Talk at DGTF Conference, Halle Burg Giebichenstein

At this year’s conference of the German Foundation for Design Theory and Research I was invited to speak about the projects I conducted with the University of Arts Berlin in Nairobi, Kenya. In my talk I presented theses and conclusions I draw from the experience of the collaborative work we did there to address a more contemporary, just and realistic approach towards international development and how design could actually contribute towards this change.

Field Research in Nairobi, Kenya

Starting in October, I will work much closer with the NGO Nyendo, who is supporting the Love School and 13 other privately run schools in the slums of Kangemi and Kawangware (CIFEFA network). I traveled to Kenya in late September/October to connect different initiatives with the CIFEFA schools: the Wajukuu Art Project in Lunga Lunga, the Kounkuey Design Initiative in Kibera and the FabLab GEARBOX in Nairobi.

Our vision is to establish an educational exchange program between designers, German pupils (grade 11) and the initiatives in Nairobi, which transfers both polytechnical know-how as well as tools to run self sustained food production. This work is part of my PhD research and will be developed throughout the next years. Together with the participants we came up with a name for our endeavor: INUKA SASA (rise now). 

Project Lead for Nyendo.Lernen NGO

Starting in October I will take over the project management for the work with the CIFEFA schools in Kangemi and Kawangware, Nairobi, Kenya. The cooperation will be run through Supernova Institute as one of our coop’s pilot projects, trying to build networks both in Nairobi and within Africa connecting people from similar projects. Our first attempt is to implement urban gardening structures in a big co-creation workshop in early 2018, that have beed designed by participants of the Regenerate! project during my professorship Berlin University of Arts. I am super happy to join the team and hopefully will be able to create resourceful synergies!

Supernova Institute – Empowering Healthy, Sustainable Communities through Design

We are happy and proud to have finally launched a first website for our quite ambitious project, that is supposed to bring together initiatives, people and projects to develop formats and methods for empowerment through making and design. If this resonates with you and you think you should be part of our institute, please get in touch!

The Love School Project at State of Design

With great appreciation we announce our participation at State of Design. We will show the project at the Vollgut Lager of Kindl Brewery from June 1 – 4. Anna Badur and I will talk about the project on June 2, 4.30 pm.

Hacking Utopia Talk #2 – Design and Open Strategies, designtransfer, Berlin

Nadia El- Imam from Edgeryders and Daniel Kruse from Open State are going to give us insights and case studies on how to build our future with open, collaborative and interdisciplinary networks. Very much looking forward to that evening! Thanks again to Designtransfer, UdK for giving it a stage.

Hacking Utopia Talk #1 – Design and Politics for Tomorrow, designtransfer, Berlin

Sabine Junginger and Caroline Paulick-Thiel both did an amazing job in explaining the complexity of policy making and how designers can get involved and how design can and should grow into the realm of social transformation. They are both involved with the initiative politics for tomorrow. Looking forward to further cooperation! Thanks to Designtransfer UdK to make this evening happen.

Hacking Utopia – interdisciplinary project with GWK, Edgeryders’ research project #OpenCare and Startnext, UdK, Berlin

We had a very intense 3 day kick-off workshop in Sauen with 11 product design and 10 GWK students diving into the topic of #OpenCare and how this relates to hacking, people on the move, mental resilience, food cultures and their own lives. The project is contributing its research and design results to the project OP3N CARE, which is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework programme. We have very ambitious goals: working interdisciplinary within the university and in collaboration with the online community Edgeryders, this project is rooted in a real world context. StartNext is another partner, offering us input and support to create high quality campaigns to crowdfund the design results. Those will be shown at designtransfer, UdK in July 2016 and in a final exhibition of the research project in Milan and London in 2017. Another great opportunity for the students is the chance to apply for a fellowship to get further support on their ideas, e.g. by CERN. To find out about the project, visit the  OP3N Care Community for deep content and interest in the research or the Hacking Utopia website for a general overview of our project work

HUOC_workshop2

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Guest Professor at UdK Berlin

Starting in October I will hold a guest professorship at the University of Arts, Berlin. I am very much looking forward to this great opportunity and I am currently preparing the curriculum. This winter semester we will work at the PORCELAIN EVOLUTION LAB. For the summer semester 2016 I am  preparing a project in the area of social transformation. It is a huge coop. The students will work in interdisciplinary teams of product designers and social- and business communicaters, we work with StartNext, my friend Nadia El-Imam from Edgeryders who runs a research project on OpenCare and Ezio Manzini. The project will be accompanied by exhibitions and talks at Designtransfer. Check out the growing website around it here: HACKING UTOPIA.

Digital Turn – Design in the Era of Interactive Technologies Publication at Park Books

After one year of writing, translation, editing and great layout the collaborative book was finally published. I am very grateful to having been asked to contribute. My essay “digital culture: from open design to creating your own future” is one of 47 texts by contemporary artists and designers active in the digital world.

Kritische Masse – von Profis und Amateuren im Design – Publication at form+zweck

With deep gratitude to Walter Scheiffele, who continuously pushed to project and supported us all we finally made it to edit our texts and get the book finished. Don’t miss to read what we think about professionals and amateurs in design and how the design world is shifting due to the evolving open and participatory approaches and the amazing possibilities the new technologies can offer.

>> order at ProQM

Texts by Florian A. Schmidt, Peter Lasch, Susanne Stauch, Friedrich Kautz, Fritz Gobbesso
Illustration and Layout by Andreas Töpfer

 

300+X – Experimental Porcelain Design Exhibition at Porzellanikon, Selb

It is 300 years ago, that the first European porcelain company fired their primary pieces. Celebrating this, the Porzellanikon in Selb, one of the German capitals of porcelain, comes up with the largest exhibition on the topic ever in this continent. (wow!) The covering theme is Königstraum und Massenware which is subdivided into several small exhibitions, where isopt is being presented at the 300+X – In Search of Tomorrow’s Porcelain

The opening was on 24. April 2010. The exhibition runs until 2. November 2010. Don’t miss it!

300+auss

open everything focus #2 newthinking store

Today I was invited to give a presentation of isopt at the newthinking store in Berlin concerning open design approaches. Also presenting where Ronen Kadushin with his product design concepts, André Knörig with Fritzing, Cecilia Palmer with her fashion label pamoyo and some people from the Creative Commons initiative. The event, taking place every last thursday of each month aims at getting people together who are into the open topic to discuss and create a network. So come and join next time!