Compact Course: DIY Social Movement – New Forms of Togetherness in the Digital Age

14-18 March 2022, 10:00-17:00

Gesche Joost (Design Research Lab)
Emilia Knabe (Design Research Lab)
Ben Siegler (Design Research Lab)


Photo: Gemma Evans 


This course will take place virtually but depending on pandemic regulations, we hope to have the chance to meet for prototyping.

UdK Berlin + TU Berlin / 2 SWS / 3 CP / UdK students can gain credits for this class in the framework of the module „Designmethoden“ or over the Studium Generale.

Please register by February 20th, 2022 with your name, field of study and matriculation number to Ben Siegler ().

In times of overlapping crises and growing divides within society, designers, artists and activists can play a vital role in showing the potential and the power of togetherness / acting together. How can we as designers use our skills to do so? In this course we will have a closer look at the concepts of the new common good (Neues Gemeinwohl) and digital commons and how they can be an integral pillar of sustainability. 

The concept of new common good addresses questions such as: how we can find new modes of cooperation, change the ways we organize work (e.g. through self organization, co-ops), remodel established ideas and concepts, and ultimately re-distribute power and resources?

How can we change our resource management to be led by our communities through collective decision processes that take into account equitable access to said ressources as well as their sustainable use?

Digital commons could play an important part in this undertaking. They represent a different way of organising the (re)production of resources next to the market and the state. With the digital commons, there is communal ownership and distribution of informational resources by the community by which they are created.

The overarching question we want to ask is how we can use our tools as designers to shape a new „us“ in times of division for a future worth living? Oftentimes, the discussion of sustainability does not come without mentioning that some privilege will be taken away and a lack will be felt in the future. What if increased cooperation towards a greater good could be a chance for a higher quality of life in the face of isolation? 

In this block-seminar we will look at the concepts of the new common good and digital commons through designerly lenses. With different methods of social design we will think and act those concepts out in a hands-on way to come up with possible answers together.