Reassembling Relationships: People, Systems, Things
12th Annual Conference of the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF)
University of Applied Sciences Potsdam | 16./17. October 2015

Reassembling Relationships: People, Systems, Things
12. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Designtheorie und -forschung (DGTF)
Fachhochschule Potsdam | 16./17. Oktober 2015

Reassembling Relationships: People, Systems, Things

In a growing state of omnipresent connectivity, it seems that anything can be potentially connected – anytime, anywhere. We are embedded in a myriad of mundane socio-technical alliances, as humans and non-humans ceaselessly correspond and perform. Therefore, the urgency arises to raise the question: What relationships do we enter in to with our fellow agents, what new positions do we find ourselves in? In an age of the internet-of-things, the technical-material objects that are embedded in our everyday lives are acting, enacting and performing for, with, and through us. They are suddenly knowing, learning, evaluating, predicting - and constantly at work. The 12th Annual Conference of the German Society for Design Theory and Research will take place on the 16th and 17th of October 2015 at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. From utopian to dystopian visions and realities: We invite perspectives on the role of design in all of this, on new forms of negotiation with and through things, and on what new analytical frameworks this calls for as we further embark in to these technically mediated futures.
Call for Papers PDF

Reassembling Relationships: People, Systems, Things

Im Zeitalter des 'Internet der Dinge' handeln, beschließen und spielen die technisch-materiellen Dinge unseres Alltags für, mit und durch uns. Bei der 12. Jahrestagung der DGTF geht es um eine Diskussion der kontinuierlichen Verflechtung von Technologie in das Gewebe unseres alltäglichen Lebens. Welche Art von Beziehungen führen wir mit diesen Mit-Akteuren, in welchen neuen Positionen finden wir uns wieder? Helfen diese Dinge uns besser zu organisieren oder übernehmen sie bereits auch das Urteilen und Fühlen für uns? Stehen wir noch im Zentrum des sozialen Algorithmus oder werden wir zu Stromversorgern der Gadgets? Die 12. Jahrestagung der DGTF findet am Fachbereich Design der Fachhochschule Potsdam am 16. und 17. Oktober 2015 statt. Von utopischen zu dystopischen Visionen und Realitäten: Wir laden ein, Perspektiven zu entwickeln zur Rolle des Designs, zu neuen Formen der Verhandlung mit den Dingen, sowie neue analytische Rahmen zu formulieren, um in diese technisch vermittelte Zukunft aufzubrechen.
Call for Papers PDF

Jamie Allen

is currently Senior Researcher with both the Critical Media Lab in Basel and the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. He has done research and taught at the Pratt Institute of Art and Design, Hanyang University in Seoul, and lectured at Parsons and the Royal College of Art in London. He has worked as an interactive systems designer for IBM, DuPont, ESI Design and the American Museum of Natural History. Jamie maintains an active and direct practice with media technologies — he likes to make things with his head and hands. His research-practice involves investigations into the material systems of media, electricity, and information. Jamie's interests lie in the ways that creative uses of technology teach us about who we are as individuals, cultures and societies.

Jamie Allen arbeitet aktuell am Critical Media Lab Basel und dem Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Als Designer hat er für IBM, DuPont, ESI Design und das American Museum of Natural History gearbeitet. Seine Forschungsinteresse richtet sich auf die kreative Aneignung von Technologie und deren kulturelle und gesellschaftliche Kontexte.

Florian Pfeffer

is a communication designer and works in Amsterdam and Bremen. Since 1998 he is teaching in Netherlands, Lebanon, USA and Germany. From 2006 - 2012 he was professor for communication design at the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design. He is a partner of the design studio 'one/one' with offices in Amsterdam, Berlin and Bremen. His last publication 'To Do – The Role of Design in a Changing World: Strategies, Tools and Business Models' attracted significant attention. For its work one/one has recieved more than 50 national and international design awards. Florian Pfeffer is also the director of the :output foundation fostering young talents in design, architecture and art.

Florian Pfeffer ist Kommunikationsdesigner und arbeitet in Amsterdam und Bremen. Er ist Partner in dem Designbüro 'one/one' mit Büros in Amsterdam, Berlin und Bremen. Er war von 2006 bis 2012 Professor an der Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. Seine letzte Publikation war 'To Do: Die neue Rolle der Gestaltung in einer veränderten Welt: Strategien, Werkzeuge, Geschäftsmodelle'.

Gesche Joost

is Professor for Design Research at the Berlin University of the Arts and since 2005 heading the Design Research Lab. With international partners, she conducts research and development projects in the areas of human-computer-interaction, gender and diversity aspects in technological development, as well as user-centered design and participation. She is the chairwoman of the German Society for Design Theory and Research and board member of Technologiestiftung Berlin. She is member of the board of trustees of the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), appointed member of the Synod of the evangelical church in Germany (EKD) as well as full member of the Goethe Institute. In 2014, she was appointed as a Digital Champion for the EU commission.

Gesche Joost ist Professorin für Designforschung an der Universität der Künste. Sie leitet das 'Design Research Lab' in dem mit internationalen Partnern interdisziplinäre Designforschungs-projekte durchgeführt werden. Seit 2008 ist sie die erste Vorsitzende der DGTF.

Delfina Fantini van Ditmar

'Unpredictable Subjects at the Centre of the 'SMART' Home' / Delfina Fantini Van Ditmar is a PhD candidate in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art, London. Delfina holds a BA in biology and completed one year of an MFA at Konstfack, Stockholm. Her interactive installations have been exhibited at the Natural History Museum in London as part of Universities Week 2014, and at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Delfina is a member of the American Society for Cybernetics and in 2011 she received the Heinz von Foerster Award.

Delfina Fantini van Ditmar ist Doktorandin im Bereich Innovation Design Engineering am Royal College of Art, London. Sie ist studierte Biologin, zuletzt wurden ihre interaktiven Ausstellungen am Natural History Museum und am Victoria and Albert Museum in London ausgestellt.

Hande Işık, Harun Kaygan

'Reading the Body: Assessing Emerging Health and Wellness technologies and Interactions' / Hande Işık holds degrees in Industrial Engineering and Sociology. She obtained her MSc in Industrial Design from Middle East Technical University, Turkey, where she is a PhD candidate now. Her research interests include HCI, mHealth and design for wellbeing. Currently, she is a researcher at the UTEST Product Usability Unit. Harun Kaygan is an assistant professor in Industrial Design at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. He teaches and writes on cultural and political aspects of design, including activism and nationalism, with emphasis on new materialist theoretical frameworks.

Hande Işık ist Doktorandin an der Middle East Technical University in Ankara und Teil der UTEST Product Usability Unit. Dr. Harun Kaygan arbeitet am Fachbereich Industrial Design an der Middle East Technical University. Sein Interessenschwerpunkt liegt auf dem kulturellen und politischen Aspekten des Designs.

Jessica Wilde

'Von Face-to-face zu Interface – Reassembling Urban Studies als eine Designsoziologie der Fürsorge' / Jessica Wilde is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Sociology in Marburg. She has worked as a Research Assistant at Kassel University and Marburg University, specializing in sociological theories (particularly actor-network theory and the sociology of Bruno Latour) and urban sociology. Her dissertation project is an actor network-theoretical analysis of urban public squares in Berlin. She has published on the pragmatist roots of Latour’s work and has recently co-authored a paper on the changing relationships between the body and the city, with particular focus on current work on cyborg urbanism.

Jessica Wilde ist Doktorandin am Arbeitsbereich Allgemeine Soziologie an der Universität Marburg. In ihrem Promotionsprojekt geht es um eine akteur-netzwerk-theoretische Untersuchung öffentlicher Stadtplätze.

Mihye An

'Three Proposals for Cultivating Relationship Literacy' / Mihye An is a researcher and PhD candidate at CAAD (Computer Aided Architectural Design), Department of Architecture in ETH Zurich. Her interests are in theorizing about digitally mediated spaces from an architectural design perspective. Mihye holds a MS in Culture Technology and a BS in Industrial Design from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). She is currently wrapping up her PhD thesis and writing a book Atlas of 'Fantastic Infrastructures: An Intimate Look at Media Architecture' (forthcoming Winter 2015; Birkhäuser).

Mihye An ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin und Doktorandin im Bereich Computer Aided Architectural Design an der ETH Zürich. Ihre Publikation 'Atlas of Fantastic Infrastructures: An Intimate Look at Media Architecture' erscheint im Winter 2015 im Birkhäuser Verlag.

Jan-Henning Raff

'Der Umgang mit dem nicht-menschlichen Akteur Werbung' / Prof. Dr. Jan-Henning Raff is a professor at the faculty of design at Hochschule für Medien, Kommunikation und Wirtschaft (HMKW) in Berlin, Germany. He received a diploma in Communication Design at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee and a PhD at Technische Universität Dresden. His practice, teaching, and research emphasize the use aspects of design. His latest publication is on: 'Theories to Understand Graphic Design in Use' and will be features in the upcoming Graphic Design Reader (London: Bloomsbury Academic).

Prof. Dr. Jan-Henning Raff ist Professor am Fachbereich Design der Hochschule für Medien, Kommunikation und Wirtschaft (HMKW) in Berlin. Seine Praxis, Lehre und Forschung kreist um Gebrauchsaspekte im Design.

Natacha Roussel

'Almost Perfect: Self Quantification and the Feminist Theory of Health Studies' / Dr. Natacha Rousell is an artist and researcher. She received a PhD degree at Paris Sorbonne University for her work on participative possibilities of mobile technologies. Residing in Brussels since 2011, she is involved in several collective media and digital art projects. She founded the collective Experientiae Electricae. Her multimedia works focus on collective and environmental interactions. She is interested quantification devices and their social implementation and haptic interfaces as participative propositions.

Dr. Natacha Roussel ist Künstlerin und Forscherin. Sie schloss ihre Doktorarbeit an der Sorbonne in Paris über die partizipatorischen Möglichkeiten von mobilen Technologien ab. Ihr künstlerischen Arbeiten handeln von Technologien der Selbstquantifizierung und deren sozialen Implikationen.

Annika Frye

'Digital-Analog / Analog-Digital, Postindustrielle Produktionsmaschinen und ihr Einfluss auf die Struktur des Designprozesses' / Annika Frye is a German designer based in Offenbach and Berlin. Her main interest is on the aesthetic qualities of serial production, experimental processes, and the design process as source of innovation. Annika completed her PhD, which was about improvisation in the design process, at the school of Design Offenbach (HfG Offenbach). Her works have been exhibited in the New Museum in New York and at the MAK in Vienna. At the moment, Annika is researching the possibilities of post-industrial production at 3D-printing startup BigRep in Berlin.

Annika Frye arbeitet an der Schnittstelle zwischen Theorie und Praxis. Sie hat vor kurzem ihre Dissertation mit dem Titel 'Improvisation im Designprozess' an der HfG Offenbach abgeschlossen und arbeitet derzeit als Designerin bei dem Berliner 3D-Drucker Startup BigRep.

Useless (IOT) Box

In 2023 there will be a myriad devices connected to the Internet and the numbers are growing. To get you from 'A-Guy-In-His-Pajamas' to a 'Kickstarter-Ready-Startup' for this amazing future you can attend the 'Useless (IOT) Box' workshop and learn how to quickly develop your working connected prototype using Particle Photon protoboards and services. Prerequisites a portable computer and iOS or Android device. / Fabian Morón Zirfas is a lab supervisor at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam in the interface workshop. He also does freelance work as programmer.
(Room: LW 126)

Im Jahr 2023 werden 50.000 fantastillion Geräte an das Internet angeschlossen sein und die Zahlen steigen. In diesem Workshop wird 'A-Guy-In-His-Pyjamas' zu einem 'Kickstarter-Ready-Startup', indem er lernt wie er schnell einen Prototypen mit Particle Photon Protoboards und Diensten herstellt.
(Raum: LW 126)

Break the Ice

Thanks to genetic engineering, the relation between living matter and technology becomes more applied. While those “futuristic scenarios” are becoming real, the idea of a synthetic biology is still ambiguous and seems intimidating for many. During the workshop, we will attempt to establish a relationship with these obscure living interfaces. We’ll try to interact with them in a polite manner, tame them a bit, and hopefully learn what they may expect from us in the future. / Valerian Blos studied at the UdK Berlin and is currently working at Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation. Johann Bauerfeind is part of the Berlin-based DIYbio community and co-founder of Solaga.
(Room: LW 117)

Für viele Menschen sind die Ideen und Ideale der synthetischen Biologie sehr unklar und einschüchternd. Während des Workshops wird versucht eine Beziehung zu diesen lebenden Interfaces aufzubauen, mit ihnen zu interagieren und sie vielleicht sogar zu zähmen.
(Raum: LW 117)

Prototyping Future Bodyparts

It is the year 2080 and smartphone, tablets, the devices we live with today are electrical waste. Nature and technology are converging more and more; technology has the power to strengthen our human senses and intuition. How will this change the way we work? In this workshop, we will explore the relationship between technology, the human body and work life by applying quick prototyping methods. / Katharina Seeger and Verena Augustin are both working as design leads at IXDS. Katina has worked as a product, process and interaction designer. Katharina’s focus lies in user research, service design, and user experience.
(Room: D 308)

Technologie und Natur verschmelzen unaufhaltsam miteinander. Wie wird das unsere Art des Arbeitens ändern? Durch das Anwenden von Rapid Prototyping Verfahren werden im Workshop zukünftige Beziehung zwischen Technologie, dem menschlichen Körper und dem Arbeitsleben erkundet.
(Raum: D 308)

Weaving Connections

Weaving is one of the world’s oldest technologies, and it is digital in its nature. The historical connection between weaving and computer programming is well known, as the Jacquard loom was a precursor to the modern computer. In this workshop, we will be exploring hands-on interactive textiles by weaving hand-bands using rigid band looms, silver yarn, LEDs, and batteries. / Ebba Fransén Waldhör and Pauline Vierne are both textile designers, currently engaged in a long-term research project about electronic textiles at the Design Research Lab Berlin. Workshop language: English.
(Room: D 323)

Weben ist ein der ältesten Technologien der Welt. Das System des Jacquard-Webstuhls wurde zum Vorbild für die frühen Rechenmaschinen und ist somit der Vorläufer für den modernen Computer. Im Workshop geht es darum den Umgang mit interaktiven Textilien mit Hilfe von Webstühlen, Silberfäden und LEDs zu erproben. Der Workshop findet auf Englisch statt.
(Raum: D 323)

Objects of Research

The workshop will focus on tools for addressing the Internet of Things (IoT) in a critical way. Trough the question: Who is the object in the Internet of things?, we will speculate (and prototype) new relationships between humans and everyday objects. / Iohanna Nicenboim (MA – UdK Berlin) is a designer and researcher, focusing on developing qualitative interactions with new technologies. She works as a researcher at the Rethinking Prototyping project and as a teacher at Node Center for Curatorial Studies. Workshop language: English.
(Room: D 310)

Im Workshop werden wir uns die Frage stellen, wer oder was das Objekt im Internet der Dinge ist und Werkzeuge erstellen, um das IoT kritisch zu reflektieren. Wir werden über die neue Beziehung von Mensch und Alltagsobjekt nachdenken, diskutieren und Prototypen erstellen. Der Workshop findet auf Englisch statt.
(Raum: D 310)

Prototyping Networked Artifacts

The Internet of Things allows everyday objects to be interconnected. This places designers in unknown territory, as the objective is now the design of multiple, “Networked Artifacts” rather than just a single, tangible object. This shift from object to system calls for new ways of thinking about design and especially for new methods in design education. In this workshop, we will discuss networked artifacts and experiment with “” – a tool that allows fast prototyping of such artifacts. / Joël Gähwiler is a teaching and research assistant at the Zurich University of Arts and creator of
(Room: D 311)

Das Design von alltäglichen, vernetzten Artefakten ist ein noch unbekanntes Terrain. Es stellen sich eine Reihe von neuen Anforderungen an die Designpraxis und die Designausbildung. In diesem Workshop werden mit dem Prototyping-Toolkit “” solche vernetzten Artefakte erstellt und diskutiert.
(Raum: D 311)

Little Escapes

Our daily life is increasingly interspersed with virtual networks and digital devices. From this possibility of constant reachability, the bondage of permanent availability arises as well. Simultaneously, the need to elude this omnipresence is increasing. To evade this state, we will have to shield ourselves, or at least our electronic devices, from the electromagnetic waves surrounding us. During the workshop, we will build little shelters and faradaic artifacts to decouple ourselves from the network. / Lorenz Raab studied at the UdK Berlin in the New Media Studio Class. His works mainly circle around digital phenomenon. Juan Pablo Garcia Sossa is a communication designer who studied Design at Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia. He was part of the Digital Class at UdK Berlin.
(Room: Theaterwerkstatt)

Unser Leben wird zunehmend von virtuellen Netzen und digitalen Geräten durchsetzt. Aus dieser ständigen Erreichbarkeit wird allerdings auch der Zwang der permanenten Verfügbarkeit. Im Workshop sollen kleine Schutzräume oder faradaysche Artefakte entstehen, um sich von diesen Netzen zu entkoppeln.
(Raum: Theaterwerkstatt)

Implants as Design Decisions

Today implants are best known for their use in the medical sector. In this workshop we would like to take the idea one step further and ask: Would it be possible to implant every day gadgets in the human body? What would be the possible consequences? Are we going to witness the implanted smartphone soon? / Enno Park is the chairmen of the Cyborgs Foundation Berlin.
(Room: D 307)

Implantate kennen wir vor allem aus dem medizinischen Bereich. Aber wäre es denkbar, ganz normale Gadgets des Alltags in den menschlichen Körper zu implantieren und wenn ja, welche Folgen hätte dies? Werden wir das implantierbare Smartphone erleben? Workshop/Diskussion mit Enno Park vom Cyborgs e.V., Berlin.
(Raum: D 307)

Friday 16.10.2015

11:00 Registration
11:30 Introduction
12:00 Keynote: Gesche Joost
12:45 Stream 1
13:45 Lunch Break
14:30 Workshops
17:00 Keynote: Jamie Allen
20:00 Dinner and Speech by Uta Brandes

Saturday 17.10.2015

10:00 Coffee
10:15 Keynote: Florian Pfeffer
11:00 Stream 2
12:00 Break
12:30 Stream 3
13:30 Wrap up and Goodbye
14:15 DGTF General Meeting/Lunch

Sunday 18.10.2015

Design Promoviert offers a forum for PhD-students to discuss their research projects. Separate registration, language: German

Design Promoviert bietet Promovierenden im Design eine Gelegenheit, ihr Forschungsthema zur Diskussion zu stellen. Die Anmeldung erfolgt separat.

Boris Müller

is a professor for Interaction Design at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. He has worked for a number of international clients, like MetaDesign, the Science Museum London, and the Fraunhofer Institute. He has received design awards from the Media Arts Festival in Tokyo, from the Type Directors Club New York, and the first prize in the student’s category of the EuroPrix Multimedia.

Boris Müller ist Professor für Interaction Design an der Fachhochschule Potsdam. Zuvor arbeitete er bei MetaDesign San Francisco, für die Fraunhofer Gesellschaft und am Interaction Design Institute Ivrea.

Kora Kimpel

is a professor for Interface and Interaction Design at the Berlin University of the Arts. She is a consultant with the Fraunhofer Society in the projects 'Discover Markets' for user-centered innovation and developing participatory foresight processes. Since 2008, she has been a member of the managing board of the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF).

Kora Kimpel ist Vizepräsidentin und Professorin an der Universität der Künste Berlin und lehrt das Fach Gestalten mit digitalen Medien im Studiengang 'Visuelle Kommunikation'.

Michelle Christensen

is a PhD Candidate at the Berlin University of the Arts, where her research focuses on the ‘politics of objects’ and the social dimension of ‘thingness’. She has a background in Political Sociology (BA), Conflict Studies (MA), Gender Studies (MSc), and Design (MA). She was a Fellow in the U.S. Congress, and has taught at Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, the Köln International School of Design, and the UdK Berlin. Since 2014 she is a board member of the DGTF.

Michelle Christensen studierte politische Soziologie, Konfliktstudien, Gender und Design. Sie ist Doktorandin an der UdK Berlin und seit 2014 im Vorstand der DGTF.


Please register via the online
conference system

Regular: 200,00 €
DGTF Members: 100,00 €
Students and PhD students: 30,00 €
Students FH Potsdam: 10,00 €

Bitte registrieren Sie sich über das online Konferenz System

Regulär: 200,00 €
DGTF Mitglieder: 100,00 €
Studierende und Promovierende: 30,00 €
Studierende der FH Potsdam: 10,00 €


Potsdam University of Applied Sciences
Campus Fachhochschule
Kiepenheuerallee 5 (central building)
14469 Potsdam

Fachhochschule Potsdam
Campus Fachhochschule
Kiepenheuerallee 5 (Zentralgebäude)
14469 Potsdam

Conference Dinner

On Friday night there will be a dinner, with a speech by Prof. Dr. Uta Brandes (International Gender Design Network). Please register for the dinner online over the conference system (Price: 25 €).

Am Freitag findet ein gemeinsames Abendessen statt. Dinner Speech von Prof. Dr. Uta Brandes (International Gender Design Network). Zum Dinner bitte vorher über das online Konferenz System anmelden (Preis: 25 €).


Malte Bergmann
DGTF Coordinator
Phone: +49 30 8353 58220
Fax: +49 30 8353 58609


Universität der Künste Berlin
Einsteinufer 43
10587 Berlin


Malte Bergmann DGTF Coordinator Phone: +49 30 8353 58220 Fax: +49 30 8353 58609 mail(at)


Universität der Künste Berlin Designforschung Einsteinufer 43 10587 Berlin