Guest Lecturer(s)

Simon Meienberg

Area of Expertise

Design Theory and Research


At the centre of research in the MethodsLab »Design as a Practice of Correspondence« was the careful re-examination and expansion of our understanding of urban environments beyond the dominant anthropocentric perspective. Therefore, we challenged our common notions of what it means to be human by »acknowledging the ways in which animals, materials, devices, atmospheres, and other things affect us in what we do as much as we affect their existence in the world.«1

One attempt of creating symmetric anthropology with linkages between corporeality, materiality, and sociality presents Tim Ingold’s concept of Correspondence. »To correspond with the world, in short, is not to describe it, or to represent it, but to answer to it«2. Ingold’s more-than-representational approach engages in fashioning ongoing-processual, open-ended, conversational, inclusive, and future-oriented worlds3.

Combining theoretical positions from anthropologists and practice based design experiments, the lab addresses methodological questions concerning the re-conceptualisation of the relation between design and urban environment from both theoretical and practice-based positions. The participants experimented with their sensitivity towards the perception of a chosen space by mapping relational interactions between human and non-human entities.

Further, they used the designer’s capacity of knowing-by-designing in the process of critical inquiry using imagination, speculation, and improvisation as methods for crafting hybrid mappings and »future-oriented spaces of sensory engagement where anthropological knowledge can emerge.«4

This course was part of the KISD Integrated Design Master program and aimed at introducing contemporary and experimental methods of design research. Organised around the themes of spatial perception and urban interaction the lab focussed on the understanding of ethnographic practice and the emergent field of design anthropology.


[1, 4] García Molina, A., & Weidle, F. (2019, January 21). Correspondence. Society for Cultural Anthropology. accessed 7 July 2021.

[2] Gunn, W., & Donovan, J. (2016). Design and anthropology. Routledge. 144.

[3] Ingold, T. (2019). Art and anthropology for a sustainable world. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 25 (4), 659–675.

Funded by the Digital Learning Transfer Fellowship,
Stifterverband & Reinhard Frank Foundation