12.10.2021 & 13.10.2021

Gestaltung forscht: Conference of Design-Science “Designforschung”

Questions about the meaning of research in design, about its self-understanding and its methods were discussed from different perspectives. In three presentations, experts presented their view on the topic during the digital discourse, which was initiated by Rita Rentzsch, professor for interior architecture at BURG.
Stephan Ott and Jessica Kreijci from the Institute for Design Research and Appliance (ifDRA) spoke with experts from companies, universities, and design agencies and asked them about their understanding of design research to define various definitions, methods, and perspectives on the general potential of Design-Science.
Then, Anita Kaspar and Fynn-Morten Heyer from Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik reflected on their researching methods on the basis of a selection of their projects. Afterwards, Dr. Bianca Herold from the Design Research Lab of UdK in Berlin looked at the transdisciplinary processes in which actors from science, politics and civil society jointly generate new forms of knowledge production. Her work focuses on questions of social and digital participation and the role of Design-Science in the context of digital transformation.

Online lecture by Sunanda Sharma

Sunanda Sharma was a research assistant and doctoral student in the Mediated Matter group after she graduated in biology with a focus in psychology and a master’s degree in media arts and sciences at MIT in 2016. Her research focuses on functional pigments which can be extracted from bacteria, fungi and even feathers. She explored melanin-producing bacteria that interact with chemical signals and 3D-printed them into a hydrogel.
Apart from that, she cooperated with NASA and recently sent petri dishes with radioresistant and melanin producing fungi into space to find out more about their potentials. She also created her own database named, where a pigment producing living organism can be selected based on the color of choice. Furthermore, she focuses on the question of how we, as humans, could learn empathy for microorganisms. Can color maybe lead a path for empathy?

art & curation / mycelium & symbioses:
online conference with Regina Rapp and Saša Spacal

Regine Rapp is founder and curator of the Art Laboratory Berlin with a background in Art History and Art Theory. She gave us a journey through different interdisciplinary projects like „Mind the fungi“, which is an an interactive art and science research project. It focuses on the integration of local tree material as a sustainable option for the future as well as on biotechnology. Would mycelium grow faster if we induce them with sounds? Theresa Schubert, as an artist-in-residence, answers this question in her installation „sound for fungi“.
As a Bio-Media-Artist Saša Spacal works at the point of intersection of living systems and contemporary art. Her artistic research focuses on the development of technological interfaces and relationships with organic and mineral soil agents, while seeking to address the posthuman condition that involves mechanical, digital and organic logic within biopolitics and necropolitics of our times.