Category Archives: design research

Vom Provisorium bis zur Improvisation – Margit Schild und Tom Bieling im Gespräch

. Manchmal – oft genug – geschieht Unerwartetes (ital.: improvviso). Dann müssen wir reagieren, mitunter entgegen unseren ursprünglichen Planungskonzepten: wir improvisieren. Etymologisch geht dies auch auf den Versuch zurück, dem Unvorhergesehenen entgegen zu wirken, also Dinge vorherzusehen und vorzubereiten (lat.: … Continue reading

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CUT//ACT: Video (and) Activism

Have you ever wondered how media has changed over time, and how “video” has been used as a political tool? In this course, you will learn both, not least by producing an activist video yourself! You may improve your knowledge/skills … Continue reading

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Summer Scholarships

As two of our Editorial Members are involved in this one (Course: CUT//ACT – Video (and) Activism), we are happy to share this Call for the Berlin Summer University of the Arts: „Artists, designers, musicians and creative minds around the … Continue reading

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Zwischen Materialität und Medialität: „Die Sprachen des Materials“ (#BookReview)

Die in den letzten Jahren auch in den designtheoretischen Diskursen zunehmende Auseinandersetzung mit dem Begriff „Agency“ – der in diesem Zusammenhang im Deutschen wohl am ehesten mit „Handlungsmacht“ übersetzt werden kann – hat nicht nur die Wirkungskraft von Subjekten, sondern … Continue reading

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Beseelte Dinge – selige Designer? Spiegelungen gesellschaftlicher und philosophischer Debatten in den Designwissenschaften.

Wenn der Computer „spinnt“ und das Smartphone den „Geist aufgibt“ mag dies Ausdruck von archaischen Denkmustern sein, die den Dingen eine Seele zu schreiben. Dass sich diese Denkmuster nicht nur auf begriffliche Metaphern reduzieren lassen, wird deutlich, wenn unsere Umgebungen … Continue reading

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Building Gravity: On Gravity in Architecture, Urban Development and Utopia

PROTOCOL Magazine’s recent issue (No. 8) showcases a variety of original works brought together under the theme of “the ground”. In their contribution “Building Gravity” Fernando Luiz Lara* (Austin University of Texas) and Tom Bieling** discuss the concept of “gravity” not exclusively related to the … Continue reading

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Beseelte Dinge – Design aus der Perspektive des Animismus (#BookReview, german)

Der Titel kommt als vermeintliches Oxymoron daher. Seele und Ding? Das will nicht recht zusammen passen. Seele, das steht für Lebendiges, verweist auf den Bereich der Psyche, des Geistigen oder der Magie. Sie ist mit rationalen Mitteln nicht zu fassen, … Continue reading

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On the Organization of Products in German Design

Our latest Editorial Board Member Prof. Dr. Marion Godau discusses the interconnections between Design and Organisation from a German Design History Perspective… For sociologist Elfie Miklautz, objects are important for understanding the world. She writes: “Communal reality is produced and judged with … Continue reading

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relationShips (Beziehungskisten) – Sociality and Sociability through Things.

Within the contexts of debates on economic and social sustainability and of a sociology and cultural studies that increasingly explore things in their relation to social processes, design research is focusing more and more on the social dimensions of product … Continue reading

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Dementia Lab – The Role of Design: Reflections on Design Education, Research and Practice.

Without doubt, design today has to respond to the growing need of the elderly population and specifically those with dementia. Central to this is the question on how to include the person with dementia, their family and (in)formal caregivers in … Continue reading

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Gender in Aktion: Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven und technologische Interaktionen

“Technik ist aus unserem Leben nicht mehr wegzudenken. Sie durchdringt heute alle Lebensbereiche. Sie tritt uns als intelligente Akteurin zunehmend ebenbürtig gegenüber, denkt mit, unterstützt, bevormundet oder entmündigt. Dabei fließen in Gestaltungsentscheidungen immer auch – bewusst oder unbewusst – geschlechtliche … Continue reading

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Design and Organisation 2.0: From „Design for Life“ to „Design Your Life“

Looking at society as the embodiment of a living environment, which is constituted of social, cultural, mental and material components, raises the question about how this is (or should be) actually organised. In the summer semester 2015, a new issue of … Continue reading

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Die Welt als Modell | Andres Janser und Tom Bieling über Modelle als epistemische Praxis.

  Modelle können vieles (sein): Sie fungieren als Referenzobjekt für Bestehendes oder noch nicht Existentes, sie dienen der Veranschaulichung, sind haptisch oder visuell, detailgenau oder abstrakt. Wir sprechen von Modellen im Zusammenhang mit theoretischen Konzepten und wir kennen praktische Modelle … Continue reading

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Between digital commons, urban struggles and local self-organization

[German below!]   MAZI* – Open night with discussions, presentations, food and DIY networks: Social and political processes are becoming increasingly digitized and restructured by and through digital aspects. Beyond the various narratives about the “hybrid” or “smart” city, between dystopian visions … Continue reading

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Reflecting Research (DGTF Tagung 2016)

Die diesjährige DGTF-Tagung findet am 18. und 19.11. an der Hochschule Anhalt, Fachbereich Design in Dessau statt. Aktuelle Ansätze und Praktiken der Designforschung wollen dort anhand konkreter Beispiele aus der Forschungslandschaft diskutiert werden. Zum einen soll es dabei um inhaltliche Problemlagen und Fragestellungen gehen: Welche … Continue reading

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Dementia Lab – The Role of Design

Call for Participation (Essen, Germany – 14 and 15 September, 2016): Design educators of all disciplines, design researchers and designers are invited to attend this two-day event on designing together with people with dementia. Design in all of its forms, … Continue reading

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Weltdesign – Als Konstruktion und Destruktion. Über das Politische im Design

Ja, Design changiert irgendwo zwischen Weltverbesserung und Weltverschlechterung. Und ja, dies ist sehr häufig auch eine Frage der Deutungs- und Betrachtungsweise. Über die politische Wirkung von Design lässt sich daher immer noch trefflich streiten. Und richtig langweilig wird es dabei nie. Bereits im 19. … Continue reading

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Changing Worlds – Ideologies, Utopias and Ambitions in Science and Technology

The latest issue of the Graduate Journal of Social Sciences (GJSS) has a strong focus on Science and Technology Studies (STS) topics. Its title “Changing Worlds” alludes to multiple meanings as not only are we changing the world – or worlds –, but they … Continue reading

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Grow | Degrow. Design zwischen Exzess und Kalkül (KISD Conference)

Am 20. Mai 2016 lädt die KISD zum interdisziplinären Symposium „Grow | Degrow. Design zwischen Exzess und Kalkül“ ein. Aus verschiedenen Perspektiven tauschen sich Wissenschaftler/innen und Gestalter/innen an diesem Tag über die Bedeutung von Nachhaltigkeit und Postwachstumsökonomie aus und diskutieren gestalterische Positionen … Continue reading

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No Body – Some Body – Any Body: Gestaltete Gender-Identitäten (Konferenz)

Auf der Konferenz vom 22. – 23. Oktober, die in Kooperation zwischen dem international Gender Design Network / iGDN und der Fakultät Medien, Information und Design der Hochschule Hannover veranstaltet wird, diskutieren Designpraktizierende und Designforschende über Gender und Design im Kontext Körper und Objekt mit Bezug zu … Continue reading

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Partizipative und inklusive Mensch-Technik-Interaktion

Bereits am 21. April 2015 fand in der Berliner Villa Donnersmarck das “Friedrichshainer Kolloquium des Instituts Mensch, Ethik und Wissenschaft (IMEW) unter dem Titel „Technikgestaltung – die Perspektive Behinderung im Kontext der Innovations- und Technikentwicklung“ statt. In ihrem gemeinsamen Vortrag und der anschließenden Podiumsdiskussion … Continue reading

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Design Research Lab sucht studentische/n Mitarbeiter/in

Das Design Research Lab sucht zum 1.10.2015 ein/e studentische/r Mitarbeiter/in aus dem Bereich Produkt-, Interface- oder Textildesign für das Projekt DAAN. Weitere Infos finden sich in der Stellenausschreibung:  

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Community Now? The Politics of Participatory Design

The Design Research Lab and the DGTF (German Society for Design Theory and Research) are currently preparing an international symposium which  focusses on current social developments and participatory community projects in Germany and Israel. Participatns from all over will present and … Continue reading

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Design der Zukunft (Book Review, german)

Welche Rolle spielt Design in einer sich wandelnden Gesellschaft? Eine nicht erst seit Victor Papanek häufig gestellte, wenn auch dadurch nicht weniger berechtigte Frage. Ebenso kontinuierlich wie die ökologischen, ökonomischen, technologischen und sozialen Transformationsprozesse, die immer auch stark in die … Continue reading

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Design as Radical Labour (Interview with Tom Bieling)

NewPractice (Issue One) on ‘Design as Radical Labour’ includes an interview with Tom Bieling about social, cultural and political dimensions of Design. Find the entire interview here!  

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DFG Roundtable Design Research (Video)

The Design Research Lab conducted an intense two-days event: The DFG Roundtable Design Research. Numerous highly profiled positions from the international field have been brought together in order to compare, discuss and map the different approaches and perspectives within design … Continue reading

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New Book: The History of Sustainable Design

click to enlarge! The new publication ‘Die Geschichte des nachhaltigen Designs‘ (= The History of sustainable Design) by Karin-Simone Fuhs, Davide Brocchi, Michael Maxein & Bernd Draser (Hrsg.) contains a contribution by Design Research Lab‘s Tom Bieling, Florian Sametinger and Gesche … Continue reading

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“Flugmusik” – Jazz Institute Berlin meets Design Research Lab

[Dehnhard & Bieling: F L U G M U S I K] The Jazz Institute Berlin and the Design Research Lab are going to collaborate for early 2014. In the project Tilmann Dehnhard and Tom Bieling are going to work on flying … Continue reading

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Job Opportunity: Student Worker (f/m) in alternative Interaction.

Job Opportunity: Student Worker (f/m) in „alternative Interaction“. The Design Research Lab at Berlin University of the Arts is looking for two student workers (f/m) to support us in the project “SPEECHLESS” from now to June 2014 (4 – 6 … Continue reading

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Community Infrastructuring

Communities can be understood as forms of active engagement, collaboration and knowledge sharing which create new social bonds and be regarded as catalysts for social innovation and participation. The community infrastructuring research group (Florian Sametinger, Jennifer Schubert, Andreas Unteidig, Malte … Continue reading

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Interaction and Interface Design for and with People with Dementia

This Berlin-based project has been running since 2012 and already lead to promising results: Dementia is a syndrome that mainly affects people over the age of 65 and the probability is increasing with age. Current literature and statistics show that … Continue reading

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Lorm Hand connects deaf-blind people with twitter

On the 4th October an impressive protest march of the deaf-blind took place in Berlin. Many of the participants took the opportunity to express and tweet their thoughts, demands, needs, wishes and requests with the @LormHand. The Lorm Hand is an … Continue reading

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“Die Politik der Maker” DGTF Jahrestagung 2013

DIE POLITIK DER MAKER  Die gesellschaftliche Bedeutung neuer Möglichkeiten des Produzierens von Design Jahrestagung der DGTF 2013 Fr. 22. – Sa. 23. November 2013 an der Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK) ACHTUNG: DIE ANMELDUNG ENDET AM 17.11.2013! Die Tagung „Die … Continue reading

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Radio Interview (Tom Bieling, Multicult FM, 24 October 2012)

Tom Bieling talks about the Project DESIGN IN(G) SOCIETY in this Radio Interview (Language: German). To listen or download the Interview click here! Or “watch” it on Youtube: For further Infos on the project click here! Project DESIGN IN(G) SOCIETY In the winter semester 2012/13, a … Continue reading

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Design science – and what makes it tick! (Panel Discussion)

As a young discipline, design studies/science is currently establishing itself within the worldwide community of academia. A couple of months ago, the Institute of Design Research Vienna conducted a panel discussion at Designforum Vienna (MQ/Museumsquartier). The participants various positions from the fields … Continue reading

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Job Opportunity: Internship at Design Research Lab Berlin

Das Design Research Lab der Universität der Künste Berlin sucht ab März/ April 2012 in Berlin eine/n Praktikant/in für 3 – 6 Monate im Projekt „Services für Demenz-Patienten“. Das übergreifende Ziel des Design Research Lab (www.drlab.org) besteht darin, durch praktische und theoretische Beiträge im … Continue reading

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Touching new ways of commincation for 2012 and beyond….

Dear friends Liebe Freunde Caras amigos A healthy, successful and happy 2012 to all of you (especially those we haven’t met this year)! Euch allen (insbesondere denen, die wir in diesem Jahr leider nicht treffen konnten) sowie einen sicheren Rutsch … Continue reading

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Künstlerisch/Wissenschaftliche(r) Mitarbeiter/in gesucht…

Das Design Research Lab der Universität der Künste Berlin sucht ab Februar 2012 in Berlin eine/n Künstlerisch/wissenschaftliche(n) Mitarbeiter/in im Projekt „Services für Demenz-Patienten“ Das übergreifende Ziel des Design Research Lab besteht darin, durch praktische und theoretische Beiträge im Bereich benutzerzentrierter … Continue reading

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HangUp (Deafness-inspired Interaction at Design Research Lab Berlin)

“HangUp” is a tool that accounts certain human conditions or situations, where people can not use their hands while being on the phone. For example deaf people need both hands for sign language. But also non-deaf people are often confronted … Continue reading

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Mobile Alert Recognition (Deafness-inspired Interaction at Design Research Lab Berlin)

“Mobile Alert Recognition” is an application that identifies auditory alerts through signal recognition and informs the user about important events. It results from the Project “Speechless” at the DESIGN RESERACH LAB of the University of the Arts in collaboration with … Continue reading

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What distinguishes “Research through Design” from “Design”? (german text)

In one of our last feature discussions on http://www.designresearchnetwork.org, Prof. Wolfgang Jonas gave a plausible answer: —please excuse: the text is in german — Wie unterscheiden sich Design und RTD hinsichtlich ihrer Ergebnisse? Wann ist es Design, wann ist es … Continue reading

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Sign-to-Text (Deafness-inspired Interaction at Design Research Lab Berlin)

“Sign-to-Text” is an application for tracking fingeralphabet for SMS-use on Mobile Phones. It results from the Project “Speechless” at the DESIGN RESERACH LAB of the University of the Arts in collaboration with T-Labs Berlin. . The project explores challenges and possibilites … Continue reading

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Feature Discussion: “Wie schaffen wir Designwissenschaft” (DRNetwork, 12.04.2011)

The official announcement will be posted here, as well as via DRNetwork and dgtf, soon!  So, this one’s only an advance notice: Feature Discussion auf DRNetwork – ‚Wie schaffen wir Designwissenschaft?’ 12.04.2011 ‚Wie schaffen wir Designwissenschaft?’ knüpft an die letzte … Continue reading

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Teilnahmeaufruf: 5. Kolloquium ‘Design Promoviert’

Zum Jubiläum mal wieder in Berlin: Wie schon beim allerersten mal, so werden wir auch das 5. Kolloquium »Design promoviert« wieder in Berlin durchführen. Diesmal an der Universität der Künste, der neuen Heimat des Design Research Lab. Am 4. Juni … Continue reading

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Call My Attention (Deafness-inspired Interaction at Design Research Lab Berlin)

“Call My Attention” is an application for immediate Line-of-Sight Signaling on Mobile Phones. The application proposes a mobile device function to be used like a remote control, for achieving immediate attention. It results from the Project “Speechless” at the DESIGN … Continue reading

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TRANSNATURAL (Amsterdam, march/april 2011)

[transnatural; exhibition/symposium, amsterdam 2011; campaign: Lucy McRae] Technology was the means by which mankind seperated itself from nature, and escaped its limitations. In the 21st century we move beyond the animosity between nature and technology. In a lot of areas we … Continue reading

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Human Enhancement – The Role of Art and Design

Already mentioned before, but in context of certain art and design positions in terms of human enhancement technologies we would like to draw attention again to some of the RCA (Royal College of Art, London) projects in this field: The Methods Network was … Continue reading

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Design Research Lab – Alles NEU!

On the occasion of Gesche Joost‘s inaugural lecture, the Design Research Lab recently celebrated a “houswarming” of its new office at the University of the Arts. In the course of the establishment of the endowed professorship, the research team transferred to the faculty … Continue reading

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2nd Feature Discussion on ‘Designwissenschaft’ (DRNetwork, 12.april 2011)

After the last feature discussion in january, there is going to be a follow-up in april. Under the working title ‘Wie schaffen wir Designwissenschaft?’, a group of invited participants will discuss with you several positions and challenges for designwissenschaft. Please mark the date … Continue reading

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5. Kolloquium ‘Design Promoviert’ in Berlin (Juni 2011)

Zum Jubiläum mal wieder in Berlin: Wie schon beim allerersten mal, so werden wir auch das 5. Kolloquium »Design promoviert« wieder in Berlin durchführen. Aller Voraussicht nach wird es am  4. Juni 2011 stattfinden. Dieses Mal an der Universität der Künste, der neuen … Continue reading

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Book: Questions, Hypotheses & Conjectures (Book by Design Research Network)

  [Rosan Chow, Wolfgang Jonas, Gesche Joost (Hg.): Questions, Hypotheses & Conjectures; IUniverse; 360 pages; ISBN: 9781450259651] In 2008, the Design Research Network (DRNetwork) conducted the Design Research Conference “Questions & Hypotheses” (Q&H) in Berlin. Since the goal of DRNetwork is … Continue reading

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Book (german): Entwerfen – Wissen – Produzieren

[Claudia Mareis, Gesche Joost, Kora Kimpel (Hg.) Entwerfen – Wissen – Produzieren. Designforschung im Anwendungskontext; Language: German; Nov 2010, 302 S., Transcript; ISBN 978-3-8376-1463-3] ”Knowledge” and “Research” have become key terms for design. The reciprocal relationship between design practice and … Continue reading

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Tuuli Mattelmäki speaks at our Research Colloquium (on 23nd of august)

Another Talk, another interesting guest speaker: On august 23 (Monday), Tuuli Mattelmäki from Aalto University Helsinki comes to talk at our T-Labs’ Research Colloquium. Here topics will range from design probes, empathic design, co-design to service design and design for … Continue reading

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Sanders and the participatory mindset

As one of the guiding figures in Co-Design Theory and Practice, Liz Sanders gives an overview of the design research landscape as it has emerged over the last 20 years. In her IIT lecture she discusses some of the recent … Continue reading

Posted in co-design, design research

Ramia Maze on social Inno

After Dr. Ramia Maze could unfortunately not attend personally the last DRNetwork Forum, she did an interesting online presentation. I am not sure, if that video will be uploaded on DRNetwork, so in substitute i post her recent talk on … Continue reading

Posted in design research, social design, sustainability and social innovation

StreetLab at 4010

For those who have missed our recent talks at 4010 Berlin, here is a little press review about last weeks presentation about StreetLab: Further Information to our talks at 4010: Speechless @ 4010; may 21 StreetLab @ 4010; may 28 … Continue reading

Posted in co-design, design research

Experience research live at 4010

Next Week (April 21, 2010 at 7 p.m.) we will present some insights from our research process of the project speechless. Entrance is free; refreshments will be provided We are looking forward to seeing you there! Presentation “Speechless – Researching … Continue reading

Posted in alternative communication, augmentative communication, blind, Capability Simulation, co-design, deaf, design project, design research, design study, event, exhibition, Experience Disability, interaction, research

Reading Chart

Flipside of our latest flyer for a workshop on interaction and visual impairment… [Designabilities // Tom Bieling]

Posted in advertisement, blind, design project, design research, disability aesthetics, visual communication

“Pictograms” for the Blind?

[Elevator Buttons – Braille subtitled; Foto: Tom Bieling] Taking the elevator this morning again, i was asking myself: Are there any kind of “non-visual” pictograms or icons for blind people? For me as a non-blind person my life is often … Continue reading

Posted in blind, design research, visual communication

One Day blind in Berlin

Check out our video from our Self Experience “One Day blind in Berlin” (we reported from it in november here!): How do blind people navigate in public areas? How do sighted people react on a blind person? How does it … Continue reading

Posted in blind, Capability Simulation, design research, Experience Disability, Film, movie, senses

PROAESTHETICS by FRANCESCA LANZAVECCHIA

Francesca Lanzavecchia’s thesis project ‘pro aesthetics supports’ explores the perception of disability through its artefacts. In her project she redesigned common medical artefacts associated with disability such as neck braces, canes, crutches and back braces. [The aid-object grows to accommodate the … Continue reading

Posted in design project, design research, design study, disability aesthetics, prosthetics

StreetLab – Documentary (4:59 min)

Laboratorial Design Research goes into the Field. In August 2009 we organized the StreetLab* in Berlin Neukölln. Now, the documentary is ready. Watch it! * StreetLab Background: In an experimental and human-centered design approach we seek to understand young people … Continue reading

Posted in co-design, design research

Selfexperience Day

Last week, we went out on the street trying to find our way and find out more about being blind in public. We called it our selfexperience day, on which we explored orientation and navigation in Berlin with a white … Continue reading

Posted in blind, design research, design study, Experience Disability, report, tactile communication | 1 Comment

THINKING AND PROBLEMMAKING (Interview with Paola Antonelli)

Earlier this year i did this interview with Paola Antonelli for the DesignResearchNetwork We talked about the relationship between “making” and “thinking”, and that both these worlds seem to actually grow together especially in design research. We talked about the … Continue reading

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Welcome to DESIGNABILITIES!

… a research blog developed and run at      

Posted in accessible, activism, advertisement, age, alternative communication, architecture, art, augmentative communication, awareness, bioethic, blind, blog, body, body modification, Calendar, Capability Simulation, care, co-design, comedy, Conference, cyborg, cymatics, deaf, deaf-blind, Definitions, demenz, design project, design research, design study, designwissenschaft, disability aesthetics, disability studies, echolocation, education, embodiment, Enhancement, event, exhibition, Experience Disability, fashion, Film, freak, game, gender, german/deutsch, graphic, humor, illiteracy, implants, interaction, interview, jewelery, jobs, Literature, movie, multimodality, music, neuroscience, people, performance, philodhopir, philosophie, photography, playful interaction, Politik, pop culture, posthumanism, prosthetics, prototyping, quote, reciprocal learning, report, research, senses, social design, sound, STS, sustainability and social innovation, synaesthesia, tactile communication, tangible interaction, team, toy, Transhumanity, typo, Uncategorized, universal design, virtual reality, visual communication | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,