These thinking toys—as we like to
call them—will allow us and the
cooperatives to playfully self-reflect
the way we want to live together in the
How do people interact in your lab?
We have biweekly team meetings and
colloquia where we engage more with
some of the research topics of our
colleagues, exchange insights, or have
invited guests. Every six months, we
organize an intensive gathering for
three to four days where we exchange
insights and feedback from our
projects and also try to transform our
strategies and design new research
topics or directions for the future.
We organize conferences with our
peer-research communities and also
project-based postdoctoral or senior
researchers, half a dozen Ph.D.
students, and a handful of junior
researchers who are coding or
designing specific commissions. We
also have a broad range of external
and product designers for specific
What is a unique feature of your lab?
We have no unique technical features
besides the generous lab space, but
we do have unique approaches such
as our method mix, which combines
with practice-based ones. We are
working within a design and art
university, which is quite unusual,
since media labs are usually located
within engineering departments.
This implies that we value historical,
societal, and political inquiries. The
conceptual undoing of white-male-dominated biases incorporated
into information technology (also
known as decolonization), for
example, is equally important, as
are experimental design methods
such as prototyping, design
fiction, experimental fieldwork,
participatory design, and creative
coding. With Thinking Toys for
Commoning, for example, we
co-design with urban housing
cooperatives a set of games and
digital toys, which are informed
by computational simulations of
social dynamics, utopian visions,
and histories of anarchist squatting.
→ Theater-performance event Syntegrity in collaboration with the municipal theater of the city of Basel.
→ Conference event in the lab.
→ Test environment, Designed Immediacy (2015–2017, SNSF-Project No. 156977).
@INTERACTIONSMAG 18 INTERACTIONS JANUARY–FEBRUARY2019