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.
We are very happy and proud! Thanks a lot for that honour! Find out more about the nomination here.
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!
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.
You can download your e-book HERE
„Cities have a crucial role to play as catalysts of the system change we need. They can embody a new story about development and progress in which the health of biodiversity, foodsheds and watersheds are key indicators of success. A city is most healthy as a meeting place for change agents, outliers, and shadow networks. The healthy city is about participation, not spectacle. Connecting is itself a form of innovation.“ John Thackara
By acknowledging the city as a living system where things grow organically, offering a new human centered fluidity, we will approach its territories as a fertile ground for community regeneration and a healthy (fair, resilient, circular, sustainable) local food system, while understanding ourselves as agents of change by designing and producing genuine urban abundance.
This living city is already emerging with new kinds of infrastructures: food coops, collective urban gardening and farming, craft breweries etc. We will kick off the semester with a Berlin wide field research, exploring and identifying key elements for local food systems in a community context (production, transformation, distribution, consumption). We will visit and interview grass roots initiatives, start-ups, farmers, community gardens, local producers etc., cook and eat together, explore the different set-ups of community and share it all in a collective map, which will be the starting point for the semester project.
Inspired by emerging disciplines like permaculture, transition and regenerative design, the goal of this project is to experience a socially engaged design practice and to establish a systemic understanding of the topic by investigating different scenarios: we will work with an allotment garden and analyze its specific structures and rules and how these shape its community; we will explore the potential of the „house of statistics“ at Alexanderplatz, a building and space whose purpose still needs to be defined and we will address our thinking towards the very special constraints of the slums in Nairobi and its consequences for community purposes.
The systemic approach will allow us to think at different scales (Berlin/Nairobi) and help us to decolonize knowledge (and design) and to understand, how we can share knowledge and resources in fairer, healthier way.
We will approach these scenarios with questions like:
– How to propose new food products & service systems (PPS) that regenerate local economies as well as communities?
– How to use mobile & lean structures to establish resilient and circular food systems that will not be affected by politics, real estate speculation etc.?
– How to help people to take back the city by establishing shared food production/transformation/systems?
with Virginie Gailing, Prof. Markus Bader,St. Oberholz, KDI, Barefoot Solutions, NGO Nyendo, Edgeryders’ OpenVillage
While the exhibition of “The Love School Project” is still running, Antony and I will give a Talk at Republica in May, sharing our insights and plans for the future of the project. Looking forward to a big audience and great feedback!
To celebrate the ten-year anniversary of UNESCO naming Berlin a “City of Design”, the editors Robert Eysoldt, a strategic and creative consultant, and Raban Ruddigkeit, a designer and editor, have assembled 100 successful projects, products, and processes by 75 Berlin agencies, design labs, public initiatives, networks, and universities, which currently connect Berlin with the world in “The Berlin Design Digest”, published by Slanted.
I am very honored to not only present “The ShitShow”, one of 6 unconventional projects that were developed during the Hacking Utopia project at UdK, but also having been invited to write an essay about a topic I think to be relevant in the current design debate. The text reflects the contemporality of the ever so famous design thinking framework and demands for the design community to step up and reclaim their expertise, while adjusting the creative innovation processes to the current needs of a world in crisis, including self reflection, embodied cognition and focus on taboos – it’s about time to come clean.
THE LOVE SCHOOL PROJECT
co-creation and design for transformation
VERNISSAGE Thursday · May 4, 2017 · 7pm
EXHIBITION May 5 – 10, 2017
weekend 12pm – 7pm · weekdays 5pm – 9pm
Galerie erstererster · Pappelalle 69 · 10437 Berlin
PRESENTING Louis Bindernagel · Anna Drewes
Martin Fenske · Georgia von le Fort · Julius Führer
Dario Iannone · Antony Karori · Agnes Kelm
Yannik Rohloff · Anna Ryzhova · Pauline Schlautmann
& Kids from Love School · Kawangware · Nairobi · Kenya
SUPERVISION Prof. Susanne Stauch · Anna Badur
SUPPORT Antony Karori · NGO Nyendo · German Embassy
The symposium focused on the role of design in social transformation processes. Can futures be designed for the better in a sustainable manner at all? Or will the effects of design interventions always be more or less random reactions to well-intentioned creative acts into otherwise independently evolving autopoietic systems? What is actually »the better«, which we aspire? Should the concept of design be completely rethought?
It was a multi-faceted mind opener. Thanks to the organisers and speakers for two inspiring days.
Two days of various insights into design research methods and reflections on how design should and could position itself within the context of global challenges as a discipline embracing innovation and solution oriented quest were followed by a colloquium of one of the society’s themes “design promoviert”, where PhD-students and aspirants can present their topics and questions for high quality feedback. I did so and with my still very basic state of research and ideas actually initiated a new format to invite novices with the urge to do research into the arena of the academic research community. It was great to talk about my thoughts and receive very empathic and dedicated feedback. Definitely coming around again!
My crazy day trip to Vienna was totally worth it, not only did I meet very interesting designers and researchers at the UNDESIGN Symposium but also did I find my own ideas and thoughts about the state of design confirmed. Considering our complex contemporary world of crisis and “peak everything”, as Dr. Catharine Rossi put it, Design needs to take on new tasks. The presentations showed current directions that all question our doings in the anthropocene and suggest a reductive, redistributing, craft and repair-focused approach. The speakers agreed that design has always been a collective social project and that a critical view on things have always been inherent to design. The discussions reminded me a lot of Fritjof Capra’s writings where he describes the transition from the human centered anthropocentric perspective to the ecocentric world view, in which we understand ourselves as inseparable from our habitat and the need to protect it. It was an intense and inspiring day in Vienna, too dense to summarize it really.