Date: 4th April, 2023

Time: 12:00 pm 

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Designing for All

Format: Illustrated Lecture 

Speaker: Professor of International Academy of Architecture Lino Bianco (Malta), Honorary professor of GTU

A poster with a graphic design Description automatically generated A person in a suit standing in front of a projector screen Description automatically generated
Poster © Giorgi Dzneladze       Photo © Gocha Mikiashvili

On May 11, 2023, International Design School of Georgian Technical University hosted Dean of San Diego State University - Georgia Professor Halil Guven. Professor Guven served as a Rector at three different universities in Turkey and in Northern Cyprus during the period from 1999-2011 - Istanbul Bilgi University, Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), and Bahçeşehir University, (Istanbul). He received his M.S. degree from Mississippi State University and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Houston, Texas. 

In addition to his wide range of experiences in higher education and university administration in Cyprus, Turkey, Georgia, and the USA, Dr. Güven is an energy expert with specializations in, alternative energy, energy efficiency, power plant engineering, and sustainability. He gave a live lecture to the students of IDS. They showed a lot of attention in the talk. The speaker answered questions about the details of his presentation, full of intriguing numbers and fascinating proposals.

Date: 4th April, 2023

Time: 12:00 pm 

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Designing for All

Format: Illustrated Lecture 

Speaker: Professor of International Academy of Architecture Lino Bianco (Malta), Honorary professor of GTU

   A person standing in front of a group of people Description automatically generated

Poster © Giorgi Dzneladze             Photo © Nino Akhobadze

On April 4,2023 International Design School of GTU hosted professor of the International Academy of Architecture, Honorary professor of GTU, Maltese architect Lino Bianco. At present he is the plenipotentiary ambassador of Malta to Romania. 

Prof. Bianco’s visit to Georgia was implemented in the framework of the Erasmus + program which allows European scholars to travel to European countries and share their experience gained during their professional carrier. 

Professor Lino Bianco gave a lecture on the topic "Designing for All". During a lecture Mr. Lino Bianco has revealed his vision to important and necessary themes for architects and designers, frequently facing them in their professional activity – inclusivity and resilient design solutions. Considering 17 sustainable development goals which were adopted during the Paris Climate Summit in 2015, particularly Goal No 11 which calls to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, this topic - Designing for All - becomes especially relevant today. The lecture aroused great interest of IDS students, which was evidenced by the overcrowded lecture hall.

Date: 1st to 4th February, 2023

Venue: Garden Hall of the "Rooms" hotel, Tbilisi

Event: Tbilisi Architecture Week

Format: Workshop

Instructor: Prof. Nora Lombardini (Politecnico di Milano)


Photo © Gocha Mikiashvili

On February 1-4, 2023, Tbilisi Architecture Week was held in the Garden Hall of the "Rooms" Hotel, Tbilisi. It was organized by Mariam Bochorishvili, a graduate of the International Design School. Representatives of the Polytechnic of Milan actively participated in the work of the week and initiated a student workshop with participation of IDS students. Dean of IDS Prof. Nick Shavishvili and Deputy Dean Prof. Gocha Mikiashvili also participated in the event.

Plenary sessions and panels were held, covering topics such as designing for health (speakers Professor Stefano Capolongo and Andrea Rebecci), cultural heritage (Professor Nora Lombardini), and sustainable development (Professor Valerio Mazzeschi). Polimi representatives Claudia Suardi and Maria Rita Zedda gave reports on the issues of internationalization of the Polytechnic of Milan. After the plenary sessions, a workshop was held, during which the students, divided into groups, created design and architectural projects based on the lectures given during the week. The workshop ended with presentations which was enthusiastically welcomed by fellow students, teachers and the attending public.

Date: 27th January2023

Time: 02:00 pm 

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Design Inspirations 

Format: Illustrated Lecture 

Speaker: Theresa Weinheimer, American architect, fabric and collage artist, photographer and art history enthusiast. 


Poster ©Lizi Khutsishvili                                    Poster ©Giorgi Dzneladze                                                


Theresa Weinheimer received her architecture degree in Washington D.C., worked for an award-winning architect Edward Larrabee Barnes in New York City and later for Hugh Newell Jacobsen, a much-published residential architect in Washington D.C.
After working for a few other firms, she and her husband, Steve, set up their own company. In her retirement here in Tbilisi, Theresa is teaching art history to high school students and recently created an Art Discussion Group for the members of International Women's Association Georgia. Over the years she had supported many charity projects, including for the children suffering from different diseases, and at present is supporting children affected by the war in Ukraine. 
The lecture at IDS was dedicated to works of Louis Kahn, Richard Serra, Frank Gehry, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and James Turrell – the architects and artists who continue to inspire many generations of architects and designers.

Dates: 12th October – 14th November 2022

Venue: Munich, Germany 

Event: Internship in a Bavarian monastery 

Format:  Creation and restauration of artwork

Initiative: IDS student self-government

 A group of people painting a painting Description automatically generated

From October 12 to November 14, 2022, as a result of winning the internal IDS competition, students of the International Design School of Georgian Technical University, Ani Basilashvili and Aleksandre Kalandadze, visited Munich, Germany, for a one-month internship. The practice was led by IDS manager Nino Akhobadze. The annual trip of IDS students to Germany is covered by a memorandum of understanding between GTU and the German businessman, artist and philanthropist Klaus Hipp. In accordance with the pre-agreed plan, our students participated in the creation of works for the conference hall of one of the famous monasteries in Bavaria. Students studied the history of the Bavarian royal family, the Wittelsbachs, 16th century aristocratic clothing fashion, practiced the concept of design thinking, visited museums, worked in libraries, refined their drawing and figure drawing skills, and mastered oil painting techniques. German colleagues highly appreciated the work done by our students.

Date:      17th June, 2022

Venue:   International Design School Terrace at 75, Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event:    Exhibition of students’ works 

Format:  Live

Initiative: IDS student self-government



 Photo credits © students of IDS

On June 17, 2022, an exhibition of the works of International Design School undergraduate students was opened on the terrace of Building 8 of Georgian Technical University, which was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the university.

The organizers of the event were the student’s self-government of International Design School, alongside with the Department of Student Services, Culture and Sports of GTU.

The exposition was organized on the terrace of the International Design School and the works of about 30 students were presented. Among them were paintings, posters, pop art, works of applied art, prototypes, audio and visual show. The design school's competition works, which were presented at the Milan Polytechnic University (Italy) and the Vienna University of Applied Arts (Austria), were also exhibited.

Date: 15th June, 2022

Venue: IDS Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event:         Academic staff mobility within the Erasmus+ program

Format:      Online lecture

Instructor:  Polish architect Tomasz Tomaszek

Screenshots from the online lecture

On June 15, 2022, at 12:00 p.m., within the Erasmus+ academic staff mobility program a two-part online lecture by the Polish architect Tomasz Tomaszek was held on the topic:

  1. The problems of  safeguarding and conservation of wooden vernacular architecture;

  2. Preservation  of  architectural  heritage  as  an  interpretation  of  significant  historical place - problems and challenges.

The lectures provided an overview of preservation of architectural heritage, particularly in the context of understanding an important aspect of interpretation of significant historical place.

The lecture was attended by students, teachers of the International Design School and the Faculty of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design of GTU, as well as representatives of the Department of International Relations of GTU. Online question- and-answer sessions were held, which received great interest and approval from the attending public.


Date: 27th May, 2022

Venue:       IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event:        Signing the memorandum of cooperation between the Georgian Technical University and "HiPP GmbH & Co., and announcing a HiPP contest to IDS students

Format:        Ceremony and announcement

Participants:        Prof. David Gurgenidze, Rector of GTU, and Hon. Prof. Klaus Hipp

Photo © GTU Images

On May 27, 2022, the Rector of the Georgian Technical University, Professor David Gurgenidze, met the Honorary Consul of Georgia in Bavaria, Patron, Honorary Doctor of GTU, the founder of the world's leading baby food manufacturing company "HiPP GmbH & Co. Vertrieb KG, Prof. Klaus Hipp. After the meeting, David Gurgenidze and Klaus Hipp signed an updated memorandum of cooperation, the purpose of which is to promote    and    strengthen    scientific    and academic cooperation between the Georgian Technical University and HiPP GmbH & Co. Vertrieb KG.

After signing the memorandum of cooperation, Klaus Hipp visited the International Design School and introduced students to the conditions of the internal IDS contest. On the basis of the competition among the bachelor and master students of IDS, the two best students will be selected. The winners will be sent to Germany for a one-month internship, which will be, traditionally, fully funded by HiPP GmbH & Co.

Date: 17th May, 2022

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Bettina Malik’s photography exhibition

Format: Permanent Display

Exhibitor: Ms. Bettina Malik, German Photographer

More photos you can see on website:

A hallway with pictures on the wall Description automatically generated

Poster © Bettina Malik         Photo © Nino Akhobadze

After two long years of Covid19 lockdowns, on 17th May 2022, International Design School of the Georgian Technical University hosted the exhibition of German photographer Bettina Malik "Look into my eyes". Bettina Malik is based in Cologne where studied art and mathematics and started as a photographer in 2008. In her studies of painting, she sharpened her eye for color, space and the human figure. With her feeling for color, she also focuses on the human being in her photography and lets him merge with the space. 

When her planned exhibition in Tbilisi in March 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic, she decided to create an exhibition in an open and safe public space that can be experienced physically. After two years, for the IDS exhibition she decided not to show all of the photos from her planned exhibition but rather a selection of them. For instance, a part of the work is only the eyes - as they appear when you are looking in someone’s eyes who is wearing a face mask. But you are not looking into a typical face, you are looking into eyes of stone busts that have awakened to a new life. A play of closeness and distance, eternity and transience, immortality and the fleeting moment of the photographic instant. In another part of the IDS exhibition, the oversized black and white photos seem to have fallen out of time and radiate something universal and ageless.

Looking behind the facade and capturing what lies beneath the surface is one of her leitmotifs. She discovers the beauty in the imperfect and makes the essential visible. She finds the protagonists for her free works among her clients. Her clients include actors, architects, musicians, etc. Her philosophy is expressed in Walter Bejamin’s words: “I have nothing to say, only to show.”

Dates: 17th to 18th January 2020

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Two-day Crash Course on Video Story 

Format: Intensive Workshop

Instructor: Ms. Tinatin Tsiskaridze, DW Akademie Trainer

More information on

A close-up of a paper Description automatically generated    A person and person sitting at a table with a computer Description automatically generated

Poster © Nodar Kharabadze Photo ©Tinatin Tsiskaridze

Ms. Tinatin Tsiskaridze has been cooperating with various media organizations for over 15 years. She currently works as a media trainer and consultant at the Deutsche Welle Academy (DW Akademie). At the beginning of 2018, Tinatin Tsiskaridze moved to Batumi and started the project "Sphere", which aims to create new, non-formal education and discussion spaces in the region. She was happy to share her teaching experience with IDS students and during the two-day workshop on 17-18th January 2020 encouraged them to pair and intensively work on a one-minute video film on the topic each of the pairs found relevant.

Eight IDS students took part in the two-day event. They were divided into four pairs each pair presenting, as a result of the workshop, one-minute video. The students’ teams were assisted and mentored by the Deutsche Valley Academy trainer Ms. Tinatin Tsiskaridze.

The IDS panel and Ms Tsiskaridze reviewed the presented results of the crash course and announced the winners of “Video Storytelling Via Mobile”. Mariam Parulava, second year undergraduate student of IDS, and Francesco Ilvento, the Italian bachelor on Erasmus+ program for a semester-long study spell at IDS, were announced the winners. They will join a group of IDS students who are planning to travel to Helsinki, Finland to Aalto University Design School in September 2020.

Date:       18th November 2019

Venue:        Parliament of Georgia, Tbilisi

Event:         Study Visit

Format:       Introduction to the Government

Host: Kakha Kuchava, Chairman of the Committee on Environment 

and Natural Resources

More information on

A group of people sitting around a table Description automatically generated

Photo © Nino Akhobadze

Students of International Design School of Georgian Technical University, led by Deputy Dean Ms. Nino Akhobadze, paid a study visit to the Parliament of Georgia and met with the Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Mr. Kakha Kuchava, MP.

Mr. Kuchava spoke to the students about the Parliament's "Green Initiatives” and introduced in detail the four important bills on which the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is working.

"As students at a design school, you may not have comprehensive information about environmental challenges, and that is understandable. Our Committee believes that concepts created by Design Thinking philosophy on which the IDS curriculum is based can be used for the active involvement of civil society, all stakeholders and government institutions to solve environmental problems. Design Thinking is one of the most important and creative methods of problem solving, which is why we try to involve its concepts as much as possible and in this way to promote an idea of new standards in the process of thematic research and post-legislative monitoring”, said Mr. Kakha Kuchava during the meeting with IDS students.

Dates: 16th to 24th September 2019 

Venue: Berlin, Weimar, Dessau, Munich (Germany) 

Event: Study Visit

Format: Celebration of Bauhaus Centenary

Instructors: Nick Shavishvili, Dean, and Nino Akhobadze, Deputy Dean,  


More information on

A view of a building from a window Description automatically generated

Photo © Eka Tavshavadze

A good tradition of biannual visits to different countries and universities – launched in 2015 at the Vienna University of Applied Arts and continued in 2017 at the Polimi in Milan - found its happy renewal in September 2019. The group of eight students and two teachers from IDS successfully completed their eight-day visit to Germany to join worldwide celebrations of Centenary of Bauhaus. The trip was sponsored by GTU and co-sponsored by Claus Hipp, Professor Honoris Causa of GTU.

The trip started at the Berlin offices of GKK "Architektur und Städtebau" GmbH, a leading German architectural firm who introduced the IDS students and teachers to their international projects. Next morning was a visit to Weimar, where Bauhaus was formed in 1919, followed by the next day’s trip to Dessau, where Bauhaus spent its most productive years and where the IDS group was hosted by qualified guides and extensively shown around the world-famous design objects and venues. Berlin itself, where the IDS group stayed most of the time, was a totally different experience: here are reflections by Samuel Anil, an Indian undergraduate at IDS: “Our Germany trip was full of great stories. Berliners are very free and comfortable people. Great food, the best beer, museums, art, cars:), bicycles (we didn’t ride (unfortunately)), nature, zoo. Capital of Germany was so impressive and dynamic… Bauhaus, in one word, was inspiring. It’s a zenith of world design. Even better than I had hoped. As a designer and photographer, I can say that, it was shocking and unforgettable. Must see place. Probably the best days  in my life.”

The German trip ended in Munich, were the IDS’ good old friend and long-time supporter Claus Hipp hosted us with a lunch and guided tour of the city. Truly unforgettable experience…

Date: 12th March 2019

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Epoxy Resin Art

Format: Masterclass and Workshop

Instructor: Kristine Qiitii Morchadze (New York), Interior Designer, Founder of KM Interior Design

More information on

A collage of paintings Description automatically generated

 Photo © KM Interior Design

Kristine Morchadze, who graduated from Free University in Tbilisi, continued her studies in New York and still lives and works in the Big Apple. In her experience is working as Marketing Manager and Interior Designer at Geobuilders, and earlier – as an interior designer at Konabeqi LLC. As a home decorator, she innovated to exploit a rare material – epoxy resin – and succeeded in creating interior objects which are fresh and unique. She thinks that even the dullest of interiors can be enlivened by introduction of simple accessories that have the power to completely change the concept of any space.

During the masterclass Kristine demonstrated the importance of a site-specific approach to a project which usually results for her in creation of special objects with carry characteristics of an exclusive artefact, a one-off solution “created only for you”, as she referred to an invisible client in her lecture.

The masterclass attracted a number of IDS students who completed epoxy resin artworks under the guidance of the instructor.

Date: 15th February 2019

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Phenomenology in Architecture

Format: Lecture and Workshop

Instructor: Connor Borchardt (USA), Architect and Scholar

More information on

A poster for a workshop Description automatically generated

Poster ©Giga Khatiashvili

Connor Patrick Borchardt, an architectural designer, freelance artist and Peace Corps volunteer from Sandusky, Ohio, also tried his skills as motion graphics artist. He specializes in architectural representations of philosophical theories and political archetypes and presented his vision during the IDS lecture attended by architectural students from other institutions, as well. His lecture turned to become a cross-cultural performance on how to use phenomenology as a design tool.

The lecture was followed by the workshop that started after the break and elaborated on the three design tools asking students to choose one said tool to design a rooftop garden next to IDS. The IDS students, who participated in the workshop, were encouraged to exploit the rooftop’s massive space as their preferred area for bold architectural innovation.

All IDS students work were sent to the USA. The best idea to change the terrace of IDS using a phenomenology tool of her choice was presented by Mariam Akhalaia, Second Year master student of IDS. In early March 2019, she was chosen by panel formed by Connor and his academic colleagues from University of Cincinnati. Mariam became the fifth in the group of IDS students to travel to Germany to celebrate the Bauhaus’ centenary.

Date: 6th February 2019

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Proportion. Unity of Opposites

Format: Lecture and Workshop

Instructor: Dr. Rafał Mazur (Poland), Architect and Scholar, Ignacy    Lukasiewicz Rzeszów University of Technology – RUT

More information on

Poster © Rafał Mazur

A graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Krakow University of Technology, Rafał Mazur currently lectures at the Rzeszów University of Technology and the Warsaw University of Technology, where he defended his PhD thesis on the proportions in architecture. In addition to academic and scientific work, he is a practicing architect, in 2006 founding the Studio Pracownia Architektury in Urbanistyki Rafał Mazur in Warsaw, which has won a major commission to design the cultural center in Katowice, also designed so called “house on the water” in Czemiakow Port in Warsaw, the marina in Pisz, and built several residential buildings.

Dr. Mazur visited Georgian Technical University for teaching activities within Erasmus+ mobility project coordinated by RUT. The lecture at IDS focused on comparative review of architecture of Hans van der Laan and Mies van der Rohe. Between 1920 and 1991, the Dutch Benedictine monk and architect Dom Hans van der Laan (1904–91) developed his own proportional system based on the ratio 3:4, or the irrational number 1.3247…, which he called “the plastic number”. According to him, this ratio directly grew from discernment, the human ability to differentiate sizes, and as such would be an improvement over the golden ratio. To put his theories to the test, he developed an architectural language, which can best be described as elementary architecture. Similar spatial-dynamic effects, derived from the superposition of spaces, can be found in the architecture of F. L. Wright and Mies van der Rohe, though Van der Laan never referred to them.

Date: 3rd November 2018

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Italian Wood Coatings

Format: Presentation of product to IDS students and staff

Presenter: Mirko Milani, CEO of LLC „Chemicals Coating Trading“

More information on

Poster© Chemicals Coating Trading

Chemicals Coating Trading (CCT) is the official dealer of famous Italian brand Milesi. It offers high quality paints and lacquers for wooden surfaces. The company presents its range of products to a large number of companies and distributors, coming not only from Georgia but also from other countries in the Caucasian region and from Central Asia. CCT is a part of the Italian holding IVM Group, one of the world leaders in the "paints and varnishes" sector. The IDS students were introduced to modern coating technologies and methods. The Italian Embassy Commercial Attaché, Mr Fabrizio Bovino, also took part in the event.

Date: 3rd July 2018

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Designer in Free Flight Mode

Format: Meeting with IDS Students: Practical Advice for Beginner 


Speaker: Dodoshka Chkheidze (Georgia), Founder of dodo designs

More information on

A person in a white dress Description automatically generated

Poster © Nino Akhobadze

The meeting was held in question-answer mode. The Georgian designer was born in 1985 in Tbilisi, obtained her bachelor’s degree in Scenography at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film State University, and since 2005 works on production design, art direction, set design, installation, sculpture, and interior design.

During the meeting at IDS on question “What brings you the most joy at the stage in life?” the answer was “It brings me great pleasure to have so much free time on my hands that I am able to spend in my favorite home. I spend time watching movies from my childhood and going through my last collection of vinyl that I am still discovering. Most importantly I have time to think about things that I previously I had no time for.I consider it to be an important stage in my personal development that has allowed me to reevaluate things in life”. 

Another question was “How does your workspace look?”. The answer from the designer was: “It would not be surprising that I pay a lot of attention to the aesthetic of my surrounding, therefore, I designed my workspace and house in accordance with my taste and style as well as taking into consideration the opinion of my colleagues and family members. my office is located in one of the most beautiful buildings in Tbilisi. I like to have interesting items that are pleasurable to look at, well organized while always having some flowers around. Therefore, I wholeheartedly agree with the saying that “The details are not the details. They make the design.” On the question “Which artist from the past would you like to meet?” Miss Chkheidze replied: “If I had to pick one it would certainly be Leonardo Da Vinci, a man of vast knowledge and abilities. Furthermore, it would be a great pleasure to travel back to the magical Renaissance era”.

Date: 7th June 2018

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: What is Bitcoin and Why It Will Change the World

Format: Illustrated Presentation and Invitation to Work

Presenter: Andrew Thornhill (USA), Co-founder and CEO of Spotcoin (Georgia)

More information on

A screen shot of a computer

Description automatically generated

Poster © Eric Binder

Since his first presentation at the IDS a year and a half ago – on 28.12.2016 about evolution of plastic cards and non-cash transaction, and design of future payment systems - Andrew Thornhill co-founded Spotcoin with a mission to turn it into “a trusted digital currency provider and regional authority on blockchain technology, making the smart economy work for everyone through empowerment, transparency, and innovation in the Black Sea region and beyond”. Andrew’s presentation, delivered with his now familiar passion and sophistication, certainly enlightened those who had never understood how bitcoin works, and probably convinced others to try the technology that already promises to revolutionize the payment systems worldwide. After a short introduction to remind the auditorium how the money had been created and worked throughout the centuries, Andrew drew, with the help of visual instruments and simple data, a clear and plain picture how the bitcoin was created and why it differs from the conventional currencies.

Another part of his presentation was to invite the IDS students and possibly the faculty members to apply for a job of a graphic designer in Spotcoin with task to help create company’s visual communication content according to Spotcoin brand book.

Dates: 30th April – 24th May 2018

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Can You Weave Glass?

Format: Workshop and the IDS Student Competition Instructor: Claus Hipp, Honorary professor of GTU (Germany) 

More information on the Munich workshop:

Photo © Elisa Strozyk Poster © David Droni

Can you weave glass? This creative idea competition for the IDS senior bachelor (Year 3 and Year 4) and master students was initiated by Prof. Klaus Hipp, who on 30 April 2018 delivered a fascinating lecture on the work of Gustav van Treeck - company based in Munich, Germany, which is a stained glass manufacturer with over 130 years of history. The company is currently involved in novel exploitation of huge potential provided by woven glass. There are objects designed by various artists and made by Gustav van Treeck from weaved glass like toys, jewelry, origami items, dress, lamps, furniture, or simply pure artefacts. The task given by Prof. Hipp who initiated this competition among the IDS students and volunteered to sponsor the travel and stay of the two winners to the Munich workshop for a month-long summer practice, was to create a functional object made of woven glass nobody thought was possible.

As a result of a three week-long effort, the two best works chosen by Prof. Hipp and Raphaela Knein, Managing Director of Gustav van Treeck, were the bus stop, a free- flowing biomorphic structure by Giorgi Bekauri, and the kitchen hummer with woven glass head fior meat processing by Ilya Licheli. Both are the first-year master students of IDS. They travel to Germany in August 2018.

Date: 27th March 2018

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Practical advice about setting a goal and achieiving a success

Format: Lecture

Speaker: Nino Abazadze, Master Student in Survey Statistics at the University of Bamberg, Germany

Poster © Nino Akhobadze

Nino Abazadze, the Georgian Master Student in Survey Statistics at the University of Bamberg, shared her rich experience of studying and working in an EU country. The lecture drew a serious attention from the IDS students who have an ambition to continue studies in an EU country and test the working and living environment there. A lot of questions were asked, and a live discussion held. As well as studying, Nino is also a working student at– a company in a group of our great sponsor and friend – HiPP Corporation, in their purchasing department, and she is also writing her master thesis at Kantar.

In its short history, the IDS has a few of the Erasmus students already sent to Europe to continue studies and complete them upon return to Georgia, and also visiting Erasmus+ students who complete a semester at the IDS. For all future applicants, Nino Abazadze experience shared with openness, honesty and empathy, was a revelation that would prompt more IDS students to examine themselves in a different cultural environment.

Date: 19th December 2017

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Making Comics and Graphic Novels

Format: Workshop

Instructor: Damian Wampler, Photographer and Comic Book Writer (USA)

More information on and

Poster © Damian Wampler

Eric Binder, the IDS design professor, introduced to the students an American photographer and comic book writer Damian Wampler, who is currently residing in Georgia as Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Tbilisi. A few months before his own workshop Damian was responsible for introducing to IDS David Mack in the latter’s role as Ambassador for the US State Dept. It then become apparent that Damian, who had graduated from School of Visual Arts in New York City with a master’s degree in digital photography and is the author of the 2014 book A Man Named Jay, in 2015 already published the first graphic novel of his own: Sevara: Dawn of Hope (Volume 1).

Damian shared with the IDS students his plans to publish a sequel to the novel, also how he works with graphic artists from Indonesia and Spain, and how he wrote a three-part guide on writing up effective panel descriptions for the comic book scripts.

For the workshop, he split the IDS students into two groups: those who had volunteered to draw were asked to leave the auditorium and those who had stayed wrote a short description of what they saw on color pictures of extracts from the Superman series Damian gave them. A half a dozen of these descriptions (carrying no reference to the Superman) where then given to the free-hand drawing students who returned to the auditorium with pencils and papers and quickly visualized what they had understood from the wording left by the other group.

It looked that Damian actually liked the results of this brief experience, but we all agreed that the students who had seemingly enjoyed the assignment may want to continue the workshop, the final results of which may be critically assessed after the Christmas break - in a month’s time.

Dates: 8th to 15th December, 2017

Venues: The Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) in Milan + Florence / Venice, Italy

Event: Project of Conservation of Colonia Elioterapica in Legnano near Milan 

Format: Joint Workshop between POLIMI and IDS

Instructors: Nora Lombardini, Associate Professor / Elena Fioretto, Polimi, and Nick Shavishvili, IDS

Photo credits © Facebook page “Legnano in Bianco e Nero”

A travel to Italy by a group of the best students selected form the two of previous workshops in Tbilisi (David Mack’s on comic books and Van der Steen / O'Brien’s on Tbilisi ethnography) included Milan, Florence and Venice sightseeing, a short visit to another leading Italian architecture and design school – IUAV in Venice, a POLIMI lecture by Nick Shavishvili titled “Rejecting Traditional City, Fabricating False Eclectics: Is There any Hope in a Dystopic Climate of Tbilisi?”, and finally, the two-day joint workshop on Colonia Elioterapica in Legnano, the example of the Italian Modernism of the 1930’s. The BBPR complex has already been the subject of an IDS event – the 28 April case study of a possible enhancement of Modern Heritage and its environment presented in Tbilisi by Prof. Lombardini and Assist. Fioretto

As the class at POLIMI is a restoration studio, the project for the workshop was chosen as a conservation of the existing building and its re-use. The main issue for the students was to conserve, as a historical document, the traces of the past inside the building. The plasters on the wall are very damaged, and the red traces by the BBPR Group are intangible. The green traces are of the period after the Second World War and the black traces are left by a fire.

During the joint workshop, the IDS students worked with 47 POLIMI students divided into 15 groups aiming to assess and possibly define the aesthetic final solution for the conservation project. Results were discussed in Milan on 14 December during the final session of the workshop, and on 20 December presented by the IDS students to their colleagues in Tbilisi.

Dates: 6th to 11th November 2017

Venues: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi, and Rustaveli Theatre on 17, Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi

Event: Ethnographic Journey through Urban Tbilisi/Documentary Filmmaking

Format: Joint Workshop between IDS and MARCH (Moscow Architecture School) / British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow

Instructors: Joseph Van der Steen, and James O'Brien, Architects (UK)

A person standing in front of a screen

Description automatically generated

Poster © Joseph Van der Steen    Photo © James O'Brien

The ethnography of a city is derived from it’s human, historic, climatic and physical culture. Using the City Symphony films of the 1920’s (such as Man with a Movie Camera, dir. Dziga Vertov, 1929) as a reference, the workshop, initiated by the instructors of the two British design schools in Moscow, intended to record, analyse and present the relationship between architecture, the city and it’s inhabitants and how the film camera can be used as a tool for objective research rather than a romanticised narrative.

The workshop was interested in the integration of ethnographic research into the architectural discourse. It became a big success attracting almost 60 students from different countries: 16 of them from the two British design schools of Moscow, similar number of students from other architectural programs in Tbilisi, and twice as much from the IDS. They were split into 15 mixed groups of up to 4 people and, since the launch of the workshop, for the next 4 days invaded the city with their mobile phones or video cameras. 

Through a detailed and humane understanding of a place and it’s people, their history and culture, the workshop had focused on understanding, recording and, on 11 November, finally presenting a series of 5 minute documentary films stitched together as a mosaic representation of urban life, and the ethnography of Tbilisi. Through documentation using film and hand drawn site survey plans, the relationship between architecture and people, space and place has been explored, and how the method of objective looking and study can help shape the manner in which we think about, and eventually design in, an urban context that is sensitive and responsive to human habits, has been demonstrated. The venue for the final presentation of the film was the famous basement café of Rustaveli Theatre, the place where almost a century earlier the Georgian artistic avant-garde found its space for cultural arguments and discussions and where they had left their eternal mark in the form of wall paintings.

Date: 24th October 2017

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Portrait Photography

Format: Illustrated Lecture and Workshop

Instructor: Iva Janezashvili, Photographer (Georgia – Austria)

More information on

Poster © David Droni Photo © Nino Akhobadze

Gia Javelidze, the IDS lecturer for photography and graphic editors, introduced to the students a young Georgian photographer Iva Janezashvili currently residing and working in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Carinthia, Austria. Traveling in Europe, Iva takes portrait, landscape, wildlife and urban photographs on his Nikon D810 and exhibits them extensively, while also participating in the annual World Bodypainting Festival, the most important Klagenfurt event on the international art and photography scene since 1998.

Iva’s workshop was preceded by his illustrated lecture in which he quizzed the IDS students on their knowledge of photography and shared with them some skills of the trade. The workshop itself involved an active IDS student participation.

Dates: 16th to 19th October 2017

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Workshop: An IDS Student’s Graphic Story for a Comic Book Format: IDS / US Embassy in Tbilisi / NGO "Empower Quest Georgia" Instructor: David Mack, Author, Artist, Designer, Illustrator, Director  

More information on

Poster © David Mack

It has become a good tradition that IDS opens a new year of studies with a prominent visitor. David Mack is the Emmy nominated, New York Times Best Selling Author & Artist of KABUKI comics series, writer of Marvel's Daredevil, cover artist of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, and creator of artwork for the opening titles of the new Jessica Jones Netflix TV series, as well as illustrator of Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk. Mack visited IDS in his capacity as US Comic Book Ambassador of Arts & Story for US State Dept.

Prior to give the IDS students the assignment for his workshop, David spoke about his creations. The scope of his work is enormous. For the Oscar-nominated film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he created the art & concept for the titles sequence, which received recognition for the Excellence in Titles Design Award. He had contributed artwork for the opening titles of Robert Rodriguez's Matador TV series, and art (and a cameo role) for the Powers TV series at Sony. He had authored the children’s book THE SHY CREATURES, illustrated and designed music albums, including work for Paul McCartney, Amanda Palmer, Thomas Jane, Vincent D'Onofrio, painted Tori Amos for her RAINN benefit calendars, and directed three music videos for Amanda Palmer. David was a storyboard artist for Dead Can Dance   music video, made designs for toy companies in Hong Kong, animation art for MTV, ad campaign for SAKURA art materials, and wrote and designed video game characters for film director John Woo and Electronic Arts. He also wrote the interactive animated viral promo for Mission Impossible Four and contributed the artwork for Dr. Arun Ghandi’s essay on the Culture of Non-Violence.

IDS is not the first higher education institution to show interest in David Mack’s work. His KABUKI books have been the subject of under-graduate and graduate university courses in Art and Literature and listed as required reading. His work has been studied in graduate seminars at USC. He’s lectured at universities and taught classes in writing, drawing, and painting all over the world, including an invitation to speak at Harvard at their annual Science Fiction Writing convention. In 2012, David Mack delivered an inspiring TED Talk. In 2016 the US State Dept. honored Mack as a US Comic Book Ambassador selected to travel abroad to teach storytelling in other countries as a cultural ambassador, beginning here in Tbilisi.

The six IDS students who, by 19 October, successfully completed David’s assignments, presented him their hand-drawn ideas for comics’ narratives, and received his critical acclaim, have been awarded with an IDS-sponsored trip to Italy in December - for another workshop.

Date: 28th June 2017

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: 3 CAD Evolution software and its applications to furniture 

design and production

Format: Power Point Presentation

Speaker: Bessarion Chkhaidze, Director General, Orbeli JSC

Photo ©

Mr. Chkhaidze presented a specialist furniture planning CAD software called 3 CAD Evolution, which effectively is a graphic configurator, intuitive and simple to use that offers a faster and more functional approach than many other, better known CAD tools. As the main benefit, the design work can be done in 3D keeping always under control prices and details of each single unit. 3 CAD Evolution is not only a tool that helps to create an interior design, but it also is a sales tool with a great flexibility. Through its correct use, the user gets interior design drawings in 2D or 3D formats, price quotation, and even extra charges for customized items of furniture. The software maximizes speed and results, and is well adapted to online orders, avoiding extra drawings, corrections and anything else that can only create customer’s confusion. Orbeli JSC had purchased the software from the developer and plans to train designers to use it at the Georgian furniture manufacturers offices and home furniture and appliance sellers. After completing presentation and answering questions, Mr. Chkhadize demonstrated serious interest in the young talented designers graduating from IDS and indicated that they could well be among his first trainees.

Date: 20th June 2017

Time: 01:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Design Thinking in Antique Greek Theatre 

Format: Illustrated Lecture

Speaker: Prof. Levan Berdzenishvili, Writer, Historian and  

Philosopher, Ilya University Tbilisi

Poster © Giga Khatiashvili

As expected, an eagerly anticipated lecture from one of the most brilliant Georgian scholars, Prof. Levan Berdzenishvili of IlyaUni, Design Thinking in Antique Greek Theatre – the title he himself choose after learning about the IDS concept and philosophy - did not disappoint. Levan delivered a brief account of the origins of the Greek theatre, noting, in his plain English with a characteristic Georgian accent, that there had effectively been three stages of its development from c. 700 BC. With its center in the city-state of Athens, where it was first institutionalized as part of a festival called the Dionysia honoring the god Dionysus, in the late 500 BC the theatre moved to the form of tragedy, after 490 BC - to comedy, and finally to the satyr play. Classical Greeks valued the power of a spoken word, preferring it to a written language. Around 532 BC Thespis became the earliest recorded actor, the exarchon, of the dithyrambs performed in and around Attica, but it is Solon who is credited with creating poems in which characters speak with their own voice to deliver Homer's epics by rhapsodes. Until the Hellenistic period, all tragedies were unique pieces written in honor of Dionysus and played only once, but in the Fifth Century BC - the Golden Age of Greek drama, the annual Dionysia became a competition between three tragic playwrights at the Theatre of Dionysus. Each submitted three tragedies, plus a satyr play, and then each playwright submitted a comedy. While Euripides maintained mono-actor structure, Aeschylus added the second actor (deuteragonist), and Sophocles introduced the third (tritagonist). Thus, the modern understanding of the Antique Greek Theatre - the one Prof. Berdzenishvili associated with the Design Thinking philosophy because of the spatial arrangement and planning structure of the Athenian theatre of Hellenistic period – was born. The plays had a chorus from 12 to 15 people, who performed the plays in verse accompanied by music, beginning in the morning and lasting until the evening. The performance space was a simple circular space on a flattened terrace at the foot of a hill, the orchestra with an average diameter of 24 meters, where the chorus danced and sang: it brought the name “theatron”, literally "seeing place". Later, the term "theatre" came to be applied to the whole area of theatron, orchestra, and skené. Mathematics played a large role as the designers had to be able to create acoustics so that the actors' voices could be heard throughout the theatre, including the very top row of seats. The Greek's understanding of acoustics compares very favorably with the current state of the art: hence the early example of “design thinking”.

Date: 16th May 2017

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Archive Materials and Projects of Museum of Folk and Applied Arts

Format: Power Point Presentation

Speaker: Nino Kovziashvili, Marketing and Communication Manager of  

   Museum of Folk and Applied Arts, Assistant at the Middle  Ages  

Dept. of Georgian National Museum, Museology Expert

Image © Museum of Folk and Applied Arts of Georgian National Museum

Nino Kovziashvili’s presentation of the materials from the archives of Museum of Folk and Applied Arts or G’Crafts Museum, which was founded in 1899, and of some of its ongoing projects such as School – Museum’s Friend and The Student Guides, offered an insight into a rich history of cultural heritage and its current state. The most intriguing part of the presentation was the Speaker’s statement that from the very beginning, G’Craft Museum strived to spread the ideas of British Arts and Crafts Movement, introducing to Georgia – then a part of the Russian Empire – works of its founders William Morris and John Ruskin, embracing and promoting their ideology that took inspiration, images and artistic forms from the traditional folk arts and turned them into novel objects appropriate for contemporary lifestyles – wallpapers,  typefaces and books, paintings and household items. This ideology resulted in the creation of modern design, continued in various concepts such as Bauhaus, L’Esprit Nouveau, International Style, Art Deco or Streamline.

Date: 16th May 2017

Time: 03:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: The Innovative Glimtrex® Coatings

Format: Power Point Presentation

Speaker: Prof. Dr., Dipl.-Kfm. Gisbert Göring-Lensing-Hebben, FH 

Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

More information on

Photo © FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences

Prof. Dr., Dipl.-Kfm. Gisbert Göring-Lensing-Hebben from Department of Economics and Health of FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, is specialist in Business Administration, in particular foreign trade, including international marketing. In 2009 Dr. Göring-Lensing-Hebben patented Glimtrex products to cover paints, varnishes, lacquers, and preservatives against rust and deterioration of wood. Glimtrex® today is a leading company on the wood surface coating market. Company strives to offer the best possible products allowing excellent treatment of timber (solid wood or parquet), cork or OSB floors, as well          as kitchen worktops, etc. Glimtrex® aim to contribute to a long lifespan and neat appearance of the customers’ wooden environment. The Glimtrex® coating are now available on the Georgian market of building materials and the IDS students and staff were particularly interested in their practical applications to wooden surfaces that may be used in real-life interior, furniture or product design projects.

Date: 5th May 2017

Time: 10:00 am

Venue:         City Hall Building, Municipality of Rustavi

Event:          Design Idea for a project of Rustavi Citizens’ Service Centre

Format:        Workshop

Instructor: Mariam Tabatadze, R&D Department, Public Service Development Agency, Ministry of Justice of Georgia

Photo © George Bekauri

The Innovations Management and Research Division of R&D Department of Public Service Development Agency at the Georgian Ministry of Justice launched this joint project with the Municipality of Rustavi City and asked the IDS students to take part in its first brainstorming session – effectively a workshop to generate initial ideas that should form the basis for a design brief of Rustavi Citizens’ Service Centre. A group of five IDS students joined forces with other participants of the workshop under the auspices of the UNDP. The speaker of the session showed the participants potential public space for the future Centre, handed them site drawings and asked to consider a user centered (UC) approach to the spatial development plans and interior design sketches, with the needs of future visitors in mind. The Centre is planned to be built this year. The workshop’s financial support has been provided by the EU “Participatory local budget in the city of Rustavi” project. The most interesting part for the IDS students was that the Innovations Management and Research Division conducted the session by implementing the Design Thinking methodology.

Date: 28th April 2017

Time: 03:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: The BBPR’s Colonia Elioterapica of Legnano: a case study for a possible enhancement of Modern Heritage and its environment

Format: Case Study

Speakers: Prof. Nora Lombardini and Assist. Elena Fioretto, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Poster © Nino Akhobadze

28 April 2017 was an event-intensive day for the IDS: we actually had another presentation following the Lecture-Workshop from Dr. Özgür Cengiz, also with the Erasmus+ mobility project but this time coordinated by Politecnico di Milano – the famous POLIMI, Alma Mater of some of the best names in the Italian design of the XXth Century. Prof. Nora Lombardini assisted by Elena Fioretto, PhD, showed their research on the object that is still considered one of the most representative examples of Italian rationalist architecture. The Elioterapic Colony built between 1937 and 1938 by Milanese studio BBPR (Gian Luigi Banfi, Lodovico Barbiano di Belgioioso, Enrico Peressutti, Ernesto N. Rogers) with the purpose to create an urban alternative to maritime colonies to cure rachitic children and counteract the spread of infantile respiratory diseases. Inspired by the Fascist government, after the WWII the building lost its function and slowly deteriorated into an empty container next to Legnano. The POLIMI research found it in an advanced state of degradation and worked on a project of its rehabilitation. The project was the subject of the case study presented at IDS. The lecture and presentation were followed by a live discussion between the visiting scholars and the students and staff of the IDS who showed an active interest in the issues of urban revalorization.

Date: 28th April 2017

Time: 01:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi Event: Ceramics. A Material of Past and Future 

Format: Erasmus+ Staff Mobility Visiting Lecture

Speaker: Özgür Cengiz, PhD, Afyon Kocatepe University, Turkey

Poster © Özgür Cengiz

The workshop was conducted within Erasmus+ mobility project, coordinated by Afyon Kocatepe - AKU University. Dr. Özgür Cengiz is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Ceramic of Fine Arts at AKU. The lecturer demonstrated her findings in researching the development of ceramic wall tile body compositions for energy saving and eco-friendly production, actually leading to zero carbon dioxide emission. She had also shared with the IDS students certain information from the neighboring Mid- Anatolian region on the use of local clays in traditional ceramics, as well as showed the examples of the evaluation of bentonites of Turkey and an investigation of their utilization in ceramic tile manufacturing – a very useful information since a Western Georgian region of Guria just across the border with Turkey is very rich with bentonites and the Turkish technologic know-how in this industry will be the most accessible.

Date: 24th March 2017

Time: 03:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Magnetic Radiation: Benefits and Hazards 

Format: Seminar

Speaker: Prof. Archil Vashakidze, GTU, Member of Georgian 

Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Poster © Vazha Pataridze

Prof. Vashakidze’s scientific-research interests are related to determining the impact of energy equipment on living organisms, and the identification of optimal parameters of the equipment to reduce or eliminate such an impact. He has also conducted research on non-traditional sources of electricity, and initiated studies on potential for the production of biobinine and biodiesel in Georgia. Charts and diagrams demonstrated by Prof. Vashakidze have clearly illustrated danger to human beings from an abusive use of the mobile phones – especially important for the Georgian part of the audience when the country population’s cellphone use time is well above the world’s average. Other data brought during the lecture bore witness to the failure of the Georgian government and other relevant institutions and companies to clearly inform the population on the fast-increasing hazards of magnetic radiation in the age of communication.

Date: 21st March 2017

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Importance of Innovation and Design in Marketing 

Format: Lecture

Speaker: Prof. Nikolaus (Claus) Hipp, businessman, artist and designer

Photo © Nino Akhobadze

Prof. Nikolaus (Claus) Hipp, businessman and artist, co-owner of baby food producer Hipp, Hon. Consul of Georgia for Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, Hon. Pres. of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Oberbayern, professor at Faculty of Business Administration of the Tbilisi State University, has had a long and warm relationship with the Georgian Technical University. For many years he is sponsoring the students and teachers’ scholarships in Germany. His son Stefan is Hon. Professor of GTU and lectures at the Faculty of Agroscience and Bioengineering. Hipp’s company production facilities in Georgia have connections with the GTU engineers.

But most important for the IDS was the fact that Claus Hipp, 79, is a passionate painter and designer himself. The entrepreneur completed his artistic training at an art school in Munich, exhibited his colorful abstract paintings worldwide, and worked as a freelance artist. Since 2001, Hipp has held a full professorship position for a non-representational painting at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (TSSA). Keen musician, he has also been teaching oboe and plays the English horn. During the IDS lecture, Claus presented his 2011 tri-lingual (German-English-Georgian) book ‘It Is Simple, But Not Easy – Compendium for Art Students’, and shared with the IDS students his fascination with the world of graphic design stressing its role in the process of product marketing. Hipp logo, probably the most recognizable among the world’s leading baby food brands, had been created during a lively exchange of ideas between Claus and Frank Gianninoto, the New York designer and author of the iconic 1954 Marlboro red- and-white pack. Prof. Hipp was so much intrigued by the design thinking concept of IDS that has offered to conduct a series of masterclasses for our students in the nearest future. It was only natural that after the lecture the IDS initiated granting Nikolaus Hipp an Honorable Professorship of the GTU. On 8 May 2017, Academic Council of Georgian Technical University declared him Professor Honoris Causa.

Date: 2nd February 2017

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Italian Design Day, dedicated to XXIst Triennale di Milano 

International Exhibition (XX1T), entitled “21st Century. Design After Design”

Format: Joint One-Day Conference/Poster Competition/Exhibition

Speakers:  H.E. Antonio Enrico Bartoli, Ambassador of Italian Republic in Tbilisi, and Prof. Nick Shavishvili, Dean of IDS

Poster © Vazha Pataridze

The Italian Design Day, attended by H.E. Antonio Enrico Bartoli, Ambassador of Italian Republic in Tbilisi, was conducted in conjunction to Triennale di Milano and to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Italian-Georgian diplomatic relations. Since the world’s most respected automotive style designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, the acclaimed “car designer of the century”, laid the foundation to the IDS, the school’s natural connection to the Italian design was obvious. Italians are undisputable leaders in many design directions especially in transport, furniture, lighting, interior, and other aspects of industrial design, so Italian design occupies important place in the IDS curriculum.

On his arrival at the IDS the Ambassador reviewed the IDS student competition posters dedicated to the event and personally selected the winner (pictured here). Then he spoke to the IDS students on of the importance of design to the Italians and its place in the modern national culture. Prof. Shavishvili delivered an illustrated lecture on the post-war story of the Italian design, and then a discussion was held on the role of the Triennale. It was agreed that Triennale di Milano is certainly the most important display of the state-of-the-art architectural and design culture of Italy for the outside world and, probably, the world’s best place for a professional discourse on philosophy, ideas, problems and issues related to design and architecture. After a pause of 20 years, the XXIst Triennale International Exhibition (XX1T), entitled “21st Century. Design After Design” was held in 2016. As a pioneer and forerunner in the promotion of the arts and research on design, the Trienale chose a theme that raised questions on the meaning of design and its role in a constantly changing world. The theme addressed key questions such as the new dramatic art of design; the impact of globalisation on design; the transformations brought about by the dawn of the 21st century and the crisis of 2008, and so on. The Italian Design Day was completed with the mutually expressed wishes to continue close contacts between the Italian Embassy and the IDS and plan more events for the nearest future.

Date: 28th December 2016

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: The Evolution and Design of Future Payment Systems Format: Cross-discipline Lecture

Speaker: Andrew Thornhill

Poster © Eric Binder

Andrew Thornhill is an American businessman and FinTech pioneer residing in Georgia since 2007. He is developing in Tbilisi a clearing house for digital currencies providing wholesale trading options in an express way. The platform helps businesses quickly buy and sell cryptocurrencies utilizing a one-day standard for all transactions. Some points he made to the students about cryptocurrency and blockchain are worth remembering: Crypto and Blockchain are here to stay, and they will keep growing. Crypto does not offer some magical way to make money as an interest-bearing account but as Andrew said, Bitcoin is likely to adopt the function of a reserve cryptocurrency in the future. Concerns have been raised about the ecological impact of cryptocurrency mining. Luckily, Georgia has the potential to mine without significantly damaging the environment. Georgian hydroelectric stations produce surplus energy during warmer times of the year. This energy cannot be stored; therefore, it has to go on export. It is entirely possible to buy this energy in order to run cryptocurrency factories.

Dates: 19th to 31st December 2016

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi and surrounding area

Event: Kitchen Appliances

Format: Winter 2-week Workshop Session

Instructor: Alex Velasco, Past Design Instructor, IDS, Instructor at 

Ajeenkya DY Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India,  Doctoral Researcher, Istanbul Technical University

Photo © Nino Akhobadze

Alex was back! – but only for a couple of weeks… Now the Design Instructor at Ajeenkya DY Patil University in Pune, India, during his brief return to the IDS he was full of energy and ideas, as always, and the students – especially the fourth year ones who had been guided by him during their freshmen year of 2013-2014 – just loved it. It was also a good experience for the new members of the growing academic team of the IDS who had never met Alex before and now had a first-hand chance to appreciate teaching methods of the mastermind behind the IDS curriculum.

Alex split the workshop into three parts: Week 1 was a pre-week conducted by Giga before Alex’ arrival in Tbilisi to introduce project and brief, form groups, and give the teams Task 1: Desk research on area of interest, and Task 2: Assigned Readings. Week 2 started with Alex discussing with the IDS student teams the brief, process and outcomes. Mind Map was created, paperwork handed out, and research introduced. Students then carried out research readings and Alex gave them Brainstorm Deep Dive with Sketchathon, followed by students voting on the best ideas and naming the representatives for idea champions. Alex then introduced students to the Elevator Pitch - a summary to quickly and simply define a process of the product creation and its value. Voting on ideas continued, this time both from the IDS jury and the students, and review of the first week was continued by Introduction to Scenarios. Alex handed out scenarios to the students and advised them to use virtual and real LEGO tools to develop scenarios.

Final week started with scenario presentation and project outcomes were handed out. Alex listened from the teams on detailed description of final slide show, and teams continued working on concept of kitchen appliances Efficient ways of depicting concepts were discussed so that teams can make product concept presentation. The most advanced teams worked on wire framing while others continued identifying scenarios for the concept. Final Presentations were made on 30 December and on the New Year Eve discussions all were wrapped up so that we all could say farewell to Alex and invite him to join us again with more of his new, equally exiting and useful ideas.

Dates: 24th December 2016

Time: 01.30 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Think Music Design: Designing Virtual Instruments with Olajide 


Format: Masterclass

Instructor: Olajide Paris, American Composer and Producer

Poster © Eric Binder

This was one in the series of events at the IDS to demonstrate a cross-discipline nature of the designer’s profession. Olajide Paris, an American composer and producer whose works have been used by Boeing, Sikorsky Helicopter, Intel, Raytheon, General Electric, Schilling Robotics, Carrier, Pratt & Whitney and so on, and who, before arriving to live and work in Georgia, worked with the stars like Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Janet Jackson, and here even made a remix of one of Nani Bregvadze’s most famous songs, said: “Quality is of great importance to me - I always try to offer a society a high quality production”. Combining the analogue sounds produced by the instruments of the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, with digital notes from his sophisticated computer tools and software, Olajide is able to offer the growing worldwide market of video, film, commercials, animation and other sound users a quality mix of musical compositions that are masterfully designed in Georgia.

Date: 25th October 2016

Time: 07:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Seven steps towards sustainability

Format: Lecture-seminar

Speaker: Prof. Miki Martinek, Austrian Designer, Lecturer at University  of Applied Arts Vienna

More information on

A poster for a seminar

Description automatically generated

Poster © Nino Akhobadze         Poster © David Droni

Miki Martinek’s seminar was held during the International Design School and Vienna Applied Arts University joint project and demonstrated a wide scope of interests of the Austrian designer: a playful hammock for urban well-being pictured on her poster, crystal glass chandelier she calls “’no beginning and no end”, blankets and cushions for knitted stools using Merino wool, or clear hand-blown glass decanter (this one was a subject for a competition between the students with the winning poster pictured here) –the images of all these objects shared with the IDS and Vienna students participating in the seminar, and the motivations and strategies discussed. Miki’s individual designs transform everyday items into feature points in the people’s interiors. She showed a great concern in putting Austrian contemporary interior design in the front position by emphasizing, in her, projects the relationship between user and object plays a key role: as she said during the seminar, her design is deliberatively put in its context and she therefore creates a balance between past, present and future.

Dates: 21st to 29th October 2016

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi and Tbilisi 

area incl. the River Mtkvari Bank

Event: Thonet’s Stories: In the Footsteps of Distribution. Thonet Chair N 14 or a Deconstruction of a Viennese Chair

Format: IDS / University of Applied Arts Vienna Exchange Workshop Series

Instructors: Brigitte Prinzgau and Wolfgang Podgorschek of PRINZGAU/podgorschek, designers, animators, film producers/operators/directors, and Tatia Skhirtlazde, of University of Applied Arts Vienna

Poster © Nino Akhobadze

GTU International Design School and Vienna Applied Arts University joint project, now in its third year, this time was back at the IDS, where it was initiated and launched by the Austrian designers two years       ago. The project this year was different since it contained a greater number of events. The Thonet Stories were celebrated in the media and the events were attended by the Georgian Education and Science Minister and the Austrian Ambassador in Georgia. The Thonet Chair No 14 became a symbol of modernity and a revolutionary precedent for designing a simple and decent furniture. It was produced worldwide and as early as at the beginning of the XX century started to be manufactured in Tbilisi. Nowadays you can find it in Tbilisi cafes, as well as in apartments, and don’t be surprised if you suddenly notice that its rims are even used as basketball baskets in the courtyards of Old Tbilisi.

Date: 23rd April 2016

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Zaha Hadid: Gender, Constructivism, and Centuries 

Format: Memorial Presentation and Remembrance Party

Speakers: Students of IDS and Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, Faculty of 

Architecture, instructed by Prof. Nick Shavishvili, Dean of IDS

Poster © David Droni

A joint effort between the IDS bachelors and the TSAA master students to remember one of the greatest architects of the modern era, the Iraqi-born British designer Zaha Hadid who died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 65 leaving the vast number of daring projects, sketches, paintings, furniture and objects, completed or still unfinished work on the building sites and the drawing boards. The grand dame of the design world, with a larger-than-life personality, Zaha had defied boundaries between pure artistry and functionality and in her cruelly shortened creative life had generated some of the wildest, unrestrained images, objects and buildings in the entire history of architecture and design. Memorial presentation at the IDS premises followed by the remembrance party celebrated life and talent of the great woman whose work ranged  from paintings and sculpture objects to shoes, bags, fashion accessories, dresses and overcoats, and to chairs, desks, worktables, lamps, beds, wallpapers, all the way to interiors, boutique shops and restaurants, houses, other single or small building, to large buildings like museums and government or educational institutions, and huge urban developments some of which still are underway, and the project development and construction stages of them will outlive their creator for maybe dozens of years, and the creations themselves – for the centuries.

Date: 12th March 2016

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue:         IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event:          Open Day

Format:        Presentation of Bachelor and Master Programs of IDS

Speaker:      Nino Akhobadze, Manager of IDS

Poster © Sandro Alaverdashvili

The first event of its kind promoting IDS as the first English-language design school in Georgia and trying to attract senior school pupils from the country and high school students from abroad to enroll the bachelor studies at the IDS, plus recruit the bachelor graduates – to continue their master studies with the IDS.

Dates: 13th to 23rd November 2015

Venue: Vienna, Austria, University of Applied Arts Vienna and the city

Event: Thonet’s Stories: In the Footsteps of Distribution. Thonet Chair N 14 or a Deconstruction of a Viennese Chair

Format: IDS / University of Applied Arts Vienna Exchange Workshop  Series

Instructors: Tatia Skhirtlazde, University of Applied Arts Vienna / 

    Giga Khatiashvili and Nino Akhobadze, IDS

Photo © designtbilisi

12 students from the IDS led by Giga and Nino visited Vienna University of Applied Arts between 13th to 23rd November 2015. They were met by the Austrian students and teachers and discussed with them the history of the Thonet corporation. Together, the mixed Austrian and Georgian universities students’ teams conducted studies of the Thonet brand, met Thonet designers and the company founder’s directvdescendant – Evamaria Schmertzing-Thonet, visited furniture collectors, went to museums and, after brainstorming sessions, generated ideas to complete practical works picking up from the Tbilisi workshop of an year before – the first in this series. The Thonet’s Stories project greatly helped to promote Tbilisi, emphasize its cultural connections with Vienna, and underlined the importance of the Austrian culture and the cultural and industrial background of the Viennise furniture. The exchange of information and experience has occurred. Two universities, the GTU and Vienna Applied Arts University, created a strong bond by recording and archiving project information, creating and presentating new designs ideas based on the use of Thonet objects, and wowed to continue the series – next year in Tbilisi.

Date: 20th October 2015

Time: 02:00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room, GTU Administrative Building, 77 Kostava Street,Tbilisi

Event: Design Factors - Perceptual Fields in Design: Understanding 

Design of Passenger Cars

Format: Illustrated Lecture

Speaker: Dr. Albert Weichenrieder, Automotive Designer, Munchen,   Germany, Past Eng./Des. at BMW and Audi

Poster © Sandro Alaverdashvili

Continuing his lecture series for the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (TSAA) industrial design students, the TSAA consultant Dr. Weichenrieder came to the GTU to share with the IDS audience his vast experience of working with the German automotive industry giants BMW and Audi. The title of the lecture - Design Factors - Perceptual Fields in Design: Understanding Design of Passenger Cars – reflected Dr.

Weichenrieder’s thoroughly empirical knowledge of the automobile body and interior design and its ergonomics. Speaking of his patented inventions - passive lower body restraint for Audi, all-foam seat cushion incorporating varying degrees of firmness for the same manufacturer, or the work to optimize the function of an automobile seat for BMW – the lecturer demonstrated a remarkable skill in conveying a simple, convincing presentation communicating his achievements in a comprehensible manner.

Date: 11th June 2015

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Design architecture build the city. Beginning the empty space, Becoming a place

Format: Illustrated Lecture

Speaker: Prof. Pedro Rodrigues, PhD. FAU Lisboa, Portugal

Poster © Giga Khatiashvili

Pedro Rodrigues came on the footsteps of his colleagues from Portugal and delivered a delightful account of a quarter of the century of his practice focusing mainly on the importance of relations between a place and the architectural object - guiding strategy of all of his works. His most emotional endeavors

are related to memories of his father, the neighborhood, the village. The St. Estevão House project seeks to incorporate the void as a part of the program; the Pontalgar House project stresses the relations between program/ site and position/ landscape; Pedro’s most striking project to date – a plain long block of a concrete, the 2009 Fundação António Sardinha, a social care institution – is conceptualized around connection between the landscape and the place, characterized by a steep valley and a strong dominance of pine tree located at south. The volumetric position creates a frame that enhances the landscape and the view. The students and teachers of the IDS were equally impressed by the simplicity and refinement of Pedro Rodrigues’ designs evoking the principles long formulated for architecture and furniture design by the great Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, once a director of the Bauhaus – “less is more”.

Date: 8th April 2015

Time: 12:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Out of Eden Walk, inspired by Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens

Format: Lecture with a Poetic Meditation

Speaker: Paul Salopek, American journalist and writer, a two-time 

Pulitzer Prize winner

More information on

Poster © Giga Khatiashvili

National Geographic-partnered the Out of Eden Walk - Paul Salopek's 21,000-mile odyssey which is turning into, maybe, a decade-long experiment in slow journalism, brought the two-time Pulitzer Prize laureate, in search of the pathways of the first humans who migrated out of Africa in the Stone Age, into Georgia. Calling the country Republic of Verse and claiming that here in Georgia, poets—not politicians— are national heroes, Paul reflected on his meeting with various people since he arrived in the Georgian town of Akhalkalaki crossing the border from Turkey: wine and kvevri, Bronze Age excavations and  supra, a surgical operation on aorta saving a baby and plastic flowers on a market all fill with contents his fascinating journey. His inspiration may be came after reading the mid-XX century American Modernist poet Wallace Stevens’ (1879-1955) poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, which, in its turn, is inspired by the Japanese haiku.

Date: 10th February 2015

Times: 12:00 pm; 02.00 pm; 03.00 pm; 05.00 pm; 06.00 pm 

Venue: Rooms Hotel, 14 Merab Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: 5 Portuguese Architects & Designers

Format: Lecture Series

Speakers: Prof. Carlos Alho, Manuel Teixeira, Antonio Assuncao 

Alho, Constanca Pignatelli Vasconcelos, and Fabio 

Bernardinho of FAULisboa, Portugal

Poster © Giga Khatiashvili

Five architects and urban designers from the Portuguese capital’s Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, visited Tbilisi with the EU’s Tempus program sponsorship, and shared with the IDS bachelors and Tbilisi State Academy of Arts master students their experience of working and teaching urban   issues. Carlos Alho discussed his contribution in turning Lisbon, with its Parque das Nações, into a balanced and human city. Manuel Teixeira claimed that local cultural influences were felt at the level of architecture, both in the adaptation of Portuguese models to local materials and climatic conditions, and   in the adoption by Portuguese builders to local typologies and forms. Antonio Assuncao Alho alerted the audience to the importance of topography and natural surroundings for the design of an automotive highway system. Other presentations concerned the Portuguese art and design education system and the land use management and administration for urban and rural settlements in Portugal. Generally, this series had clearly demonstrated to the IDS and TSAA students that the boundaries of design reach far beyond the product or interior scales the students typically accept as the scope of the designers’ interest.

Date: 28th January 2015

Time: 01:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Art as a Profession: Economic Opportunities and Threats

Format: Illustrated Lecture

Speaker: Eric Binder, American painter and animator, former post- production designer for Disney Corp.

Poster © Eric Binder

Eric has a very rich biography. Born in Panama from the American parents, he graduated Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida and went on to become a professional artist, but not only as a freelancer and illustrator: he also spent 13 years doing post-production design for Disney Corp. animated movies. In 2005 he and wife Amy, who also grew outside of the US – in Bolivia, and is also an illustrator, decided to sell their house in Virginia and travel around the world with their three sons. In 2007 they settled in Georgia and in 2009 opened their own pizzeria – Ronny’s Pizza, which is now a growing chain of restaurants in Tbilisi with delivery and takeaway services. A talented painter, over the creative life Eric tested his abilities in illustration, graphic design, animation, post-production and other areas of visual communication, so it was only natural that after the lecture Eric, who seems to have settled in Tbilisi and is a native English-speaker with an art education, was offered the post of another Visiting Professor, joining the ranks with Giga Khatiashvili - after Alex Velasco, the first design instructor of IDS and the author of its curriculum, finally left for India to continue tuition there.

Date: 21st January 2015

Time: 11:00 am

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi 

Event: Design Thinking and Business Innovation Format: Illustrated Lecture

Speaker: Dr. Seon Hee Jung, UX and Design Strategist B.S., KAIST 

(Korea), M.Arch., Harvard University, USA

Poster © Giga Khatiashvili

Ms. Seon Hee Jung visited Georgia with a delegation from The Seed of Hope - an international NGO with a mission to serve communities around the world through a range of health, education and economic development initiatives. In her Design Thinking and Business Innovation lecture she shared her recent experience in Myanmar, where, as a project leader for New App Service Development helping local farmers, she had traveled to 12 rural communities, interviewed 56 people, and come up with so-called Proximity Design project, while for New Product Concept and Service Development for other rural users, she had traveled to 18 villages for in-depth interviews and user testing of the concepts, and come up with Solar Home System. Earlier, fresh from her Harvard graduation, as a Principal designer for Samsung Electronics, in 2009 she completed the development of design strategy for home appliance design division and organized and initiated several new concept design projects for domestic and US markets, as well as Europe. Her most successful commercial design product to date had been a result of her work on design identity programs and project for HA products when, as head of design research & strategy team, she studied design segmentation to develop a new concept for Samsung refrigerator.

Dates: 11th to 13th November 2014

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Thonet’s Stories: In the Footsteps of Distribution. Thonet Chair 

N 14 or a Deconstruction of a Viennese Chair

Format: IDS / University of Applied Arts Vienna Exchange Workshop   Series

Instructor: Prof. James Gilbert Skone (UK-Austria), Industrial & Graphic Designer,University of Applied Arts Vienna

Poster ©Giga Khatiashvili

This was the first workshop in the ongoing series connected to the Georgian legacy of the Austrian cabinet maker Michael Thonet – the author, among many other pieces of furniture, of the famous 1859 Konsumstuhl Nr. 14, or Coffee Shop Chair No. 14, which is called the "chair of chairs" with some 50 million manufactured (and some of them in Georgia, for over a century now – here they are called “Viennese chairs”) and still in production today. The workshop was conducted by British-born Austrian professor James Skone of University of Applied Arts Vienna. Born in 1948, James was educated in London and Vienna and studied interior design in London but is better known as a product designer. An enthusiastic alpinist and extreme athlete, he had designed the necessary equipment for these sports, developing mass produced climbing walls and adjustible climbing shoes, which soon led to commissions for further sporting goods designs for, among others, Fischer Ski, Tyrolia, Dachstein and F2. In partnership with Matthias Peschke, he designed products for AKG (probably their most successful talk- listen device), IMKO, Grabner and Kelomat. Since 2000 James Skone shifted his concentration to teaching. In just three days of the Tbilisi workshop, each of the five teams of students that entered the workshop had demonstrated, under his guidance, a sudden surge in creative potential and had come up with 5 imaginative products (a lamp; a musical instrument; a modern chair and so on) hand-made from the broken pieces of the historical Viennese chairs brought from the homes of the Tbilisi inhabitants.

Date: 03.06.2014

Time: 04:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Paradigms of Graphic Design

Format: Illustrated Lecture

Speaker: Giga Khatiashvili, Georgian Graphic and Industrial Designer, 


Poster © Giga Khatiashvili

Giga came to IDS as founder and creative director of 919 The Advertising Lab, impressed the school with his designs and emotional articulation, and very soon joined the small IDS team as Visiting Professor of Design. Born in 1973 in Tbilisi, Giga graduated Science & Research Institute for Design and Ergonomics Academy of Georgia as industrial designer, but swiftly moved to the graphics, polishing his skills in Russia before returning to his native Georgia, where he had successfully completed a great deal of brand  identity jobs for such companies as Geocell (part of the Swedish telecommunication giant Telia Sonera), Sante Walsh, Rustaveli Cinema and others. He can be proud that entering one of the most difficult lines of visual communication – typography, he had created a number of patented Georgian fonts for the Internet, as well as many corporate types.

Date: 8th November 2013

Time: 02:00 pm

Venue: IDS, Building 8, GTU, 75 Kostava Street, Tbilisi

Event: Design in My Life

Format: Presentation

Speaker: Edson Walker, Brazilian Graphic Designer, Photograph, Editor of Walker Travel Magazine, Web Designer, Writer

Poster © Nino Akhobadze

The very first event of the IDS outside its scheduled studies, an introduction of a practicing designer with an international experience to the first-year students of IDS, was an opportunity not to miss. And Edson lived up to all expectations: The Brazilian graphic designer born in 1978 who in 2001 graduated from Federal University of Santa Maria in his native state Rio Grande do Sul, openly shared his passion to the profession with a group of the IDS freshmen. With rich experience ranging from a web design in Curitiba doing logos and layouts for websites, to branding and corporate identity in São Paulo for Cauduro Martino - one of the most prestigious design companies in the country, to the USA for international program training volunteers for educational work in Angola (acting at the same time as a designer creating layouts for websites, logos and advertisement materials for the NGO Humana), and then moving to Angola - he came back in 2005 to Brazil to continue working on web design and visual identity for the company Redirect. Since 2008 he is dedicating his time working as a travel photographer, producing his own books about his photography and editing his online travel magazine called Walker Travels Magazine. After the IDS presentation, Edson stayed in Tbilisi and in February 2014 launched, in Creative Education Studio, a 2-month Corporate Identity (CI) course with focus on the principles and practical activities of CI using sketching and Adobe Illustrator to help the participants create their own visual identity, and then moving to the phases of a real project of CI including the briefing, brainstorming, sketching the symbol, choosing the font for the logotype, creating variations of the logo and working in the identity manual with the guidelines of using the new logo designed during the course.