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Identity & Motivation

This is the documentation of the planning and execution of our Sprechen Über event on January 17, 2023.



“Identity and motivation” was the topic of the event we held on January 17th 2023.

We found worth researching about the connectedness between one’s occupation and identity. This topic has been addressed more frequently during the past SprechenÜbrer workshop and event sessions. As a group we decided to focus on the “co-work” of personality and professionalism and wanted to find out if we could get inspired by the flow of a professional in a totally different field of work.

We interviewed 15 various on gender and age people we know and find happy with their career choices, and created a 11 minutes long film out of them. The film was projected on a big wall in Kunsthalle on Tuesday evening, as an honest visual representation of our research. An introduction into each participant’s occupation, as well as their answers on the question “In what way does your profession give you an identity/fulfillment?” were shared with the event visitors. They were then invited to interact with each other based on the Film and the questions hanging on the walls in the location, while enjoying a snack or a drink. We were able to gather data from the opinions of the event participants in addition to the interviewed professionals, and make conclusions.

The event was inclusive and informing along with motivating discussion and interaction.

Concept & Research Questions

At the beginning, we quickly found a theme. We were all repeatedly occupied with the question of „why“, of an identity, which seemed to us not so easy to answer, especially in artistic activity. So we all can work from the most different artistic or design activities in the most different fields of work. Whether very original craft or with the latest technologies. Whether in the education industry, the automotive industry, or leading the way in Digital Transformation. Where and how we work as designers and artists is always up to us. So to explore how a professional identity is built, how to find your path, we wanted to explore this topic. So we brainstormed the following three questions at the beginning:

  • Why are we doing what we are doing?
  • What is the motivation behind it?
  • Can we learn from the flow of a person outside of our bubble?
  • Who am I as a designer?

After a productive exchange with Sandra and further meetings, it was clear that we needed to think more concretely about how we wanted to cast the topic into a format for our workshop. We all knew the questions that arose during our studies, why we chose certain projects, in which direction we wanted to go. Everyone has to find their own way of working and what identity they want to embody.

In order to support and inspire our workshop participants in this search for identity, we came up with the idea of interviewing various people from different age groups and professions about their identity and profession. This way we were able to create various insights. For the interviews we brainstormed different questions:

  • What is your profession?
  • In what way does your profession give you an identity/fulfillment?

We were able to edit over 15 small videos into one big film and show it on the day of the workshop. To reflect on the input afterwards, we hung question papers on the walls where participants could write down their answers.

We chose the following three questions to reflect on our project:

  1. What worked well during the workshop? And what not so well?
  2. What would we do differently next time?

The video Material was played only once on a big screen. It would have been good, if we had a smaller screen with headphones in addition for the visitors, who arrived later, or for those who needed a second look.

  1. What inspired us most during the planning and preparation of the workshop?

During the planning we were very inspired by how much people draw energy, inspiration and identity from their profession. Moreover, it was a very enriching experience for each of us to talk to such different people about such a personal topic and to get honest answers. We were also able to reexamine ourselves and our question of professional identity with the input. Our team got inspired by the various occupation and motivation of each Interview participant. They have found motivation in different places, but still there was a pattern - They love what they do! We hoped that we could share this message with the students visiting the Workshop event and motivate them to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic.


On the day of the event, different tasks were divided up between the team participants. We organized the space we had (Kunsthalle), in 3 sections, based on the needs of the event.

  1. An entrance area, where the students could enjoy drinks and snacks, as well as put their names in the list of visitors and warm up with their friends.
  2. A little cinema area, where the visitors were able to watch the video interviews that we gathered.
  3. An execution area, or the so-called interaction area, where each guest could become a participant due to giving their opinion on the questionnaires.

Before the Video played, we held a short verbal introduction into the topic in front of our guests and made sure that everyone is understanding the idea and purpose of the event.
The Interview participants were extremely various in occupation and their motivation was different. There was no similar path, nor right nor wrong path, which made the video collage an interesting starting point for discussions. The questions our team prepared were printed and spread on the location’s walls. Each guest, who wished to participate in the interactive section was invited to do so, and therefore we organized a little “material island”, where colorful markers, tape and paper were provided for that aim.
There were enough people wanting to share and discuss, verbally as well as leave their opinion on a piece of paper, able to be seen by everyone. It was a pleasure for the organizational team to see the bachelor students interacting with each other as well as with the execution area.

Evalutation & Conclusion

At the beginning of the event, we briefly introduced the theme of the event and then showed the film that we had made. It was clear that the students were very interested in the content of the film and gave positive feedback. There was a strong contrast between the answers to the same question given by different characters in the film, such as musicians, older people, or people of different races. At each switching point, students were very interested in the next character to appear.

After the film, the students also showed some interest in the questions posted and generated discussions among themselves. The main goal of the process was to bring the students to think through the film and to have some communication after answering the corresponding questions. However, some of the questions were relatively difficult to answer, so the probability of getting an answer varied greatly from question to question. A few of the questions did not generate a lot of thought and discussion.

A small interactive area was set up in the venue and materials were provided to enable the students to use their creativity. During the activity, students wrote down their opinions and ideas in response to the questions. This approach gave everyone room to think independently and also to see other students' ideas and be able to exchange them. However, the purely textual format also lacked some interactive interest and ultimately did not result in an overall summary.

In the original idea, we wanted to provide a variety of different materials, as well as completely blank background drawings, to allow participants to use their design talents according to the theme of our event, to work together to complete a work of art or complete a piece of design. Sometimes abstract expressions are more stimulating than words, so we thought about whether we could implement such an idea next time.

During the planning and preparation process, we enjoyed the inspiration and sparks that came from discussing issues of interest together, and felt the power of teamwork. We learned new perspectives on identity and work motivation from the different participants, both the interviewees in the video and those who participated in the live event.



Art des Projekts

Studienarbeit im ersten Studienabschnitt


foto: Sandra Stark

Zugehöriger Workspace

SprechenÜber - sprechenueber - sprechen über - sprechen ueber


Sommersemester 2023