DesignCity: Berlin Not-The-Schedule

AUGUST [5 +] 6–11, 2012

FLEX’s Google Map (Studio and housing coordinates, directions)
Josh’s Google Map (design topography)
DesignCities blog
(contact Emily if you need access.)

SET-UP Studio
Arrival / intros / grocery shopping
FABRIZIO and MICHAEL : the mobile kitchen
Supper afterwards

Montreal organizers/participants – a few words
Berlin organizers FLORIAN + ALEX – the space / the city / the outcomes
MATT – a documentary of sorts (intro)
AMERY – audio study of Berlin, to question the role of design in its shaping (intro)
EMILY – the possibility of a visual baseline (prompt)
MILLIE – elements that trouble easy, complacent viewing
ROLF – alternative design practice on urban screens

TODD – on the road // Concrete Art, Mathematics and Method, Abstraction and Method, Anton Stankowski
EARLWYN – trying to find the frontiers that are being crossed between art and design, with designers like Jerszy Seymour
JOSH – Ad-Hoc Atlas
MIRIAM – tour of non-places
DAN – performance / subway-intervention
BOBBY – connection between basketball and urban areas, connections between basketball and graphic design
MINUETTE – parking spaces

RACHELE – responding to spaces or scenarios where meaning, communication, or opportunity is restricted—where conflict is perceived
ANN – collaborate with colleagues and neighborhood participants on a day in the life/daily documentation project – at Betahaus
Prinzessinengärten Urban Gardening visit
CREATE Berlin visit

SUSA – Design Landscape of Berlin + UNESCO City of Design Berlin
ALINA – discussion // how “design” (in material and conceptual form) shapes and is shaped by sociocultural environments and various social movements
DAVID – what is a recipe?

BEN – Exhibition? Reception.


Matthew Brigante


University at Buffalo

I am currently a designer in the shiny city of Buffalo, New York. I have lived here my entire life. My work focuses on typography and language within atmospheres of cultural ecologies. I am interested in continuing my education and background within multi-disciplinary design research hoping to work on projects that utilize design as verb rather than noun.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

Given the opportunity to participate in DesignCities: Berlin I would be able to contribute a documentary of sorts. I would like to interview the participants of DC-B by asking them pointed questions related to why, where, when and how design functions within the multiple contexts of urban ecology and community. This short film will raise awareness about the function of design research related to community, urban development and the history of place. I will use one-on-one interviews and documentary-style recordings of the workshops, lectures and conversations to support the ground-breaking potential of DesignInquiry as a collective and their international partners.

Amery Calvelli


push plus minus

My approach to design begins on the periphery looking in, mostly shaping and singing its praises so others may write about it. I also host a radio program on station CJSW called space+place [] that aims to further a dialog around design. Interviews have ranged from super-duper urbanist Jan Gehl, whose infectious vision for city building involves making them “sweet for people”, to architecture critic Michael Sorkin who defends the public realm. Conversations are with urban designers, politicians, architects, curators and community activists.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

I would like to conduct an audio study of Berlin, a series of interviews with residents, visitors, workers and interlopers. Perceptions of place might be gathered from conference participants, but also might range from a butcher and a bike messenger to a designer, architect or planner. The objective being: to question the role of design in its shaping. I’m envisioning an edited collection of voices as an outcome.

Bobby Campbell

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

I grew up on the outskirts of a city and idealized and romanticized the activities and energy of that near-but-far metropolis. It was not even a very large city, but such was its pull on my childhood imagination that I envisioned constant dynamic struggles of life and death around every corner of its gentle streets. Some would envy the idyllic, tranquil setting I did inhabit when I was young : wooded groves alternating with wavy pasture land. My heart, however, was and remains tethered to the pulse of urban life.

Louisville, Detroit, Dublin and Charlotte are cities I have lived and worked in for an extended period of time. These cities have always been powerful fuel for my creative engine. They have not been dumb sites for my design career, but rather a rich chorus of voices added to my creative mix. My creative work is a blend of design and art that meets in the practice of drawing. I did full-time client-based design for many years before attending graduate school. After completing my MFA, I studied in Dublin, Ireland for a year at the National College of Art & Design. Then I began my teaching career back in the US; currently I am an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Amongst many different activities, I maintain a client-based practice now focused primarily on nonprofit initiatives, such as STARS Computing Corps, which is a national network aimed at improving the participation of underrepresented groups in computer science. I exhibit my blended studio art / design work and do design research and contribute essays to groups like DesignInquiry.

I would like to attend DesignCity : Berlin to continue the conversation begun in Montréal last Spring. There are still many questions in my mind about the connection between design and cities. Clearly design contributes in a positive way to cities, but does the presence of elite design propel a city toward becoming an elite city? How does the diversity of communities cultivated by most urban areas contribute to design thinking and ideas?

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

For DesignInquiry : DesignCity (Berlin), I propose to share my research into the connection between basketball and urban areas, as well as connections between basketball and graphic design. For at least the past 70 years, basketball has been seen as a highly urban sport in the United States and has undergone various transformations as it adjusts to this heritage. As the most individualized of the major American sports, it also lends itself well to investigations of style and expression. In this way, basketball has mirrored major graphic design movements both on and off the court. Basketball is intimately linked to the American city experience as well as American graphic design from the late 1980s to now. In the past two decades, basketball has also seen tremendous growth as a global sport, so it would be interesting to see how the urban spirit of the game is preserved as it becomes an international endeavor. My presentation aims to provide interesting, creative linkages between basketball, cities and design.

In addition to a presentation, I propose to do a visual investigation in Berlin of how small scale public sporting places present both urban life and design. As I explore in Berlin, I would expand my sporting categories to include not just basketball, but also football, tennis, bocce, handball, dance and any other sports which tend to adapt well to urban spaces. Outdoor sporting activities provide an essential part of an urban fabric in terms of allowing people to inhabit and activate their urban spaces. I would invite others to add their observances of active public spaces as well, either from their own location or in Berlin.

Mr. Earlwyn Covington

Adjunct Professor ESAD de Reims

Lecturer HEAD Geneva, Sciences-Po Paris

I am from a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia and have been living in Paris since 1996. At the beginning of my career I was an English teacher then moved into translation and copy writing for galleries and museums in France. In 2009 I was given the opportunity to teach in an art school in order to use my professional experience as a platform to teach trends in contemporary art in Europe and abroad. As the school in Reims was very oriented to design, I developed a course on the semiology of objects, then quickly moved into sustainable development, consumer choice and material as well as immaterial culture. My courses were quite successful and I was invited to do the same thing at other schools in France and abroad. I have also worked on design exhibitions for a yearly Parisian event called Designers Days, and am programming a series of conferences on the theme of “Identity” for June 2012. As I stated in my mail, I co-founded in January 2012 a collaborative video website on the theme of Food Design.

Berlin is an amazing fertile territory and a determinant in what is happening in art, design & architecture. I went for the first time in March 2011 and was quite blown away. (Most of my summer sojourns had been in Italy, Spain and France.) What amazed me mostly was the space (especially in comparison to Paris, and certainly to New York where I lived before. Although it does remind me of London, and this type of comparison can’t be ignored). What interests me is to see this space and attempt to profile how Berliners and the foreigners that accompany live in it. Who is the average Berliner? What are his/her proclivities? How do “outsiders” view this landscape? I can’t help but think about what could have happened if Walter Gropius or Mies van der Rohe were allowed to stay and build their careers there? Do the international artists and designers realized the contributions the city and, in point of fact, Germany is providing as an impetus to growth in the European Union, including sustainability, responsible AND sustainable industry, innovation and research?

I would very much be interested in developing a talk through these ideas as well as trying to find the frontiers that are being crossed between art and design, with designers like Jerszy Seymour (already in museum collections around the world), and who has quite an artisanal & artistic (not aesthetic) approach to design (even if it is industrial -Magis for example. He is also head of the Dirty Art Department Masters Program at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. I would certainly love to speak about his work and possibly visit his studio or have him visit if he is in Berlin in August where he has his design studio. (In point of fact he was born in Berlin, but grew up in London and studied engineering before becoming a designer. Interesting to find out more of his choice of Berlin… when it could be quite as easily Milan, Amsterdam or Paris.)

And there you have it. After so long in Europe, I feel like I might be able to contribute to a general understanding of the stakes at play, and share those, as well as some of the other changes/transformations on this side of the Atlantic over the past 15 years that I have been lucky to live witness.

Millie Chen

Chair, Professor

Dept. of Visual Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

University at Buffalo

Millie Chen’s installations, videos, and interventions are intended as sensorial experiences that prod the perceptual and ideological assumptions of the audience. She has shown her work across Canada, the U.S., and China, and in Mexico, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Japan. In 2012, she will realize two international residencies in Beijing and Berlin, and several exhibitions of new work. Among her awards and grants is a Chalmers Fellowship through the Ontario Arts Council to produce “Demon Girl Duet,” a dual-screen video based on two river journeys down the Yangtze in China and the Niagara in Canada/USA, most recently exhibited in the Canada Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010 and at Silo City in Buffalo, New York. Chen’s work is in several public collections and she has produced a number of major permanent public art commissions. Her writing has appeared in publications in Canada, the U.K., the U.S and China. She is a Professor of Art in the Department of Visual Studies, University at Buffalo, SUNY.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

For years now, I’ve been exploring the potency of the invisible within visuality. What are those elements that trouble easy, complacent viewing? And how do those elements impact our relation to place and history?

I intend to set up a routine in Berlin. Residents of a place have routines related to place. Tourists don’t have routines related to place. This is a strategy by which to enter more deeply, as a visitor, into the city, and into the local.

To do this, I will station myself at the same place at a selection of locations at the same hour each day for 4 or 5 days. Within each hour, I will produce a documentation (media to be determined) of an aspect of the site. The documentation could be in the form of a drawing, a photograph, a sound recording, etc. depending on what is required.

The locations will be selected based on their iconic power. I choose iconic sites because of my intention to juxtapose the everyday.

What makes up the fabric of a place?

What is invisible as far as the meta-narrative is concerned?

How does the everyday subvert the grand narrative?

How might the everyday present reframe the past?

Todd Childers

Associate Professor of Graphic Design

Bowling Green State University School of Art,

I am an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at BGSU in Ohio.

I am an MFA Graduate of the Graphic Design Department at CalArts in 1993.

I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design at the NCSU School of Design in 1986.

I presented at ATypI Word in Dublin, Ireland in 2010.

My designs have been in Steve Heller’s books, this years Type Directors Club, Graphis Digital Fonts, The Graphisme Collection at the Bibliotech Nacionale in Paris and the ACD 100 Show.

My student’s graphic designs will be showcased at the Havana Biennial in May.

I have been curious about Berlin since I became aware of another country than the United States. I suppose that country was either Britain or Germany. I have been excited by its influence on art, design, music, politics, etc. Only in the last two years I have focused a significant amount of my research on designers whom at one time called Berlin their home. A key focus to this research has been examining the efforts of Bauhaus (Bauhaus influenced) Concrete Artist/Designers like Max Burchardtz, Herbert Bayer, Max Bill, Xanti Schawinski and Anton Stankowski. The first application of this research was last May (2011) when I presented at Typo Berlin/Shift a lecture titled “A Product of Its Time?” My presentation was on Concrete Art and its unexpected relationship to the International Typographic Style and 1960’s popular visual culture specifically Po Art and the SF Bay Area Pyschedelic Poster Art.

I am continuing my research into Concrete Art and/or Modernist mathematically based method. To a lesser extent, I am looking into the influence and counter influence of the New Objectivity (die Nue Sachlichkeit) and it’s and counter movement Concrete Art (Theo van Doesburg) and how this struggle/debate shaped Bauhaus pedagogy(ies) and later other schools like the HFG in Ulm the Zürich Kunstgewerbeschule and the Allgemeine Gewerbschule in Basel.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

I would like to give a 15-minute talk ideally located at the Bauhaus Archiv in Berlin. I imagine that they have some sort of a room or facility for meetings or lectures.

My talk would cover these topics:

  1. Concrete Art, a matter of semantics, 2 minutes, an explanation of Van Doesberg’s Concrete Art Manifesto of 1930.
  2. Mathematics and Method: Max Bill’s Concrete Art Manifesto of 1936, 3 minutes, an explanation of Max Bill’s addition of mathematical systems to Concrete and Constructivist art and designs.
  3. Abstraction and Method: Muller-Brockmann vs. Karl Gerstner (and others: Vivarelli, Lohse, Stankowski), 5 minutes.
  4. Anton Stankowski: Applying the Concrete Method to Solving Design Problems, 5 minutes. An overview of Concrete Artist and Designer Anton Stankowski’s book Frei und Angewandt 1925-1995 (Free and Applied 1925-1995), explaining how his art and designs used the Concrete Art/Method to solve a varied range of graphic design problems. I will follow with a quick review of his master work, the famous Berlin-Layout graphic standards manual for the City of Berlin, published in 1968.
  5. For the final part of the talk I will give a 20 minute guided tour of the Bauhaus Archiv exhibition ‘Bauhaus: Art as Life’. As a supplement to the tour, I will distribute a podcast with commentary on the pertinent examples in the exhibition along with a fully coordinated printed map/pdf optimized for a handheld device of the exhibit to each Design Inquirer marking the location of each of the examples. The podcast will work as either a supplement or substitute to my active role in touring the exhibition.

Anne Galperin

Associate Professor, Design and Chair, Art Department

State University of New York, New Paltz

Where I come from

Right now I come from New Paltz, NY, a rural, agricultural, liberal, college, mountain town about 75 miles north of New York City.

What kind of work I do

I am the chair of the Art Department at SUNY New Paltz, attempting as much flat-hierarchy as possible with 800 students and 30 faculty in 3 buildings. I also teach design courses at all levels through our curriculum (1 class per semester). My own design practice before I began teaching started out artifact-driven and formal. Over the past decade my interests have more to do with participatory design and the design of systems, and reconsidering how design is taught and practiced.

Why I am hoping to join Berlin 2012 / What my interests are in the topic DESIGN City:

The Montréal experience of living and learning with new colleagues and observing a city that was mostly unfamiliar to me was a rich one and strongly influenced my thinking about design, group process, and (how to get to know) a city as an organism.

Post-Montréal, I’m interested in re-engaging the challenge of how to strike a balance between settling in with new colleagues to share work and getting to know and meaningfully respond to a new place. On a completely personal level Berlin conveys a combination of contradictory and ultimately optimistic messages to me. In 1945, after his liberation from Dachau my father found (West) Berlin a mostly hospitable city full of possibilities; then in his mid-20s, he found his adult footing there, fleshed out and settled down for a few years.

Now, some two decades after reunification Berlin seems to have established a culture of perpetual dynamism and reinvention. This lively relationship between cultural vitality and stability seems critical if cities are to thrive, and it’s not a well-developed characteristic of urban America. (The Occupy movement is encouraging, though; we’ll see if and how it develops, and the nature of its connection and potential to change still-dominant corporatized culture). I would very much like to see and participate in the Berlin phenomenon myself.

What would I contribute to DesignCity: Berlin while I am there?

In Berlin, an enlightened city that fosters possibility, DIY and grassroots activism, I propose to present a student project from my upcoming Spring 2012 Design Research class for discussion, and as a springboard to possible future collaborations with colleagues there. Perhaps it’s a bit like bringing coals to Newcastle … but the same planetary issues prevail there as well, with the difference that climate change is accepted as a fact in the European community, while still contested here.

One way for design practice in the US to embrace participatory design is for design education to bring how we live, what we think and do, and collaborative experiences to the center of what and how young designers experience and learn. The Design Research course, during which students undertake primary and secondary research, and learn techniques of collaboration, interviewing, observation, documentation, analysis and application is one place I can experiment with these notions.

My students and I have been focusing on co-design and hands-on experiences in the community. Over the past semester we learned a lot about what to do—and what not to do. (I’ll share some of this when we meet.) For Design City Berlin I’d like to collaborate with colleagues and neighbourhood participants on a day in the life/daily documentation project. Situating it in a pop-up over a few days would be great. Perhaps the documentation collected during the week serves as a launching pad for analysis and a sustainable, ongoing project. The precise eventual subject matter is open (this semester projects had to do with green space, consumerism, hydrofracking). I’d like to structure the project so that participants’ contributions would reflect community interests and issues of concern. I particularly enjoy the spirit of playfulness joined to the idea of the public good.

Through friends and colleagues I am currently seeking other educators / students or community activists with similar interests based in Berlin with whom this could be anything from a casual dialog to a shared project. If this happens, great, but the students and I will move forward nonetheless and I hope to share our outcomes in Berlin.

Alina Naujokaitis

Graduate Student (Social Anthropology)

Stockholm University,

Hello, my name is Alina, a graduate student of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University. My interest in anthropology has been informed by an ever-developing engagement with film, photography, dance, food, flea markets, traveling, and adventures with friends and family. Hailing from Potomac, Maryland, I finished my undergraduate studies at Mount Holyoke College in Cultural Anthropology where I completed a thesis on exhibit design performativity at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. In Stockholm, I have been part of an interdisciplinary series of symposia entitled “City Axioms: A Common Ground Forum for Contesting Common Sense Urbanity” which promotes a conversation between anthropology, design, geography and architecture. I have become increasingly interested in “slack spaces”, as cultural geographer Alex Vasudevan terms these settings, seeking to re-conceptualize squatting as a critical urbanism: as a precarious form of urban dwelling. Beyond squatting practices, I’m interested in how urban dwellers appropriate urban spaces to contest notions of what public spaces can be used for as a way of engaging with the ephemeral power-politics between nation-state/corporations and dwellers themselves. Furthermore, how might objects and buildings designed for specific functions be re-appropriated in creative ways by dwellers and “users”? I plan to conduct my fieldwork for my masters thesis this autumn in Vilnius, Lithuania (where my family is from), which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site in a post-Soviet context. So, I hope to learn from our shared experiences in Berlin in order to experiment with alternative approaches to community engagement–both in theory and in practice–in different urban contexts as we think through design!

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

This experimental gathering is an opportunity for a salient discussion about how “design” (in material and conceptual form) shapes and is shaped by sociocultural environments and various social movements. In light of an upcoming American Anthropological Association panel about anthropology of design, I would like to get an intellectually stimulating conversation going between people with various interests in commercial and socially conscious design: When we think about “design” as a domain where theory and practice intersect, what can cultural analysis contribute to fields and modes of design beyond its commercial application? Whether in the studio or on the street, when we think about design for the real world, emerging questions might be: what is design? what is real? and what kind of world are we designing for? In collaborative/critical engagements, design and anthropology have the potential to inform one another and develop together (especially when considering the increasingly activist forms of design) as we think about what kind of world(s) we want.

Rolf Pilarsky

Senior Lecturer in Design for Motion Graphics

Bath School of Art and design

I’m a Berlin based media artist currently teaching in the Graphic Communication department at Bath School of Art and Design. My projects investigate the relation of art, ecology and politics, also focusing on environmental issues and social science. They explore concepts of sustainability and corporate responsibility. A main focus of the research is the impact that technological development has on natural and social environments. The interpretation of information and data in relation to the environment and political landscape are being investigated.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?


The project/projection I’d like to propose for design Inquiry in Berlin is an investigation of alternative design practice on urban screens. Which are the possibilities for social interaction and how possible is it to stage dissent? I am interested in a dialog and investigation of the idea to redesign urban space as a democratic political field.

Bauhaus is now the equivalent of Home Depot and Potsdamer Platz no longer the wasteland we know from Wim Wenders Film “Wings of Desire” but a shopping Mall. Despite these omnipresent tendencies of a neoliberal, post political regime the collapse of Communism opened up space for creative startups in Berlin. Pockets of resistance against market driven globalization sprout quickly and ease the way for gentrification. 20 years after the “Berlin spring” the ghosts of socialism are still alive, but have morphed in various ways. To track this spirit will be the aim of the project. Jesko Fezer, a Berlin based architect/designer sums up this spirit in his essay “Design for a Post-Neoliberal City”

“By referencing ‘the city’ both as process and as the everyday—as a concrete dimension of reality—the purpose of design will be reflected anew: how would design look if it were inspired by an open, processual, micro-political, interventionist, communicative, and participatory approach that relates to everyday urban life?”

I will use information technologies to generate a new digital layer within the city by merging real and immaterial space. The aim of the project is to start a dialog about the altered states of urban environments and to explore information technologies as a tool to redefine the visual infrastructure. I plan to use / occupy urban space, develop modes of producing and altering codes of seeing.

This will include video projections mapped to a site and/or a low tech version of augmented reality, for example, an image taken in the Design City Berlin with a mobile phone/iPad will be enriched with a layer of additional information and published on the web. This ‘virtual tagging’ approach combines location photography with graphic overlays.

This micro intervention will be a continuation of projects produced for the Illuminate Bath festival in February 2012 ( Video projections were used during the Illuminate Bath festival to draw live onto buildings and display ambient data. I will introduce previous projects and provide a contextual framework for new experimentation. Design City participants are invited to contribute in a hybrid form of photography, text or typography.

I’d like to discuss forms of designing public space, and engage others in the process of rewriting the city.

Rachele Riley


The University of the Arts

Originally from Washington, D.C. I am currently based in Philadelphia , PA and teach full-time at The University of the Arts. I lived in Germany, from 1997–2001, studying the German language and communication design in Halle. Over the last decade, I have been engaged in projects that investigate representations of violence and contested space. In recent works I address the role of the archive, interactive and participatory experiences, narrative strategies, and the nature of memory—as they relate to the translation of conflict for others to contemplate. Multi-disciplinary in approach, my work takes the form of web-based experiences, installation/exhibitions, prints, books, writing, video, and drawings. Currently I am designing an archive of the nuclear destruction of the Yucca Flat valley within the Nevada Test Site (The Evolution of Silence) and in another project, Once a Day, I am mapping the experience of violence on the web with content gathered through automated Google searches. I hope to join Design Inquiry in Berlin in order to explore with colleagues the role in which designers shape an interpretation of conflict, facilitate the understanding of a landscape/city, and evoke the human element through their practice.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

I propose to organize a workshop in which participants respond to spaces or scenarios where meaning, communication, or opportunity is restricted—where a conflict is perceived. Given the timeframe of the workshop week, I would like to prepare a series of prompts in advance that, as fragments, refer to current issues, tensions, or questions. The process will allow the participants to engage the city of Berlin through design activity, by expanding upon the initial prompt and finding connections that draw from their experience and their discovery.

We will explore strategies for interpreting conflict. I hope that through the exchange of ideas we can investigate what drives the need for reconciliation, transformation, and memorialization of conflict in our world. How does conflict shape a landscape or a city and what role does the designer play in its interpretation? The results of this inquiry will point to the value of multi-disciplinary design activity.

I will give a short presentation to introduce the context of the workshop and to share the prompts for investigation. Groups will be formed and participants will determine a direction for their exploration. I would like for participants to present their explorations to the conference group for discussion.

Here is my update (also posted on blog under the ‘Pop-up’ post):

In preparation for my DI project I am mapping current events in Berlin this month (it is web-based and I will post soon). I am gathering content from afar, leading into the beginning of our week when we are all actually in Berlin. I plan for the DI group to participate in the project by expanding upon these prompts, and as a result, to collectively design an interpretation of a place (Berlin). For example (and in response to the pop-up event blog post) I could imagine a kind of response might be to design a format or create a forum for engaging the views of people in the city. I am interested in processes that engage an individual view and, at other times, the views of many. Or that shift from a distanced view (the web) to a local experience (being there). My research deals with conflict. I want to take a broad look at the topic and explore how designers deal with a city’s ‘clashes, difficulties, and new beginnings.’

Miriam Simun

Head of Ideas at Creative Disruptions / Interaction Designer at ESI Design

ESI Design

I was raised by Soviet refugees in the heart of Boston. We had rugs on our living room walls and at night my grandfather would sit with me in the kitchen drinking tea and cognac, explaining that nothing is permanent.

I am born of the city, having lived on three continents but never in a place of less than 4 million. Density and diversity breeds chaotic exchange that fuels the parts of life I cling to – those ephemeral moments of excitement when something unsayable occurs that changes forever the way you see. Technology (aka new things and the new systems that arise from new things), and their designers, fundamentally change the nature of how people understand, act, know – and resultantly, the way the city moves and breathes. In the living organism of the city, the smallest intervention (designed or not), can alter the entire ecosystem. I am fascinated by this process and potential of this fact.

My approach to design is as a mode of inquiry, a useful piece of finished design can be a question as much as it may be a solution. Materializing questions through design enables their exploration experience, putting our rational mind on hold for just a minute, and appealing to emotional and embodied forms of knowledge.

My work explores the promise of objects and experiences to serve as visions of possible futures, interventionist ethnographic research tools, and catalysts for public conversations. I term my practice ‘Creative Disruptions’ – the design of participatory experiences that disrupt our usual way of being in the world, and thereby creating a catalyst for re-thinking, re-imagining, re-experiencing the way we construct our world.

I currently divide my time between designing enterprise software – digital tools and human processes for working and communication, as well as developing a series of dinner-based experiences that immerse visitors in narratives of the future.

More formally: My work has been published in New Media & Society and International Journal for Learning and New Media, exhibited at Conflux Festival, Postmasters Gallery, and CUNY Graduate Center, and written about in Design INDABA, Good Magazine, and The Atlantic. I have lectured at the New Museum in New York City, Concordia University in Montreal, University of Lethbridge, City University New York, NYU, Pecha Kucha New York, and LUCID NYC. Previously I was a researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Natalie Jeremijenko’s xDesign Environmental Health Clinic at NYU, and the Research Center for Information Law at the University of Sankt Gallen. I have an MPS from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and a BSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

I propose to lead a tour of non-places. Anthropologist Marc Auge coined the term ‘non-place’ in to refer to spaces that suspend identity, relations, and history: the subway car, the underpass, the public restroom; the transitory spaces we move through on our way to somewhere more meaningful. Auge writes that in non-places individuals are reduced to “solitude and similitude.” Ironically, these spaces that suspend individual identities are often among the most diverse spaces in the city, where classes and cultures meet on even ground. They are key sites of meeting of the public commons. As such they are fertile ground for designers.

The tour will introduce the concept of ‘non-place,’ and together we will explore some non-places, and discuss the implications of these spaces for a city of design. Through observation and engagement we will consider the interplay of design and cultural practices in shaping, and being shaped by non-places, and how these essential parts of the urban fabric contribute to the everyday experience we have of our cities.

Being as they are not places, but non-places, this tour would not take too much time from our schedule, as it could occur on our way to a place, and would take the form of a short introduction to, and discussion about, non-places in a non-place or two that we pass through on a way to a scheduled place. For example, a U-Bahn platform, an anonymous motorway exit, or a public restroom


i design creative disruptions

Joshua Singer

Assistant Professor, Coordinator Visual Communication Design

San Francisco State University, Department of Design & Industry

I am a graphic designer, an educator, a cyclist and occasional musician. I live and work in Oakland and San Francisco California (respectively). I am pre-occupied with geography and have made a concerted effort to incorporate it into my both my practice and curriculum. So far so good. I am interested in DesignCity both because of my participation in DesignCity Montreal (where the Ad-Hoc Atlas Project began – see below) and my continuing interest and research into the visualization of urban geography (physical, cultural, historic) and the exploration of alternate forms and narratives for representing urban space. I would like to continue and expand the Ad-Hoc Atlas project with DesignCity and its participants in Berlin. This would be great!

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

A presentation showing the methods and outcomes of the ongoing Ad-Hoc Atlas Project (see below)

  1. An invitation to DesignCity participants to collaborate (from prompts or possible suggested methods) in the creation of an Ad-Hoc Atlas of Berlin.
  2. The research and collection of data for the production of an Ad-Hoc Atlas of Berlin as well as some early prototyping during the time in Berlin (further prototyping and completion will be done after).


“…we might think of landscapes as being formed in relation to other landscapes and conceptions of landscape. In that case, perhaps also we should base our analysis in terms of the interconnectedness of landscape, its links with other landscapes, other geographies.”

Cultural Landscapes, Don Mitchell, Progress in Human Geography 26-no.3 (2002)

“But the dialectical image is not the image of anything. It is indeed common to find Benjamin using a turn of phrase suggesting that the image is a dimension of reality made recognizable rather than a representation in the mind, whether past or present. (In that respect it would have been better to translate the German Bild as “picture,” as when we say that things can suddenly present a different picture.)”

[Eli Friedlander, “The Measure of the Contingent: Walter Benjamin’s Dialectical Image”, boundary 2 35, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 1 -26.]

The Ad-Hoc Atlas is an experimental methodology that proposes that meaning in geographic space – cultural, human, historic – can be found in designed elements of the urban landscape and that by reconstructing urban space we might counter existing percepts and gain insight. Imaging, GIS and typography are applied as analytic methods for investigation of urban space. Benjamin’s theory of the Dialectical Image – the image as constellation of the past and present, forces and perceptions – is critical to the model; that the complex of the urban landscape can be understood by the image. Surrealism looms large.

The Ad-Hoc Atlas proposes that urban space might be understood by framing it in theoretical structures normally used for other spaces. Through a détournement it transplants terms in order to explain geographic systems. A current method transplants the space of the human psyche (a microcosm for the greater human organism and psychic structure, the human landscape) to explain a system of order and power where image controls the city.

The Atlas is comprised of images constructed from documentation of the city. It also exists as a virtual space; a Google Earth map containing monuments, screens, paths, overlays of historic maps that construct the improbable landscape. It is a landscape of images and insists that the city, its psyche, is comprised of these.

The method of the Ad-Hoc Atlas is also being incorporated into curriculum within the Advanced Graphic Design course at San Francisco State University.

Dan Scofield

Master’s Candidate

NYU/Tisch Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)

I was raised in the woods of Vermont by an artist and an architect, and after a decade in Philadelphia, now live in the most densely populated city in the country: New York.

I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and received a Bachelor’s of Music from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I taught music professionally for seven years, toured extensively and performed at music festivals throughout North America and Europe. I curated a music series in Philadelphia for two years that I recently brought to New York. The debut of my experimental Jazz quartet Shot x Shot was named best of the year in 2006 by The Village Voice and The Chicago Reader. My work has been featured in The New York Times, Village Voice, Engadget, Gizmodo, Downbeat, Jazz Times, and the Wire.

Formally trained as a jazz saxophonist, I now work across mediums–including sound, film, animation and installation. My work explores new possibilities for expression and communication of narrative: non-verbal, multi-sensory, often synesthetic. As a musician, I spent many hours in intense rehearsal with small groups of people writing music that blurred the line between composition and improvisation. A unique language is created in these situations: totally abstracted, but intuitive and wholly expressive. My multimedia work is often an attempt to recreate or otherwise explore this unique and powerful experience in more widely accessible mediums.

Also central to my work is the moment of collaboration and performance. I always draw on my experience as a musician of obscuring the divide between composition/structure and improvisation/spontaneity. This is where my work very much overlaps with the theme of the city: the discovery of a communication–often instinctive and improvised, amongst a group of diverse people; the accumulation of these small collaborations into a whole that becomes its own entity; and the blend of structure and improvisation within a system. I am interested in how a diverse set of urban citizens come together to, in effect, “perform” the city.

DESIGN City interests me as a means of investigating people’s interactions as performance. Can a new, abstracted dialogue between denizens of the city be created? Are people willing to re-examine their lives in an urban space through artistic participation? Can we collectively re-imagine our daily experiences as works of performance and art? I aim to elicit interactions between people outside of their normal means of communication whereby they collaborate to create a new language that can only be experienced in that specific place. Berlin fascinates me in particular because of its recent history: are there vestiges from before the wall fell that will manifest in people’s attitudes during a collaborative performance? And in terms of its further past: will residents be suspicious of interaction that might be seen as forced or even bordering on artistic propaganda? How will they react to being unwittingly placed inside a performance as compared to say, New Yorkers?

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

We would like to engage the group in a performance/subway-intervention. Building on Miriam’s tour of the non-place(s), this collaborative performance will be an attempt at “re-placing” the non-place of the U-Bahn car.

We will build 10 single-button audio devices that each play a single sound, to replace, for a moment, the complex digital devices commuters may have in their hands. Each of these sounds will be a single, isolated sound of the U-Bahn (a train horn, a screech, repeated rhythm of the tracks, etc.) We will capture these in the first few days and load them onto the devices.

For the performance we will distribute the devices, and ask people to “play the U-Bahn” on the U-Bahn. Perhaps people might pass the devices around to others in the group, or to strangers on the train car.

Sound is a sense that is rarely at the forefront of urban design, yet one which deeply impacts our experience of the city. By purposely re-assembling the sounds of this non-place using a most simple electronic device, we will use the sounds and practices already present in the U-Bahn to highlight the mode of being in a non-place. Further, by prompting the collaborative action of playing the U-Bahn we aim to point to the collective, shared nature of our experience in this space. We hope that this intervention will in effect “re-place” this non-place.

This piece builds on my Subway sound intervention ( in Manhattan and a site-specific sound collaboration between Miriam and myself in Bartram’s Gardens in Philadelphia (

David Szanto

PhD student, adjunct professor

Concordia University

I am a doctoral student in gastronomy at Concordia University in Montreal, as well as a part-time faculty member in food studies at Concordia, l’Université du Québec à Montréal, and the University of Gastronomic Sciences (in Pollenzo, Italy).

As a space that doesn’t really exist yet, academic gastronomy has little in the way of formal canon, theory, or methodology, and so while I have a number of specific aims as a student and teacher, I also have the more general aim of occupying a space in order to start to define it. My work is therefore quite experimental in nature, and mixes elements of ecology, complex systems theory, and performance with design, food studies, and cultural theory.

My more specific focus is the notion of performative food settings–milieus from which various phenomena emerge because of the intra-active nature of the actors that compose them. I am particularly interested in how the perceptions of these milieus–the way we frame a given food place/thing/concept–may limit our understanding of what they are capable of bringing about. To that end, I am currently investigating the idea of the ‘meal’ as the perceivable manifestation of a more complex food reality–the thing that bubbles to the surface of a wide-ranging, and largely hidden, network or assemblage. Having been working on various designs for the ‘Meal of Montreal’ for some time, I would be interested in exploring and developing the ‘Meal of Berlin.’ In Montreal, I have both time and intimate knowledge of the city; in Berlin it would be the reverse. Both the outsider perspective, as well as the short time frame, would require a much more urgent and interpretive approach to my design process, allowing me to challenge the ‘manifestation’ hypothesis as well as my own working methodology.

Most importantly, the engagement with 23 other DI participants would allow me to see/feel/sense many versions of Berlin’s assembled nature through their 23 points of view. This assemblage of assemblages would be key to the continuing iteration of my meal-development process, and to the next version from which I would design the Meal of Berlin.

For the DesignInquiry gathering, I would like to contribute the following three elements:

1. A discussion/ideation session around the question, What is a recipe?, in both foodish terms as well as those that relate to other processes of design and making.

A recipe is text, script, trigger, cultural document, gesture, trace of identity, surface for iteration, symbol? A recipe is performed, enacted, improvised upon, owned, published, copyrighted, kept secret, shared, embodied, revised, forgotten. But is it intellectual property or epistemic thing? Constructive or representational? Inherited or emergent? Participants of the DI gathering would be asked to bring a food-centered recipe with them from home, in whatever form/format they choose: printed text and/or images, oral, performed, or otherwise. The discussion would then use these recipes as a starting point for examining a number of questions about recipes, extending from gastronomy to many other practices. Questions would include what is necessary and what is sufficient for a recipe to be a recipe, as well as those asking the reverse: What excludes recipe-ness? What is not a recipe? Do improvisation and experimentation still require the existence of a recipe, even if it is not formally followed? Most specifically, what do the interactions of recipe and situatedness (in both time and space) mean for the production of a given dish, or for the series of dishes that compose a meal? The discussion would be used to stimulate participants’ thinking about their own design processes and serve as a base or synthesis tool (depending on when it is scheduled) for the week’s work.

2. A series of medium-scale posters/sketches exploring interconnections between recipe, meal, and place.

Over the course of the week, my on-site work would focus on the recipes brought by other participants, as singular samples of their identity/home/assembled natures. I would develop a series of visual and conceptual linkages between these recipes and our real-time interactions with the city of Berlin and the food we see/buy/make/eat. Together, this mapping work would comprise a gastro-temporal representation of the situational nature of the group, and serve to inform the eventual development of the Meal of Berlin. (In fact, A Meal of Berlin, as below.)

3. A Meal of Berlin

Based on the week’s experiences, including the group discussion on ‘recipe’ as well as the other participants’ contributions, and the poster/sketch/mapping work described above, I would develop, coordinate, and co-perform the dinner for the final night of the DI gathering. This process would implicate the situatedness of design, of the notion of recipe, and of meal-making as a meta-practice. It would be intended to show how the Meal of Berlin is in fact A Meal of Berlin, dependent on the physical and temporal and social apparatus that allows it to emerge from its situation. Note that this meal would be conceived and executed within the existing ethos of DI’s meal-making–that is, collaborative and convivial, fun and uncomplicated. The aim would be to make an enjoyable last dinner that also engages with the gastronomic inquiry that has led up to it.

Ben Van Dyke

Board Member/DesignInquiry; Program Head/Communication Design

DesignInquiry; University at Buffalo

As an academic, I am committed to the development and maintenance of a ultra-conceptual design program. As an installation artist, I am committed to exhibitions of site-specific, improvised uses of spaces and materials that flirt with the territory between turbulence and unity.

I’ve always thought of exhibition space as a playground where risk and experimentation are celebrated. And since most established cities are host to a variety of exhibition spaces, I see these spaces as a key ingredient in a city’s collective imagination.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

I would like to entertain the idea of hosting an exhibition. In the traditional sense, we will host a Friday night reception and open the event to the public. In the non-traditional sense, I would like to challenge the compulsion to display finished work and fill this exhibition with half-baked ideas, works-in-progress, thoughts on the topic and musings in the direction of finished work. I am hoping to capture the idea of the Thing and not the Thing itself. I am asking the participants to rethink traditional models of object making and disconnect themselves from consequence. The DesignInquiry model encourages spontaneity, improvisation and uncertainty. With that in mind, this event will be a test case for developing an alternative curatorial methodology that is consistent with Inquiry. I will be absorbing our proceedings from the background while conspiring to display the manifestations of design, cities and Berlin.

Emily Luce

Artist + designer

Department New Media

University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

I was born in the US and live across two provinces in western Canada now. My work merges art and design practices; right now I’m working on building an inhabitable, miniaturized replica on wheels of an infamous Canadian art house.

Together with Chris Moore, I proposed DesignCity: Montreal project to the DesignInquiry Board in the summer of 2010. Now here we are, heading to Berlin. It is my pleasure to serve as DesignInquiry Board President, and to collaborate with all of you.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

The Pattern Database

For DesignCity Montreal, I wanted to work with subtle visual indicators; exploring the possibility of a visual baseline of a city, a quiet fingerprint. I was and am interested in flatness / colour / (mindlessness?) / engaging active visual practice (drawing, photographing, etc) in the research we are conducting around design cities. The idea is to collect patterns in all of the design cities, slowly throughout years becoming more knowledgeable about pattern design and history, and eventually able to accurately analyze patterns collected in each city.

I and the other participants collected hundreds of patterns throughout the week in Montréal. Afterwards, I experimented with a wordpress-based engine to store, sort and share these images

I’d like to continue the collaborative practice of collecting patterns in Berlin, and discuss with the group ways to improve and streamline the pattern database. This project is parasitic; it can occur simultaneously alongside and during other projects.


Rules of Play : Real-time Catalogue Design

The process of designing the catalogue for Montréal over the year with Gail Swanlund and Jennifer Nichols and the authors and editors was quirky and transformative. It involved setting up a series of parameters in list form called The Rules of Play, then applying the content that everyone submitted to the Rules. I’d like to share this process with the group (briefly), and experiment with next step : real-time catalogue design according to the Rules of Play: all of us building the catalogue together throughout the week. (I’ll need some help with paste-up techniques, if anyone remembers!)

Minuette Le

Designer/Recent Graduate of

Parsons School of Design Strategies, Transdiscilplinary Design

Minuette Le is a designer and researcher and recent MFA graduate in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons the New School for Design Strategies interested in participatory approaches in dealing with complex social and urban issues. Her projects range from gentrification, reclaiming public space to food systems, to sex education, and urban mobility.


Every discipline has its boundaries. Like the borders of a state, the boundaries of a discipline delineate a discrete domain or set of practices with particular ethical and political paradigms. These paradigms frame the debate about what is or is not ethical and politically correct within a discipline. Product designers, for example, generally have an idea of what it means to design ethical or politically correct products. They are likely to grapple with similar questions about how their products are manufactured, distributed, used, reused, and discarded. Are they made and sold using fair labor practices? Can they be recycled, repurposed, or disposed of sustainably? Are they generally useful and beneficial for people and the planet? Although there is plenty of room for disagreement, the answers to these and other questions can be used to discuss and decide if a product is considered to be ethical and politically correct.

As transdisciplinarians, we often work without prescribed disciplinary outcomes. We approach problems without always knowing beforehand what disciplinary approaches we will use to solve them. As a result, we often lack clearly defined ethical or political frameworks to guide our decision-making and help us foresee the implications of our work. We do our best to adopt the specialized frameworks of the different disciplines that we traverse, but rarely are they adequate to judge all the implications of our hybrid methodologies. More often than not, we are forced to mix and match, improvise and inquire, and intuitively sense whether we are acting according to the right values. Using any means available, we develop dynamic ethical frameworks and draw shifting political boundaries around every new project we undertake.

Proposal: Park(ing)Parking spaces are a current issue globally thanks to Park(ing) Day and Rebar’s parklets, which began in San Francisco. I will share my thesis dealing with reclaiming parking space in NYC and its insights and facilitate a discussion on the differences in spatial politics in dealing with the parking spaces in the city of Berlin, where parking space is prevalent, and largely “free.” This would be be followed by workshopping ideas in groups to imagine possible interventions, scenarios, or models that could be tried and tested.

Florian Sametinger

Interaction Designer & PhD Candidate

University of the Arts Berlin, Germany

After completing my studies in Interaction and Industrial Design at the Brunel University of West London, Politecnico di Milano and University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg, I went on to work as an independent Interaction and Industrial Designer in Munich where I focused on interdisciplinary design projects with a growing emphasis on sustainability. Projects included mobile communication, automotive interfaces and household appliances.

I joined the Design Research Lab in 2010 as a PhD candidate and scientific researcher where my main field of work is Interaction Design for Social Sustainability. The primary research focus has been on developing Sustainable Awareness Tools . In addition to that I am also leading the design research project Neighborhood Labs that investigates knowledge-sharing approaches in urban neighborhoods.

Alexander Müller-Rakow

Interaction Designer & PhD Candidate

University of the Arts Berlin, Germany

After finishing my studies in Industrial and Interaction Design at University of Applied Science Magdeburg and University of Bergen (Norway), I worked as a freelancer in the field of Interior, Transportation and Product Design. In 2009 I joined the Design Research Lab, where I work as research scientist and PhD Candidate.

I investigate the relation between bodily movements, interfaces and situational meaning. My project-grounded research is strongly influenced by a growing interest in experimental and embodied interfaces, new instruments for musical expression and sound reactive performance. In addition to research I like working as lecturer, e.g. at Hochschule für Kunste Bremen, University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg and Berlin University of the Arts.

When I grow up I would like to be a milliner or a cyborg.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

Imagine you are a time-traveller…

For DesignCity Berlin, we would like to contribute an collaborative intervention that consists partly of Alex’ passion for trouble-making, Florian’s writing exercise that we experimented on during Design Cities:Montréal and our mutual interest of disobeying city rules and regulations in order to make people think about their surroundings, their neighborhood, the space they live in from a different angle.

So, imagine we are time-travellers who have seen this city in X years in the future…

What would we tell the citizens now?

How can we communicate utopian futures for the supposedly designed spaces?

What are the elements and artifacts that will actually matter?

We will investigate these questions in our surroundings, interview inhabitants, neighbors, fellow participants and create small probe-kits that tell a (utopian) story of what will remain of our designed city and what will perish in the future.

Fabrizio Lamoncha

MA Student Interface Cultures

University of Art and Industrial Design Linz

I come from Valencia, Spain. I have a background in art and architecture planning. I currently follow an Interactive Media Art Master program at the Interface Culture Lab, University of Art and Industrial Design Linz. in an attempt to adapt my skills to a growing interest in new sociological paradigms.

In the present days I collaborate as student worker at the Design Research Lab in the production of the Mobile Kitchen for DesignCity: Berlin and other projects.

Michael Pogorzhelskiy

Industrial Designer / Undergrad

Weissensee School of Arts, Berlin

I am studying Product and Interaction Design at the Weissensee School of Art in Berlin. My current focus lies on physical computing, augmented reality and experimental interfaces in general. I joined the Design Research Lab in 2012 and work on Skintimacy,Sustainable Awareness Tools and the Mobile Kitchen.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

As mentioned before we teamed up for the production of the Mobile Kitchen for “Design cities: Berlin”. Besides materializing a functional classical kitchen we had the possibility to re-think what cooking, a meal, or even the architecture of a dinning room setting is. While researching on the topic we realized that part of the spirit of this event relies on the collaborative experience of their participants. Especially to discuss their ideas in a constructive critical environment. With the the mobile kitchen functioning in situ, the group will have the possibility to continue their discussions around the hotplates, as well as encourage further group interaction around the cooking experience.

Susa Pop / Create Berlin

managing director / representative of the network together with the board members: Nicole Srock-Stanley / dan pearlman, Andreas Wiek / Art+Com, Robert Eysoldt/Farbwerte, Raban Ruddigkeit/ + ruddigkeit und Gereon Pilz van der Grinten/ fairactivities

Create Berlin e.V.

Create Berlin is the biggest designers’ network of the city which is covering all disciplines of design like product, sound, fashion, communication, interior design and green design etc.

Create Berlin was founded through GRW fundings which have been managed through the Senate of Economy, Technology and Research with the following goals:

– to establish a marketing platform for Berlin based designers and creative economies

– to synergize competencies and create an expert network

– to develop business markets for our members

– to develop a brand for design and creative economies for the city of Berlin

– to represent the Berlin design scenes abroad

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

We would like to participate in your activities and share our experiences as network that actively participated in the UNESCO City of Design.,

we could organise a panel or workshop which investigates and summarises the results and sustainable contributions generated through the UNESCO City of Design.

We could also contribute a workshop about the new role of design in reference to the development of our cities and/or offer an innovation tour with this issue.


Jennifer Nichols

Nichols Creative

I am a communication designer. I work with community planners to educate Canadian communities about climate protection policy and facilitate sustainable development. I practice various forms of Printmaking as a hobby.

The Design City concept is compelling to me on a few levels; the group’s site-specific, ‘designer’ response to top-down multi-lateral cultural planning, meeting an eclectic set of people and checking out how urban design can affect culture and how culture can develop urban design from the grass roots.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

The comparative model would be based on a field guide of key themes that DI established when exploring Montreal in the summer of 2011. The field Guide is in the 2011 Design Inquiry Catalogue. The themes are: Movement place, Spatial stories, Response, Shadow spaces, Typo-geography, Palimpsest, Ingredients, Form, Souvenir and Design Write.

I would challenge Design Inquiry participants to try out the field guide on the ground in Berlin and simultaneously in Montreal. The exercise would require the participants to question or support the field guide findings through images.

The method for comparison would predominantly be through an online image gallery. Researchers would be invited to upload at least two images a day that would show how the theme is represented (or not represented) in the Berlin context. The images would be organized by taxonomy widget on the DI WordPress blog ( The method is similar to an Instagram photo challenge.

Researchers in Berlin would be encouraged to propose new topics in the field guide. As a response the new topic could then be tested simultaneously on-the-ground in Montreal.

This research framework will enable DI participants to compare Design City characteristics between multiple cities based on collective research results. It would complement (not replace) individual research streams by adding a layer of shared dialogue linking specific interests.

It is also a method that could be built on to in subsequent design city research events. The result would be a ‘Golden Record’ of design city visual baselines that would enrich UNESCO’s description of a design city.

Christopher Moore

Framer, DesignInquiry Montréal

Assistant Professor Design & Computation Arts, Concordia University

I am a maker of things, a storyteller, an educator, and a student full of questions. These roles manifest in a practice that ranges from commercial publication to sculpture and media-based installation—a liminal research profile that challenges the traditional disciplinary classifications of academia. Throughout my 12 years of teaching, I have been fortunate to locate like-minded colleagues who share a passion for social engagement, and who eschew the narrow definitions and historical baggage of what constitutes “legitimate” research. I believe in the value of play, and that embodied experimentation and the everyday are highly relevant design methodologies.

My creative research currently focuses on satire as a progressive form of social critique, utilizing performance and absurdist humour to engage media-savvy public audiences. In addition to artist residencies and exhibitions, I have presented my scholarly research at international conferences, including the College Art Association (CAA), Design Research Society (DRS), Association Typographique International (ATypI), the Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD), and the Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC). Since 2008, I have held the position of Assistant Professor in Design &

Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montréal, where I am also a member of the Hexagram Research Institute.

What would you contribute to DesignInquiry while you are here?

Both Montreal and Berlin have long histories of protest and resistance. They also embrace creativity on the heels of political and cultural upheaval, transforming the city in a very grassroots manner. Traditionally, inexpensive costs of living have also attracted a large and varied youth population in each location, spawning new genres of music, fashion, film, and the arts. Overcoming adversity and “making do” with the peculiarities of historical and geographic circumstance (as Michel de Certeau describes it), are hallmarks of these cities. One need only look to the recent Montreal student protests to witness examples of flourishing creativity, in response to a government refusing to take notice. So too, the global Occupy movement has produced incredible displays of imagination, humanity, and public spectacle.

I would like to reach out to our Berlin-based participants to better understand the connections between our two cities. How does repression, violence, and incivility conversely lead to acts of beauty and inspiration? I am currently working on a short-format documentary video about do-it-yourself and community-initiated design projects in Montreal. Conversing with colleagues across the Atlantic will hopefully help me to better understand my local context. Ideally, it would be wonderful to remotely collaborate on a companion video exploring similar themes, and following up on the research I am currently conducting in Montreal.

Joshua Davidson

Concordia Univeristy (Media Studies)

My background and research is at the intersection of culinary studies and documentary media production. After working in both fields for over ten years, I have returned to the academic environment to engage in research on the “performance” of recipes – specifically, the interplay or co-production of meaning and texts as food is combined, consumed, and translated into other media (via recipes). My main purpose for participating in Design Inquiry is to partake in this culinary/media research in a an inspired environment, crosspollinating ideas and methods with the various designers, scholars and artists who will be attending. I hope to be able not only to derive new ways of media (and recipe) making from and within the collective group environment, but also to work with the participants to examine the culinary landscape of Montreal as a valid and vital domain of design inquiry – an oft-neglected one!