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Challenging anthropocentrism in the design of sustainable futures
Konstfack – University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. Stockholm, Sweden
Sunday 7 – Wednesday 10 June 2015

Call for Submissions

Design hinges a natural-artificial continuum through humans’ natural capacity to produce what we call ‘the artificial’. At a time when human activity is threatening biodiversity and causing severe climate change, it becomes obvious that natural and artificial systems can no longer be conceived in isolation but only in relation to each other – or indeed as one.

The coupling of natural and artificial systems poses challenges due to its complexity and partly reveals the anthropocentrism that has traditionally characterised design. Several questions arise in this context. How can design practices embrace pluralism by recognising, in the manifestation of design itself, biological as well as cultural diversity? In other words, how do we in design, and beyond, move from the kind of ego-system we seem to be so trapped in towards the kind of eco-system everyone and everything can gain from? How are designers, educators and researchers of design currently engaging with these challenges, and how might or should they engage with them in the near future? Designers in Scandinavia have shaped and influenced many local human societies to an important extent through a legacy of democratic and user-centred values. How can these be extended to acknowledge and celebrate humans’ cohabitation on a global scale to also include the myriad of all other existing species and systems at alternative scales in time and space? How can the various design practices be genuinely sensitive to ecological complexity? And how can they be understood, designed and studied in relation to each other – or indeed as a whole?

Addressing these issues and many others, the Design Ecologies conference includes the following tracks:

Design and Approaches for Sustainability

Design for Sustainability as we know it and as we might imagine it. This track is for both case studies we can learn from and more speculative alternative approaches. We especially invite submissions that scrutinize the tensions, and possible bridging, between: (i) radical and more incremental solutions, (ii) local and more global approaches and (iii) a non-anthropocentric versus a more anthropocentric design approach.

Design as a Political Agent

Critical or Discursive Design as we know it and as we might imagine it. We especially encourage submissions that scrutinize the tensions, and possible bridging, between approaches that nurture a more critical versus a more constructive discourse.

Design and its Educations

Sustainability in design educations as we know it and as we might imagine it. How can design education support students to become critical and creative in the light of the challenges that un/sustainability poses? We invite submissions that engage in visionary pedagogical approaches at all levels and especially those exploring the tension between ego- versus eco-awareness and the possibilities of bridging perspectives from both the ‘Global North’ and ‘South’.

In order to develop the theme of Design Ecologies we invite a variety of disciplines to make contributions: full papers, exploratory papers, workshops, exhibitions and a doctoral consortium. Whilst being primarily underpinned by a core of established design and design research, NORDES also welcomes all new design voices – including perspectives ranging from the humanities to physics, from ethnography to art, from engineering to marketing. Papers may cover experimental and exploratory research approaches to design and the production of knowledge. Papers may also be based on historical, biological, geographical or philosophical studies that make qualified contributions to the field in terms of insights, concepts and ideas. Submissions are subject to an anonymous peer review process. Accepted contributions will be published electronically on the conference website prior to the conference and in the conference proceedings.

All submissions should be in English. All submissions are subject to a anonymous double-blind peer review by at least two reviewers. Accepted contributions should be revised according to the review reports and the language should be checked by a native English speaker.

Accepted contributions will be published electronically in No 6 (2015): NORDES 2015: Design Ecologies, ISSN: 1604-9705, and will be available on the conference website prior to the conference.

Invited submissions

Full papers

Full papers must be of the highest international standard and contribute significantly to research and practice within design. Nordes 2015 aims to be a multidisciplinary forum for emerging and current research areas that influence the various design disciplines. Full papers should be a maximum of ten pages (6000 words) including illustrations, figures and references. Papers will undergo double-blind peer reviews and accepted papers will be presented in the conference programme and published in the conference proceedings. The proceedings will be available as an open-access online database during and after the conference.

Exploratory papers

We invite the submission of exploratory papers that include design cases, position papers, work in progress, and emerging new research areas that may as yet lack solid theoretical foundations but point towards exciting new directions for design research. Exploratory papers should be a maximum of four pages including illustrations and references. Exploratory papers can also be of a pictorial style and make extensive use of visuals in its arguing. Submissions should have less than 3000 words and must not exceed 10 pages including photos, figures, drawings and references. Exploratory papers will undergo double-blind peer reviews and accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings. The proceedings will be made available as an open-access online database during and after the conference.


Workshops will enjoy a central position at Nordes 2015. The ambition is to create common experiences and to provide a variety of platforms for exchanging new ideas. A workshop proposal should be a maximum of two pages and state its purpose, a tentative programme for the day (or half a day), how attendees are accepted for participating in the workshop (e.g. through artefacts or position papers or just by signing up), and the requirements for the physical setting and materials.


Through the Nordes 2015 exhibition we wish to explore ways in which the display of works of art, craft and design can become a prominent venue for exchanging ideas and understanding. Artists, designers and researchers will be able to present their work to the conference attendees in dedicated exhibition sessions. We invite submissions of artefacts, installations and performances documented via pictures, videos or links to websites. A two-page paper explaining how the exhibition artefact relates to the conference’s overall theme of experimentation should accompany each submission. Papers and visual documentation will be included in the conference proceedings and made available through an open-access online database during and after the conference.

Doctoral consortium

The doctoral consortium is an opportunity for doctoral students to receive feedback on their projects from some of the prominent researchers and fellow doctoral students within the field of design research. It is also an excellent chance to get to know others in the same situation or to meet again after last year’s NORDES summer school. The doctoral consortium will take place immediately before the formal opening of the conference. Participants will be chosen based on the quality of their submissions. Submissions should be a maximum of four pages, less than 2000 words, and can be published in the proceedings if the doctoral student wishes it. The proceedings will be made available as an open-access online database during and after the conference. Applicants are encouraged to relate to the theme of the conference.


Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Coffee/Tea Coffee/Tea Coffee/Tea
9.00-12.30 Doctoral consortium 9.00-10.00 Keynote: Alison Clarke 9.00-10.00 Keynote: Mugendi M'Rithaa 9.00-10.00 Keynote: John Wood
10.00-10-30 Exhibition 10.00-13.00 Workshops 10.00-10.30 Focus education
10.30-11.00 Coffee/Tea 10.30-11.00 Coffee/Tea
11.00-13.00 Design and approaches for sustainability #1
Design as a Political Agent #1
Design and its Educations #1
11.00-13.00 Design and approaches for sustainability #3
Design as a Political Agent #3
Open Space
12.30-13.30 lunch
13.00-14.00 lunch 13.00-14.00 lunch 13.00-14.00 lunch
13.30-17.00 Doctoral consortium
14.00-16.00 Design and approaches for sustainability #2
Design as a Political Agent #2
Design and its Educations #2
14.00-18.00 Workshops 14.00-15.00 Keynote: Cameron Tonkinwise
15.00-16.00 Concluding panel
16.00-16.30 Coffee/tea 16.00-18.00 Nordes Commons 16.00 ++ (Post) humanity bar
16.30-17.00 Exhibition
17.00-17.30 Registration 17.00-18.00 Summary
17.30-17.45 Conference opening
17.45-18.15 Keynote: Line Gordon
18.15-19.00 Keynote: Kate Fletcher 18.30 ++ TBD 20.00 ++ Conference dinner Café Blom
19.15 ++ (Post) humanity bar Meze buffet

The program may be subject to change.


Program Chairs

Mathilda Tham

Linnaeus University, Växjö

Håkan Edeholt

AHO, Oslo

Martin Ávila

Konstfack, Stockholm
Workshop Chairs

Otto von Busch

Konstfack, Stockholm

Salu Ylirisku

Aalto University, Helsinki
Exhibition Chairs

Lisa Diedrich

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp

Johanna Rosenquist


Anna Holmquist

Doctoral Consortium Chairs

Satu Maittinen

University of Lapland

Dagny Stuedahl

Norwegian University of Life Sciences
General Chair

Bo Westerlund

Social chair

Peter Ullmark


Kristina Lindström

Malmö University

Åsa Ståhl

Malmö University


Alison Clarke

Buckminster Fuller’s Reindeer Abattoir and Other Designs for the Real World

Alison J. Clarke is Professor of Design History and Theory and Director of the Victor Papanek Foundation at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. After training as a design historian at the Royal College of Art and V&A Museum, London, she gained her doctorate in social anthropology and material culture at University College London. Editor of Design Anthropology: Object Culture in the 21st Century and Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America (the basis for an Emmy-nominated documentary), Alison’s research focuses on the embeddedness of design in everyday social relations. She is presently completing a monograph for MIT Press exploring the politics of 1960s and 1970s design.

Kate Fletcher

Fashion Ecologies: exploring the relationships between people, place and clothing and the ways in which garments are like birds

Kate Fletcher’s work is both rooted in nature’s principles and engaged with the cultural and creative forces of fashion and design. Over the last two decades, her original thinking and progressive outlook has infused the field of fashion, textiles and sustainability with design thinking, and come to define it. Kate has more than 50 scholarly and popular publications in the field. She is author of Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys (2008), and is co-editor of one of the prestige Routledge International Handbook series on Sustainability and Fashion (2015) and co-author of Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change (2012). Kate is Professor of Sustainability, Design, Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion where she has a broad remit spanning enterprise, education and research. Her strategic leadership permeates the Centre’s activities, including its role as co-secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion at the House of Lords.

Line Gordon

Building resilience in the Anthropocene

Line Gordon is an associate professor and Deputy Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. With a background in Systems Ecology, her research is interdiciplinary focusing on how to improve human well-being by managing scarce freshwater resources for multiple benefits, including food production and other ecosystem services. She is interested in how humanity can improve our management of the biosphere, while ensuring a good life for people on the planet. This requires engaging academic research with other sectors of society such as business, policy and practice, including engagement with design and art.

Mugendi K. M’Rithaa

Climate Change: a designerly perspective from The South

Prof Mugendi K. M'Rithaa is an industrial designer, educator and researcher at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He holds postgraduate qualifications in Industrial Design, Higher Education, and Universal Design. He is passionate about various expressions of socially (responsive and) responsible design, including Participatory Design; Universal Design; and Design for Sustainability. Mugendi has a special interest in the pivotal role of design in advancing the developmental agenda on the African continent. He is associated with a number of international networks focusing on design within industrially developing/majority world contexts, and is currently serving a second term on the executive board of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid).

Cameron Tonkinwise

Design for Cosmopolitan Localism in an Era of Xenophobia

Cameron Tonkinwise is the Director of Design Studies at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. He also directs the School of Design's Doctoral research program which aims to bring practice-based design research to task of transitioning our societies toward more sustainable futures. Cameron has a background in philosophy and continues to research what designers can learn from philosophies of making, material culture studies and sociologies of technology. Much of his research focuses on the design of systems that lower societal materials intensity, primarily by decoupling use and ownership - in other words, systems of shared use.

John Wood

Designing Beyond Names, Codes, Forms and Signs

John is currently Emeritus Professor of Design at Goldsmiths, University of London. In the early 1970s, his interest in environmental issues led him away from his art studio and inspired him to invent several new solar energy systems. He then became Deputy Head of Fine Art at Goldsmiths (1978-1988), after which he developed several radical degree programmes in design. His (2005) masters programme in ‘Design Futures’ invited graduates to ‘re-design design’ as a self-reflexive, comprehensive and integrated framework that will enable them to catalyse positive change. This work grew into an AHRC/EPSRC funded research project and led to more practical developments via the Metadesigners Network. in addition to publishing many articles, papers and chapters, John also co-founded the international ‘Writing-PAD Network’ and is co-editor (with Julia Lockheart) of its ‘Journal of Writing in Creative Practice’. He is currently active in several cult bands (including Deaf School & The Clang Group) with which he records and tours, whenever possible.


the Konstfack building
Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design LM Ericssons väg 14 Subway station: Telefonplan Stockholm, Sweden
Konstfack is the largest university college of arts, crafts and design in Sweden. Each year, almost 1000 students are enrolled in Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, Teacher Education programs and Professional courses.

Information about public transportation tickets



Regular participant

Early bird (before and on 2015-05-05) 4400 SEK
Regular (after 2015-05-05) 5300 SEK
On site 5700 SEK

Student, including PhD (with valid student ID)

Early bird (before and on 5/5 2015) 2200 SEK
Regular (after 5/5 2015) 2900 SEK
On site 3300 SEK

Extra person conference dinner 500 SEK

All fees above include 25% VAT.

Registration is done in 3 steps:

1. Fill out the registration form and e-mail to nordes2015[at]

2. Pay your total conference fee to Konstfack:
Plusgirokonto: 183586-7 (from Sweden)
or from outside of Sweden
IBAN: SE23 9500 0099 6034 0183 5867
Remember to write: your full name, e-mail and reference Nordes 2015 when transferring the money.

3. When we recieve both your payment and the registration form you will get an e-mail confirming your registration to Nordes 2015.


We are happy to announce that the Nordes 2015 conference features in total 13 workshops. The workshops are carefully chosen among 24 proposals, which were peer reviewed in order to secure high quality and a strong research interest. The workshops are organised into 10 tracks: 3 half-day workshop tracks and 7 single workshop tracks.

The workshops at Nordes 2015 enjoy a central position and we expect the full audience of the conference to participate in. The workshops take place on Tuesday (June 9th). So, please, take the time to go through the list of workshops, which you find below.

Once registering for the conference, you will be provided a link to the registration page for the workshops, where you can fill in a doodle-link to mark your participation. Please also send a mail to the organiser to confirm your attendance.

The workshops will enable designers and design researchers to explore and discuss many aspects of design research in an experimental and designerly way.

See you at Nordes 2015!

Salu Ylirisku

Aalto University, salu.ylirisku [at]

Otto von Busch

Konstfack, otto.vonbusch [at]

T1: Learning and Participation Experiences

T1A. “Designing Learning Scenarios for Sustainable Futures”

Time: 10.00-13.00

Organisers: Hannah Jones and Anette Lundebye

Abstract: Understanding sustainability in terms of our complex, dynamic and interconnected socio-ecological systems requires a different mindset or paradigm to the industrial mode of thinking that has influenced educational practice for the last century (Orr, 2004, Wood, 2007). Our ambitious 3-hour workshop will focus on developing scenarios as a way to prospect how design education might respond to a range of possible ecological futures at a systemic level.

Method: We will use metadesign thinking and methods to support and innovate new modes of collaborative learning.

Participants: Max 15 Pre-task: Bring along a current news article on the topic of sustainability. Contact email address:

Download PDF.

T1B. “Towards Genuinely Inclusive Design”

Time: 14.00-18.00

Organisers: Victoria Gerrard and Floris van der Marel

Abstract: This workshop aims to support a dialogue around Participation and Design. The motivation is not to develop new 'Participatory Design' practices but to develop community accepted modes of design decision making which stem from a dialogue about participation, design and social change. Method: Participants will share and reflect upon their experiences using a particular structure introduced in the workshop.

Participants: max 20 Web link: Contact e-mail address:

Download PDF.

T2: Commoning and Manipulating

T2A. "Co-designing and Commoning"- extended deadline

Time: 10.00-13.00

Organisers: Andrea Botero, Sanna Marttila, Frederik Van Amstel, Anna Seravalli, Joanna Saad-Sulonen

The organisers have exteded the deadline for participation and reviewed the pre-task for the ws.

Aim: Explore the commons as an objective and commoning as a way of doing and being for design activities.

Method: Case presentations, discussion, and hands-on mapping

Pre-task: Send a case description of 1 page emphasising how/why it is relevant to the theme of co-design and commoning. Please send your pre-tasks in PDF format to codesigncommoning(at) by the 5th of June 2015.

Participants: Max 20 Workshop URL:

Download PDF.

T2B. “Manipulations: Artefact-Site-Space”

Time: 14.00-18.00

Organisers: Mahmoud Keshavarz (School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden) Eric Snodgrass (School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden) Ola Ståhl (Department of Design, Linnaeus University, Sweden)

Abstract: This workshop gathers those who are interested in producing a set of responses to the concept of manipulation through a specific framework of design ecologies. The workshop will adapt a methodological approach linking artefact, site and space – an approach we hope will offer ample opportunity to explore manipulation both as a concept and a local and material practice that produces global effects. Participants are invited to contribute with specific case studies of artefacts, sites and/or spaces, reading them up and against the notion of manipulation considered here not merely as an outcome of environments but also as a source of the production of environments. The workshop is a part of MANIPULATIONS, an ongoing initiative in which scholars, researchers, artists and designers submit and discuss their investigations and explorations of the concept of manipulation.

Aim: To open up a critical dialogue and exchange around the concept of manipulation.

Method: Linking artefact, site and space to explore the concept of manipulation./p>

Pre-task: Submit an outline that in one way or another explores a notion of manipulation as it can be seen within and across artefacts (e.g. chairs, barbed wire), sites (e.g. airports, mines) and/or spaces (e.g. smart cities, tax havens) to by 24th of May. It may be a textual draft not more than 2000 words long, a photo- or video essay, computer program or material intervention. Accepted submissions are shared amongst participants prior to the workshop.

Max. no. of participants: 10

Web link:

Contact e-mail address:

Download PDF.

T3: Resourceful Thinking

T3A. “Visualising Degrowth by Design”

Time: 10.00-13.00

Organisers: Laura Popplow, Judith Dobler

Abstract: This workshop will explore design for degrowth in a collaborative manner. The aim of the workshop is to explore design for degrowth by using visual materials to ground the discourse. In the first part of the half-day workshop we will discuss in a playful way different visual notions of growth and possible future notions of post- or degrowth. The participants are asked to submit visual material enabling us to create a conversational tool. While taking different roles in the discussion, we will select topics together that seem important to be further worked on. In a second session the participants will split up in smaller groups sketching ideas collaboratively on how a degrowth scenario in the Anthropocene could look like.

Method: Image-grounded discussion, conversation games, role-taking, and working in groups.

Pre-task: Reading of texts related to the subject that will be distributed by the facilitators. Each participant is asked to submit an image (preferably a diagram, drawing or sketch) and a short statement (max. 150 words) on one of the three themes: ecologies, slow media, degrowth. Please send the scanned image and statement via email ( before May, 31st.

Participants: Max 16

Contact: Laura Popplow,

Download PDF.

T3B. “Ways of Talking with Materials”

Time: 14.00-18.00

Organisers: Anne Louise Bang, Vibeke Riisberg & Karen Marie Hasling

Abstract: In this workshop we are occupied with materials as a means to relate to objects and our environments. The aim of the workshop is twofold: firstly, it encourages engagement and conversations about materials on themes such as perception of material qualities. Secondly, it discusses the potential of talking with materials, that is: using the material world as a resource for conversation.

Method: The Repertory Grid technique is introduced as a dialogue tool, based on sensorial perception of soft and hard materials in a sustainability perspective.

Participants: Max 12

Contact: Anne Louise Bang,

Download PDF.

T4: Analysing objects

T4. “Object Theatre in Design”

Time: 10.00-17.00

Organisers: Preben Friis, Merja Ryöppy & Jacob Buur, University of Southern Denmark

Abstract: In this workshop we will demonstrate a set of techniques from the post- dramatic genre of Object Theatre and discuss how they can enrich design practice and design research. The work brings together a design tradition of engaging objects in co- design and a theatre competence of improvising action with objects. With the participants we will inquire into: Object puppetry (exploring objects from ‘within’), Improvising movements (action before thought), Staging objects (context dependence), and Multi-stakeholder drama (taking object perspectives). Towards the end we will discuss future research agendas to develop the field.

Aim: Expand perspectives of design practice through object theatre activities

Method: Object Theatre

Participants: Max 20


Download PDF.

T5: Questioning Smartness

T5. “The performance of nonhuman behaviour”

Time: 10.00-18.00

Organisers: Claudia Dutson, Delfina Fantini van Ditmar, Dan Lockton

Aim: To question what intelligence and smartness mean when we interact with technology.

Abstract: This workshop is situated at the convergence of technology, behaviour and people’s understanding of the nonhuman entities with which they interact, questioning the ideas of ‘intelligence’ and ‘smartness’. As the Internet of Things, ‘smart cities’, Quantified Self, and similar concepts intersect with design for behaviour change and sustainable behaviour, becoming pressing research themes across product, service, interaction and architectural design, we ask how the relationships between humans and nonhumans are characterised and articulated. Through using performative methods, this workshop aims to explore questions such as: - What kind of conversations take place between humans and machines, and the surrounding environment? - How is algorithmic decision-making, as designed into systems, experienced and understood by humans? - How can designers engage with algorithms, critically but also usefully? - What does it mean when nonhuman performance becomes a material of design practice?

Method: Performative methods

Pre-task: Participants send the organisers a computer desktop screenshot & a photo of their working environment

Participants: Max 15

Website for the workshop:

Contact email address:

Download PDF.

T6: Herbs as design resource

T6. “Native Products: Nordes 2015 edition”

Time: 10.00-18.00

Organisers: papairlines

Abstract: Native Products is an initiative that could act as a stepping point towards the exploration of alternative mediums and processes of the production cycle. Papairlines have developed a workshop sequence through which flora is transformed into a paste that can be later used as a raw material to cast objects. The process uses household tools and herbs. During this workshop participants will be part of the different stages of processing the raw materials and create small utilitarian objects, while contributing to a debate on how production takes place today and what alternatives can be developed in the current socioeconomic status.

Aim: Exploration of alternative means for the production cycle

Method: Create a herb based material paste which can be then used to mould small utilitarian objects

Pre-task: Ask participants to bring herbs and soft flora

Participants: Max 10



Download PDF.

T7: Unpicking the Fashion System

T7. “Unpicking the Fashion System”

Time: 10.00-18.00

Organiser: Ruby Hoette

Abstract: During this workshop participants will experiment with methods of dissection and collage as tools with which to actively engage with the fluid and dynamic relationships that constitute fashion and the shifting role of the fashion designer. Unpicking garments along original seam-lines functions as a metaphor for the unravelling of the mechanisms that constitute pervasive fashion practices and production processes. The resulting loose garment elements will then be rearranged into new formations or mappings - proposals for alternative ways of engaging with fashion and a new fashion 'collection'. The workshop will draw on the concept of the personal wardrobe, within which various styles, brands and materials are brought together. It will activate the tacit knowledge embedded in the practice of curating we each employ in the daily act of dressing. Collectively we will explore innovative and inclusive modes of ‘doing’ and ‘being’ fashion.

Pre-task: Each participant is asked to bring a garment to work with. Please be aware that this garment will be dissected and become part of a collective process.

Method: The garments are first dissected, documented and analysed, and then reformatted into a new fashion collection.

Participants: Max 15


Download PDF.

T8: Reflecting with Electronics

T8. “Inorganisms: An Emergent Approach to Sustainability”

Time: 10.00-18.00

Organisers: David Kadish* and Aleksandra Dulic (*David will be attending the conference and running the workshop)

Aim: To learn about emergent complex systems through the building of local-but- connected electronic systems. No prior electronics experience necessary.

Method: The workshops uses reflective practice with electronics as a means to build and understand complexity.

Pre-task: Participants may bring personal (artistic etc.) materials for the construction of their inorganism. In case the participants want their inorganisms after the workshop, a fee of $25 (~200SEK) needs to be paid.

Participants: Max 20

Web link:

Contact email:

Download PDF.

T9: Societal Design

T9. "Utopia and Design of Society"

Time: 10.00-18.00

Organisers: Kari-Hans Kommonen, Mia Muurimäki, Régis Frias

Abstract: This intensive full day workshop will engage its participants in a two stage process of 1) discussion of societal designs and 2) an exploration of using utopia as a method for discussing desirable futures.

Method: We will first explore how design language can be used to analyze and discuss society and its characteristics, and then engage in the creation and discussion about desirable futures, where we try to employ the design language and some of the designs as building blocks for our utopias.

Pre-task: Position papers submitted on workshop’s intranet at

Max. no. of participants: 20

Web link:

Contact e-mail address:

Download PDF.

T10: Storytelling

T10. Stories from fragments

Time: 10.00-18.00

Organisers: Elisa Bertolotti, Heather Daam, Francesca Piredda, Virginia Tassinari

Abstract: The German philosopher Hannah Arendt speaks of storytelling as the act of collecting fragments from the destruction of the mainstream, and weave them together in a narration. Arendt believes this act of telling stories is the real political action of opening up the common realm. This workshop aims to explore the role for storytelling, as described by Arendt, in design for social innovation. Grassroots social innovations are examples of alternatives to the mainstream which are emerging within our society. They require new forms of narratives in order to be fully understood and amplified. Participants in this workshop are triggered to weave together tangible fragments that are alternative to the mainstream of our consumeristic society, and create new narrations that imbed their political and poetical value. These stories will aim to open up new possibilities for societal change. Together we will reflect on the implications of storytelling and story-listening in our daily design practice.

Aim: To embrace storytelling as a means to understand the potentiality that lies beyond mainstream thinking.

Method: Using story fragments and weaving these together into stories. People joining the workshop will work individually telling stories of the objects another participants has brought to the workshop, and in small groups of about 3 members they will work to build a collective narrative. These will create a world from the objects collected. Narrative tools and techniques will be offered for the collective creative process.

Pre-task: Each participant must bring personal artefacts and their stories. They should select them based on their meaningful connection or personal memories under the theme of collective behaviour or coming together.

Participants: Max 12

Web link:

Contact e-mail address:

Download PDF.


Keep yourself updated, join the Nordes mailing list Twitter: @Nordes2015 E-mail: nordes2015 [at]