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

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The Politics of the Makers – Conference by DGTF at HFBK Hamburg

With my colleague Prof. Katja Thoring and some of the students of her “scientific publishing” class at the MAID program in Dessau we attended the conference at HBK Hamburg. One of my favourite talks was by Florian A. Schmidt, a former fellow student and co-contributor in our publication from 2010 “critical mass”. Not only because we are friends but because he was able to take the auditorium along in his narrative about the maker culture and the crowds, his talk left me with lively images and ideas. Equally rich was the journey by Florian Walzer through the development of the greek term “banaus” to the current understanding of a maker or crafts person. The greatest discovery for my own interest was Prof. Heidrun Allert from Kiel who was talking about pedagogy and design from a perspective of philosophy. She explained the definition of “double loop learning” and stuck in my mind with the sentence: to find oneself useful through making. There were plenty more talks from especially social science specialists that for my taste were a bit too abstract in the context of the theme, yet they all delivered very important statements and insights. Great conference with lots of learnings!

>> program Politik der Maker

Self Efficacy Through Opposition – Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer at UdK

After the recommendation by Prof. Dieter Raffler back last summer to read the book “think yourself – instructions to oppositions” by Harald Welzer I was grateful to have finally found a public figure who speaks the truth about the failure of our system, the need for each single person to start and get our hands dirty and especially to become active opposers of obvious manipulation that only serves the profit of the few while destroying our environment and resources. And so of course, I had to go and see him in person in the old library at UdK. Welzer is a very smart and eloquent social scientist who knows how to lead (and win) a discussion. However, the victory went to one student who pointed out that while we all sit here and talk about sustainability, why do we need to have all the light bulbs turned on in the room, this said, he turned half of the light off and earned a big applause. I highly recommend to read this book and spread the word. My students in Dessau were very inspired as well.

>> Prof. Dr. Welzer at Futurzwei

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Making Futures – Crafts and Design Conference in Plymouth

With a ferry the participants of the conference were brought to an estate outside town to attend the talks of designers and craftsmen from all over Europe at Mt. Edgcumbe House. They had several tracks so of course I couldn’t hear all of the talks, thus focused on the pedagogy track. I learned a lot about the current discourse in the field and realized, that not so much had happened since I was into the topic back in 2008/09. Happy to have met Tomas Diez who runs the FabLab in Barcelona and Camille Bosqué who works on her PhD about Hackerspaces. Amazing keynotes by Gareth Neil about his attempt to build non-carbon footprint furniture  and by  Jaideep Prabhu introducing the indian design approach “jugaad”.

>> Making Futures Conference

SHARiNG the CiTY – Social Community Building, Neukölln Berlin

As I was going to move to Schillerkiez in Neukölln, which is a hot spot of gentrification right next to the Tempelhof air field I very soon realized the intense atmosphere in the neighborhood. Being inspired by the meetings with the EdgeRyder’s community I decided to start a local initiative to find out what the neighborhood needs and wants. The first events we did were some meetings with people from a community building background where the major problem already became obvious. Nobody from the neighborhood turned up although I had spend several hours to walk around cafés, markets, the church, supermarket – you name it – to spread the word and invite people to come. As a local action we then spread the poster campaign by Litekultur around the neighborhood hoping to get in touch with curious people. Dead loss. I did apply for funding via Projekt Neue Nachbarschaft with the idea to make a book which presents the people and their initiatives especially through one of the things that connects us all: food. So it was supposed to become a Schillerkiez cooking book with personal stories and background information of the neighbors and their  effort to support the neighborhood. Unfortunately the project wasn’t selected for funding and I really hope to find other ways to support the approach of giving something back to the Kiez.

>> SHARiNGtheCiTY

#LOTE 2 – EdgeRyders Conference in Brussels

Very excited to travel to Brussels and see my dear friend Nadia, co-founder of the Council of Europe’s project “Edgeryders”, who is one of the main organisers of our second get together. Besides the usual creative barcamp days we will have some appointments at the council and discuss our questions and suggestions with a couple of politicians. With this conference the official part of Edgeryders will come to an end and it very much looks like the community has grown together so intensely that we will continue anyhow.

>> Edgeryders

Qualification as Systemic Coach ECA Certificate

Today was the final exam of my advanced education to become a systemic coach. The content of the course is useful on a wide range of applicable fields: whether in the classic setting with clients, as a workshop facilitator or teacher or as a consultant. The content and approach perfectly rounds off the learning at D-school and the insights I gained as a workshop teacher for crafts and software.

>> European Coaching Association