 to 2019 together with the industrial partner InEar GmbH under the title ‘Multisensorik’.
HfG Offenbach is represented in the Design_to_Business network, a competence center and network for design in Hesse. Its objective is the promotion of creative industries and small and medium-sized businesses (curated by the IHK Offenbach).Prof. Frank Zebner is mentor there for the area of product design (design and innovation).
Furthermore, the institute is actively involved in the development of technology networks. Together with the Offenbach Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK Offenbach), the nationwide industry and university network ‘Future Network’ was founded as part of the Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand ZIM.
The location in the metropolitan region of Frankfurt enables best contacts to national and international institutions in design and design research as well as design companies.
In 2016, Jürgen Amberger, then Head of Economic Development of the City of Offenbach (Germany), Mirjam Schwan, then Managing Director for Innovation of the IHK Offenbach Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Germany), and Prof. Frank Zebner, Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach School of Design, decide to launch the urban-industrial project ‘Designpark’ – supported by the State of Hesse with HTAI (Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH). The idea is to find a new commercial outlook for Offenbach, which can secure the industrial and creative future of Offenbach with existing and with new potentials to be created.
The DIT was able to contribute significantly and initially to the fact that a large investor has found its entrepreneurial perspective in Offenbach: the global corporation Samson AG will relocate its new innovation and production site from Frankfurt (Germany) to Offenbach (Germany) in the next few years on a site of almost 150000sqm. Samson has an annual turnover of almost 1 billion euros and will invest around 250 million euros in the development of the new site.
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