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Between Aesthetics and Anaesthesia
Design and Life Science

Prof. Dr. Peter Zec is president of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen and president-elect of the world umbrella organisation of design ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) in Montreal.

Prof. Dr. Peter Zec


Human perception is limited and works exclusively with differences. Differences which are too small are not perceived by us. They offer no food for the senses. And if you perceive, see or hear something, this happens at the price of not perceiving other things. While aesthetics strengthens our perception, anaesthetic means total absence of perception. Aesthetics and anaesthetic are inseparably linked. They are the two sides of a form. Thus, making some things visible always means making other things invisible.


In the life sciences, researchers and scientists have advanced into fields which can only be perceived with the help of technical devices and tools and which extend our natural abilities. In this sense, life science is an epiphenomenon, which exists thanks to technology and design. In turn, these discoveries and explorations in the field of life science have an unimaginable effect on the possibilities of design and technology. What could only be surmised unexpectedly becomes measurable. What was previously invisible for the naked eye suddenly becomes visible.


However, the significance of life science design goes beyond a simple extension of the senses, because life science design not only improves perception. Life science design creates new concepts of reality; a reality, which removes the borders between naturalness and artificiality and which asks for the future forms of products and living conditions. Since, where the encounter of different knowledge creates new ideas, important innovations emerge. Here the designers are called upon, to give these ideas a form and to create humane products for the future together with the fields of research and industry.



Dr. Sylvia Deutschmann

Life Science Agency, Düsseldorf

Statement of the organiser


Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. med. habil. H. Hatt

Chair of Cell Physiology

Ruhr-University Bochum

Follow Your Nose – Biosensors of Human Odor Perception


Prof. Dr. Peter Zec

Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, Essen

ICSID President Elect, Montreal

Between Aesthetics and Anaesthesia

Design and Life Science


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uvo Hölscher

Use-Lab of the University of Applied Sciences, Münster

Life Science Design – Economical Implications for Manufacturers and Operators


Prof. Dr. Rainer M. M. Seibel

Mülheim Radiology Institute

life science design award: concepts

A Scientific Classification