Gebert Rüf Stiftung defines «design» as the systematic examination of the form and function of products and their effect on potential users. Design connects aspects that, although not the main focus of scientific teaching and research, offer interfaces for productive collaboration.
The objective of the «DesignPlus» area of activity is to reinforce the importance of incorporating design knowledge and methods as an integral part of specialist scientists’ work as early as possible. The support is aimed at researchers and teachers in the fields of science, technology and education who believe that an interdisciplinary exchange with designers will provide added value. They must be willing to enter into a dialogue between equals.
Grants in this area of activity will be directed at application-oriented R&D and educational projects in which design – from conception to implementation – is central and not merely an add-on. The scientific research and education should also include questions of requirements, form and use of products at an early stage. The contextual considerations provided by the design side should challenge the project and, ideally, enrich it.
The finance takes the form of complementary funding that specifically enables cooperation between scientists and designers with all the related budget implications. Small projects with a short duration and a budget of up to CHF 50,000 will be considered alongside larger projects extending over two to three years and with funding requirements of up to CHF 300,000. The area of activity includes neither design theory nor disciplinary basic design research.