»As a scientist, I try to understand the world. As a designer, I try to change it.«

Friedrich von Borries

Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries (*1974) teaches design theory at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK). As a contemporary analyst and designer of the future, he operates in the border areas of urban development, architecture, design and art.
"My work focuses on the relationship between design and social development. As a scientist, I try to understand the world. As a designer, I try to change it. Therefore, I engage in research and design to address the political issues that define our present."
In addition to exhibitions, scientific studies and publications, he develops master plans, films, design objects and artistic projects: Works with which people can discover and sensually experience other ways of seeing themselves and the world.


Friedrich von Borries is not only an observer and designer, but also an interventionist. He intervenes in reality and cooperates with a wide range of actors. As a bridge builder between theory and practice, he moves in different cultural spheres and connects the world of art and design with science, everyday culture and economy.
The range of his project partners corresponds to this attitude. His clients include Dax companies such as Lufthansa and Volkswagen, cultural actors such as the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Goethe Institute, as well as public authorities such as the Federal Environment Agency, the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development and the city administrations of Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt.
The spectrum of institutions supporting the implementation of his freelance work is equally broad. His scientific research has been funded by recognized institutions (DFG, DAAD, Gerda Henkel Foundation, Max Planck Society), his design work has been exhibited by prestigious museums (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart Berlin) and included in their collections (Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt, Neue Pinakothek Munich, Museum für angewandte Kunst Vienna).
An important element of Friedrich von Borries' self-image is the public communication of the contents he has developed. His texts and contemporary diagnoses are distributed by renowned publishing houses (Suhrkamp, Fischer, Merve), newspapers (FAZ, NZZ, Die Welt, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung) as well as public (Der Spiegel, brand eins, Monopol, WirtschaftsWoche) and trade journals (Arch+, Bauwelt, Baumeister, Garten + Landschaft, Texte zur Kunst).
He accompanies the further development of design and architecture as a reviewer (including for the DFG and the SNF) and juror (including for the ZEIT WISSEN Prize Courage for Sustainability, the Social Design Award of Der Spiegel and the Hamburg Elbkulturfond). His own activities have also been recognized with numerous awards: from the European NICE Award for Innovation in Creative Economy to the Scientific Study Award of the Körber Foundation to design prizes such as Red Dot, Iconic Award or German Design Award.
In addition to exhibitions, scientific studies and publications, master plans, films, design objects and artistic projects have been created: Works with which people can discover and sensually experience other possibilities of themselves and the world. His multi-faceted work makes Friedrich von Borries an internationally sought-after speaker. He combines creativity, scientific expertise and social vision with vividness and humor.
He lives and works in Berlin, Hamburg and Havelberg - and wherever else he is needed.

"Doer, forward thinker, afterthinker."

Udo Kittelmann


Friedrich von Borries operates at the interfaces of science and art, theory and practice. As a contemporary diagnostician, he analyzes phenomena of the present. These analyses are the starting point for the development of concrete proposals for change and inspiring imaginings of the future. At the same time, he also deals with historical themes. In doing so, he is interested in which models of action, world and life designs that are interesting for today have already been tried out - and what we can learn from them to shape a better present.
Many of his projects are experimental setups in which possible futures can be experienced, tried out and tested. In doing so, Friedrich von Borries does not limit himself to a pre-determined canon of methods, but aligns his working methods to the respective project requirements. Methods and practices from a wide variety of disciplines flow into his work: Design, architecture and urban planning meet art, dance and theater; design, architecture and urban theory meet media and cultural studies, philosophy, political science and history.
This is how - ideally - meaningful projects with different levels and forms of expression are created.


Friedrich von Borries studied architecture from 1993 to 1999 at the Berlin University of the Arts, the ISA St. Luc Bruxelles and at the University of Karlsruhe (TH), where he received his doctorate in 2004. From 2001 to 2003 he taught at the Technical University of Berlin, and from 2004 to 2006 he was a research associate at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. From 2007 to 2008, he was a visiting scholar at ETH Zurich and MIT Cambridge (Mass.), and a visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg. He was also a member of the Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina from 2007 to 2012. From 2003 to 2009, he co-directed the raumtaktik agency in Berlin with Prof. Matthias Böttger. In 2008, he was general commissioner for the German contribution to the XI Architecture Biennale in Venice, and in 2009 he was appointed to the HFBK Hamburg and founded the Friedrich von Borries project office in Berlin, which he headed until 2022. In 2020, he initiated Imagination X - The Art of Transformation with Dr. Torsten Fremer.


Some of Friedrich von Borries' projects arise from his own initiative, others from outside suggestions - both as commissions and in cooperation. As a consultant, he accompanies companies and institutions in concept development and change processes. Friedrich von Borries is also active as a moderator and keynote speaker.


If you would like to get in touch with me, please send an email to: