© Prof. Susanne P. Radtke


Initial situation

Prof. Susanne P. Radtke established her intercultural design workshop concept at Ulm University of Applied Sciences in 2009 in collaboration with the German University Cairo. There the focus was on Arabic and Latin typography in bilingual animations. This approach was also performed at the International Design Week in Tampere, Finland, in 2010.

Since then the intercultural workshop concept has been developed and extended to include an interdisciplinary component with San Francisco State University. Our German Digital Media students had the opportunity to collaborate with students from the disciplines of visual communication and industrial design and could compare and experience different approaches to design that varied mainly in hands-on and presentation skills.

When a real client complements the intercultural workshop between two universities as a third pillar, the concept is even more complex but also more dynamic and powerful. In Ulm in 2012 Prof. Radtke enhanced her concept with a practical approach adding a German brewery as a real client for the 3-day intercultural design workshop. For more details click here.

The academic exchange with San Francisco State University, Prof. Nancy Noble, is now in its third year and the intercultural design workshop series has proven to be so successful that Prof. Noble has continued our joint exchange and in June 2013 brought the Romberg Tiburon Center as a client.

The RTC is San Francisco State University´s bayside research and teaching campus. 12 German and 9 American students participated in the intensive workshop that took place May 28-30. To see the complete schedule of the excursion itinerary and design workshop click here.

Clients briefing

The Romberg Tiburon Center (RTC) was represented by Erin Blackwood, Education and Outreach Coordinator for RTC. On a day trip to Marin County the RTC could be visited and their 36-acre bay front site with marine and estuarine environments was a breath-taking experience for the students.

The RTC has the following goals
- To lead in scientific research, monitoring and reporting on the nature and
  condition of the world’s marine and estuarine environments.
- To train undergraduate and graduate students to become interdisciplinary marine
  scientists through instruction and participation in innovative, collaborative
- To promote public education and appreciation of the San Francisco Bay estuarine
  environment and ecosystems.
- To provide fundamental scientific information to assist in decision making and the
  stewardship of San Francisco Bay.

The communication target was to spread the word about the important work done by RTC.

The target group was broad and unspecified but generally aimed at families who could get to know the RTC at their special open house event, called Discovery Day.
The media was to be an animation either used in a 30-second Public Service Anouncement (PSA) or on Twitter as a series of short animations.
A binding requirement was to associate Callie the Copepod in a funny and joyful way with RTC. Otherwise there were few restrictions. Callie has appeared so far in print media, on Twitter and as a real cuddly toy that is sold as a merchandizing product. Also, a free font that was used on an invitation card for the open house Discovery Day was provided.
The interview with the client in abstract can be seen click here.



Friday, May 17
Students Arrive in San Francisco

Saturday, May 18
City Tour with Design Assignment

Sunday, May 19
Bay to Breakers Race, Cultural Walk and Tour with Lewis Nightingale, starts at Mission/24th

Monday, May 20
in front of City Hall, SF Library Rare Book Collection, SF War Memorial, Opera House, Afternoon: 1:45 PM Asian Art Museum - Terracotta Warriors

Tuesday, May 21
Romberg Tiburon Center to meet with client: Erin Blackwood, Education Director; Afternoon: Travel to Muir Woods: The California Redwoods and Site of the Signing of the United Nations

Wednesday, May 22
KRON, Channel 4: 1001 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, William Stout Bookstore (Design and Architecture), FontShop: 149 9th Street, Ste 402

Thursday, May 23
Landor, 1001 Front Street, San Francisco, Studio Hinrichs: 369 Clementina Street, Academy of Art, Spring Show Exhibition

Friday, May 24
The Exploratorium – Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception, Piers 15/17

Saturday, May 25
SFSU Commencement, 10:30 AM DAI Reception followed by Commencement in Cox Stadium

Sunday, May 26
Fotosession Mission Carnala

Monday, May 27
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), 151 Third Street (between Mission + Howard)

Tuesday, May 28
SFSU: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM: Workshop, Meet in FA 115.

Wednesday, May 29
SFSU: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM: Workshop, Meet in FA 115.

Thursday, May 30
2:00 PM Final presentation Workshop, Meet in FA 115. 2:00 PM Presentation to Client.

Friday, May 31
Departure — Students Return to Germany


This workshop emphasized a practical approach. To work in a student project with a client provided the feeling of a real-world design approach and it was very inspiring for everyone involved. However it was necessary to structure and plan the learning process. Therefore student presentations and guided assignments were an integral component of the workshop.

The theoretical background was provided by two lectures by Prof. Susanne P. Radtke and Prof. Nancy Noble.

Lecture Prof. Nancy Noble | Social Media - Language & Communication in the Digital Age
Lecture Prof. Susanne P. Radtke | Going Green: Statistics and Media
During the International Workshop at San Francisco State University (SFSU) we were given the opportunity to collaborate on a Public Service Announcement (PSA) for SFSU’s Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies. Erin Blackwood from RTC, explained to our group that although the Center had been in founded in 1978, very few people in the San Francisco Bay Area were aware of the its existence.

Our challenge as a group was to publicize and bring awareness of RTC and the research they are doing to improve the Bay ecology. RTC’s mascot Callie, a copepod, would serve as spokesman via Twitter to get the message out. We decided on three short clips, rather than a single long clip. The first was to introduce Callie and explain to the viewers who (and what) she was. The second clip has Callie letting the viewers know about the upcoming Discovery Days event at RTC. The third clip was an opportunity for Callie to share some facts fact(s) about RTC: in this case we chose to educate the viewers that RTC had been around for over 30 years. By creating shorter video clips, each with Callie introducing a new fact or message, the opportunity exists to continue the theme.(Talea Kessler, Carmen Hämmerle, Liz Munnelly)

Callie is going on a trip. Our animation shows Callie the Copepod in the fish tank at the Romberg Tiburon Center, San Francisco State University. In the video she is packing her backpack for a journey around the San Francisco Bay. Callie encourages the audience to follow her on Twitter to learn more about her, her friends and the RTC.
(Lisa Hank, Andreas Rusch, Andrew Wright, Willi Cohen)

As the client wanted us to target San Francisco Bay Area residents with this short animation, we decided to tell a story with a regional background. The famous Baseball team from San Francisco, known as the Giants, is an ideal starting point to get local people's attention. Our story revolves around Callie, the mascot of RTC, who is very interested in Baseball and dreams of catching a splash hit. This is a special situation AT baseball games which people are always looking forward to seeing, when the ball hits the water adjacent to the stadium. At this point the Baseball Game and Callie's natural habitat, the ocean, meet. During the animation Callie informs her followers on twitter about what is happening as the animation is intended to promote Callie's twitter activity.
(Christian Werner, Iris Kopp, Paul Navasca, Kieran Brobst)

Callie the Copepod falls in love. In our story, Callie is sitting in front of her laptop underwater and tweets about her life. This shows Callie's living environment and connects it with the Twitter aspect. In the video Callie tells the audience about how she met a guy named Bill and fell in love with him. Callie tweets photos of Bill and herdelf and talks about the Romberg Tiburon Center, San Francisco State University. The video encourages people to follow Callie on Twitter so that they can become a part of her life and learn more about RTC´s activities. (Simon Ledermann, Julia Knobloch, Henok Haile, Tri Dang)

In our animation Callie is the narrator and is telling the viewer about her life in the San Francisco bay. You can learn more about her importance and her life in the sea while watching our video. At the end Callie jumps into her twitter page to introduce the viewer to her account. (Laura Renn, Sophie Ochmann, Samantha Majors, Slate Werner)


Simon Ledermann, Andreas Rusch, Jannick Geier
Michael Buble - Feeling Good | Viola Dehnen, Talea Kessler, Iris Kopp
Where is my mind? | Laura Renn, Sina Kazmaier, Simon Deering
Stephanie Reiner, Johannes Kunert


- Pro! Hochschule Ulm Netzwerk der Alumni und Förderer e.V.
- protel Film & Medien GmbH, Günter Merkle
- Brauerei Goldochsen
- Annette Schlenker Marketing und PR, engineering people GmbH
- Hartmann Group



Prof. Susanne P. Radtke

Ulm University of Applied Sciences
Digital Media
Eberhard-Finckh-Str. 11 | 89075 Ulm



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