Designing Habits. The digital image as application


Designing Habits explores the digital image as social interface and as a site of technological developments, which intertwines patterns of digital interaction, everyday practices, and commercial interests. 

We will consider the digital image’s co-evolution with interactive technologies (such as smartphones), social media and app designs that are meant to trigger psychological-physiological effects, while relying on the specific affordance of the visual.
It is along these lines that the image will be examined as medium of aesthetic dependence. Technology-related gestures such as scrolling and swiping, for example, drive the acceleration of fleeting image contacts in social media and dating apps and habitualise a certain perception of the image, while slime or ASMR videos (under the hashtag ‚oddlysatisfying‘) extend watch times to a maximum.
Although these two examples seem to represent opposing trends, both of them respond to a presumed need for self-regulation that is simultaneously produced and exploited by digital platforms. 

Theoretically anchored in visual culture studies and media theory, and practically based on specific case studies, our project will analyze how images – through digital interaction patterns – become applications.


Prof. Dr. Matthias Bruhn
Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe

Katharina Weinstock
Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe

Online Journal UMBAU