Design and Conflict / Block Seminar

October 4, 2022 - October 12, 2022
10:00 - 17:00

What is the relation between design and conflict? From armed conflicts and environmental strifes, to anti-gender regimes and increasingly socially disrupted societies – what role might design and technology play in all of this? How are conflicts designed – and how do current modes of design activism assist in subverting unjust systems of power?

When observing design emerging in conflict situations – be it the re-use of phone credits as currency, DIY drones to monitor conflicts zones, open-source radical servers to construct alternative communication networks or the building of radio-transmitters out of electronic trash: Designing in times of conflict oftentimes involves a high level of improvisation. It exposes things that emerge out of dire circumstances, are made under strong limitations, and that incite Bottom-Up alternative infrastructures for and by those who need them the most.

In this block seminar, we will take a closer look at the topic of design as, against and in times of conflict. Bringing together insights from Conflict- and Design Research, we will locate the intersections and exemplify them on real-world examples. Drawing on low-tech open-source alternative technologies, we will carry out a series of design experiments that explore and further develop the idea of ‘doing a lot with a little’.

Prof. Dr. Michelle Christensen + Prof. Dr. Florian Conradi

Technische Universität Berlin / Einstein Center Digital Future
Berlin University of the Arts / Weizenbaum Insitute

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