About Professor Felix
Felix Hardmood Beck was born in Düsseldorf in 1978. After high school, community service, various internships and jobs in the creative industries (photo studio, agency for brand management, web design studio, software company, team leader for promotion agency, film studio, etc.), as well as a six-semester excursion to a small private design school, he finally (and happily) studied visual communication at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) and the Universidad de La Laguna (Erasmus semester on Tenerife, Canary Islands) from 2002 to 2007. After the foundations program (Prof. Uli Schwarz, Prof. Jasper Halfmann, KM Andrea Schmidt) and the intermediate diploma with a focus on exhibition design (Prof. Diel, KM Karin Ocker), he shifted towards the digital media class (Prof. Joachim Sauter, KM Jussi Ängeslevä), where he graduated in 2007 in form of a neo-religious pilgrimage walking cane that led its users to unknown physical and virtual places1). In 2011, after a one-year master class (parallel to his position as art director at ART+COM Studios), at the UdK, he got appointed as Meisterschüler with his work Zoanthroid2)3)4).
From 2001 he has worked as a designer in various design, exhibition design and architecture offices. Many of the commissioned works and free projects have been published in design and art publications worldwide, and have been shown in numerous design and media art festivals, exhibitions and museums. Find a list of all activities on his (website).
As a freelance design director, he works for clients from industry and culture, or prefers to work on projects he self-commissions. In this role, he develops and implements concepts for services and products, as well as information-based and experience-oriented media installations and interactive spaces for museums, showrooms, exhibitions and museums.
Check out further information and his portfolio on his website (www.felix-beck.de).
After being short-listed on the second place for a media design professorship at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (2014), he got appointed as Assistant Professor of Practice of Design at the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) in 2015. During this time he taught courses at the intersection of design, art, technology and innovation. At NYUAD, he founded the NTSI Lab and the Plastic Recycling Research Lab, and raised over $525,000 in research grants. He headed both research laboratories as Principal Investigator until 2020. The results of his research and those of his research groups were shown in scientific publications, posters, conferences, art exhibitions and design festivals and presented worldwide by him, his employees and students in presentations. In 2019 he was awarded the WSN Faculty Fellowship by New York University. From 2015 to 2020 he advised various ministries and government departments in the United Arab Emirates on the topics like data visualization, exhibition design, as well as the creation of innovation and entrepreneurship. An overview of his achievements from this time can be found in this PDF.
In 2020, Felix Hardmood Beck got appointed as full Professor (life-long position) by the Münster University of Applied Sciences, and moved with his family from Abu Dhabi (Saadiyat Island = Arabic for Island of Joy) to Münster. At the Münster University of Applied Sciences, which is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Germany (Article), he teaches and researches at the Münster School of Design (MSD). During the Corona lock-down in 2020/21, he converted a shipping container into his workshop/field lab (»Case-study HVX«; HVX stands for the location in Havixbeck (51°57'42“N / 7°28'04”E)).
Together with national and international project partners, he examines the communication qualities of Narrative Systems and new technologies in the context of research projects in the NTSII Lab and develops novel media applications for objects and spaces.
Felix played rugby (1997-2004) as a front-row forward and played guitar in various irrelevant punk and hardcore bands:
- Dreary Junk (1996-2000)
- Plastikka (2004-2005)
- Dads in Denial5) (2019-2020)
Where does the name Hardmood come from?
“In May 2006 I used an early version of Google's translating tool to translate the description of one of my projects from German into French. Doing so, I did not realise that my name changed from Felix Hartmut into Felix dur courage. Funny enough, the international magazine WIRED printed my name as Hardmood, which I see as my digital baptism. Since then, I have used the name Hardmood for publications in the context of design, media art, teaching and research. The name has been a registered artist name since 2006.”