Workshop “Designing the Self” – with Paula Bialski, Laura Hille, Andreas Bernard and others

2016-11-29 DCRL Semester theme: Design and Repair, Winter Semester 2016/2017


Venue: Freiraum Lüneburg Salzstr. 1 / 21335 Lüneburg

Within our current DCRL semester theme "Design & Repair", techniques of designing the self demand special attention. In today's digital cultures, almost every facet of the subject – its body, its identity, its social appearance and public representation – is accessible for design and optimization. This short workshop discusses both various characteristics of this process and strategies of critique.



Andreas Bernard

"Self Design. The Access to the Subject in Digital Culture"

Surprisingly many techniques of self representation in digital culture ("profiles", location based services, the "Quantifed Self") can be traced back to methods developed in criminology, psychology and psychiatry since the late 19th century. The talk elucidates these genealogies and discusses the irritating question why devices and techniques which had for a long time the main task to record deviant subjects are now considered as vehicles of self empowerment.



Minna Hekanaho

"Reflections on Being a Designer"

When working in the product creation process using user-centred methods we designers rarely take time to reflect on the agency and responsibility of the designer. I will outline some issues in the current narrative of design as a profession and present a case study of a few years back where I reflect on how I as a product designer impacted the outcome of the design and product creation processes.





Paula Bialski

"Faces of Pseudonimity"

This talk draws from two months of fieldwork around anonymity in digital technologies, during which I encountered hackers, activists, privacy teams at large corporations, app developers, bloggers, and cryptographers. A fraction of them were on an ongoing quest to help users “design their identity” online. For them, “anonymity” or “data privacy” debates are not as important as the notion of pseudonymity. Accordingly, the internet should be built in such a way to enable users to manoeuvre through various identities - allowing users to ‘design’ who they are to whom, keeping the various faces and lives of users separate. 




Laura Hille 

"Designing Techno-Utopian Bodies"

In home-made laboratories, biohacking labs, kitchens and garages, hobbyists are tracking, hacking, tweeking, grinding and tinkering organic material to alter and modify biology and the human body. My talk will focus on these bodyhacking practices that are actually working on the utopias of the technologically enhanced - the ‘hacked’ - human. I will follow the question what the ‘bio’ in ‘Biohacking’ can be and how it is designed.




5.20-6 pm 

Round Table and Wrap Up