CitizenSpace is concerned with the democratization of the design of digital tools. This research area assumes that the democratization of technology does not simply concern questions of availability or accessibility, but two other key issues. The first one, epitomized by the notion of a “right to infrastructure” [Cor14], involves creating the conditions for affected and concerned groups to shape responsible technologies and infrastructures. The second one, often summarized with the phrase “making things public”, concerns the extent to which the public might use digital technologies in order to publicly stage otherwise unseen issues. Interestingly, both challenges rely on an understanding of democracy as involving something more than the rule of a majority. Importantly, they foreground the need for long-lasting collaborations between different types of experts and citizens, in order to infrastructure other modes of life and make things public – a challenge some authors have described as the challenge of technical democratization.
The work packages of this research area explore the potentials for a democrati- zation of multimodal design tools in two complementary ways. CS1 (The political appropriation of digital design tools) explores the ways in which “unforeseen users,” such as speculative designers, urban activists and organizations, adapt and transform existing digital tools. CS2 (Living Lab and Speculative Design) explores the potentials of speculative design as well as of hybrid exhibition formats and curatorial approaches to create a post-digital public space. Both work packages will foreground the practical undoings of the boundary between the analog and the digital, in order to better document the socio-political embedding of digital tools. By positioning the innovative technologies of ToolSpace and the new practices of DesignerSpace as conduits for visualizing and enabling a shared future, we will open up the research of the Center as a living lab to public discourse through communication and participation.
Sabine Ammon: Philosophy
Monica Bonvicini: Sculpture
Kathrin Busch: Theory of Design
Ignacio Farías: Cult
Monika Grzymala: Sculpture
Philipp Misselwitz: Urbanism
Alexandra Ranner: Sculpture
Bénédicte Savoy: Modern Art History
Gabi Schillig: Culture