The Design Research Lab is a laboratory for experimental design and research reflecting on the digital society. Through playful interventions, critical making and collaborative reasoning we investigate possible futures. As a platform and network, we are deeply involved with the requirements and policies needed for an inclusive and sustainable development of the digital society from a design perspective.
We believe in new forms of research that inherently need to be open, collaborative and rooted in practice. Critical Prototyping is one of our major heuristics. We conduct participatory design and invite different groups of people to join our research endeavours in order to reflect on their individual experiences, hopes and constraints. Furthermore, we work with interventions, cultural hacking and design explorations as research methods to address today’s challenges in a different way. Our research is divided into three different clusters:
The term digital sovereignty has been used for some time as a new leitmotif for navigating the digital world that focuses on the competencies, duties, and rights of the individual in times of increasing data analysis, profiling and dwindling privacy. With our research projects, workshops and lectures we reflect on the question of what are the ramifications of digital sovereignty in our society? How can design interventions, policies and new practices enable it and what is our individual responsibility for that?
Within the material interactions theme, we develop and analyse novel interactive interfaces based on electronic textiles and textile production techniques. Applying practice-led research approaches, principles and knowledge from fashion and textile design are utilised to develop a textile-specific vocabulary for interaction modes. The aim is to create soft Wearable Technology that promotes autonomy, inclusion and diversity in application areas such as Creative Industries, Health and Wellbeing, Industry 4.0, and Smart Home.
The research fields of Social Design discover the social and political dimensions of design. Following an inclusive and diversity-based approach for transformational change and activism in underrepresented and disadvantaged communities, this research cluster addresses issues such as dis/ability, poverty, ageing, gender, health, protest culture or intercultural dialogue.