Politics of Design

February 26, 2024 - March 1, 2024
10:00 - 17:00

Berlin Open Lab

Politics of Design

In a state of ontological crisis, all boundaries between human and machine, nature and culture, and the organic and inorganic have been severely blurred. We find ourselves exhaustively tackling the turmoil of our own designed circumstances, as we emerge to become extensions of the extensions that we built. These are times of curious contrivances, novel natures, inescapable automation and posthuman performances – where human and nonhuman find themselves being entwined, meshed and muddled into new unwitting entanglements. But from biased machine-learning to surveillance capitalism and digital colonisation – what power-structures are implicitly and covertly being embedded into these technologies? Do we have to raise a discussion about political systems of things – about ubiquitous capitalism, algorithmic aristocracy or object-mediated democracy?

In this block seminar we will discuss ethical, social and political implications of technology with a focus on automation versus autonomy. We will practice and formulate critical perspectives on the politics of machines, discovering novel phenomena and shadowing the material regimes of power that we ourselves live within – hindering and compromising personal devices and thus conducts, in order to uncover latent power structures embedded in everyday life. Drawing on the approaches of research-through-design and critical making, we will prototype possibilities and provocations, integrating critical thinking and designing.

Prof. Dr. Florian Conradi (TU Berlin/UdK Berlin)
Assistance: Ines Weigand, Athena Grandis and Selenay Kiray

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