Associate Director (Teaching & Learning), AVA
I studied Architecture at the University of Kaiserslautern and the Bauhaus-University Weimar (both Germany), where I received my final degree in 1998. Before and after my Architecture studies, I also completed courses in Film & Theatre Studies, Art History, and Psychology at the University of Erlangen, and in Visual Communications, and Product Design at Bauhaus-University respectively.
My academic background enabled me to open my own exhibition & graphic design practice after leaving university, working successfully in the field for several years. In 2001, I was invited to join the Media Faculty of the Bauhaus-University as a faculty member of the Media Events chair, teaching exhibition & event design, foundation courses for (media) design, and experimental video-courses.
Since September 2006, I’ve held faculty positions – currently as Associate Professor – at the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) of Hong Kong Baptist University, teaching studio and research courses in visual arts at undergraduate and graduate levels. From September 2008 to August 2017, I also served as the Programme Director for the BA (Hons) in Visual Arts; in parallel, I was Head of AVA’s Craft & Design division for the same period, and Programme Coordinator for the MVA (Experience Design) from September 2011 to August 2016. After serving the Academy as Acting Director in 2017/18, I’m now a member of AVA’s Executive Committee as its Associate Director (Teaching & Learning).
My personal research interests lie especially in
– the investigation and development of possibilities and methodologies for experience as a creative medium (see e.g. my book publication Peter Benz, ed. Experience Design: Concepts and Case Studies. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). I consider the courses and programmes I develop as integral part of my practice as experiential designer;
– everyday objects, in particular in everyday products – I’m an avid collector of spoons – and in ‘un-designed’ marginal spaces (see e.g. my book publication Peter Benz. On Marginal Spaces: Artefacts of the Mundane. Hong Kong: laiyanProjects, 2011). The latter results in a current preoccupation with the medialisation of cities, which I explore through text and photography (see e.g. conference paper Peter Benz. “Urban Design as Mirrored by the Photo-Opportunity” presented at Young Bauhaus Research Colloquium, Bauhaus-University Weimar, October 2016); and
– issues of economic livelihoods, gender inclusivity, social impact of creative practices which I explore through surveys, statistical analysis and mappings (see e.g. Peter Benz. Creative Livelihoods. Hong Kong: HK Arts Development Council, 2018).
As a result of my administrative duties, I have also become increasingly involved with research and development of digital tools for creative education (see e.g. Peter Benz. Online Grading Assistant (OLGA). 2012–2019).