Living Lab – A Social Design Approach


Within the project, we understand “Living Labs” as places where both citizens and experts from design and other backgrounds can discover opportunities for political and social access through creative practices. The relevance of local spaces increases, urban neighborhoods are the catalyst for initiatives. Local initiatives mesh with technological infrastructure. New spaces for collective action arise.

Taking up the global trend for innovative collaboration formats and developing these further is the specific aim of our undertaking. The intent of a more inclusive and emancipated design raises high hopes, but also some important questions: What are the mechanisms by which people can be triggered to become active members in their communities? How can a participatory process be sensible to actors with unequal resources? And who should be integrated in the design process anyway?

The session discusses the Living Lab Mehringplatz, a work-in-progress concept as part of the design research project “Community Now?”, initiated by the German Society for Design Theory and Research (DGTF), the Design Research Lab/Berlin University of The Arts and the Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design Jerusalem.

The Session will be led by Bianca Herlo and Jennifer Schubert of the research group “Civil Infrastructures” at the Design Research Lab Berlin.