Prof. Dr. Florian Conradi

Open Science / Critical Design

Since August 2019, Florian Conradi is a visiting professor at the Technische Universität Berlin and the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF). Together with Michelle Christensen, he holds the professorship for ‘Open Science / Critical Design’.

Prof. Dr. Florian Conradi is a designer and researcher, combining critical theory and design practice as an approach to critical making. Using the means and principles of free and open technologies, he explores the politics of design within the digital society. Florian Conradi studied communication design at the University of Applied Sciences Mainz and art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. He went on to complete an M.F.A. in design at the Sandberg Institute (Gerrit Rietveld Academie) in Amsterdam, an M.A. in integrated design at the Köln International School of Design in Cologne, and wrote his Ph.D. (Dr. phil.) in the field of Design Research at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin). Since 2008 he has been initiating sociopolitical design projects with institutions in the field of critical media and political advocacy, carrying out field research in Europe, as well as in the Middle East, East and West Africa. As a research associate, he has worked for the University of Applied Sciences Mainz, the Design Research Lab at the UdK Berlin, and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence. From 2018-2022 he co-headed the research group ‘Critical Maker Culture’ at the UdK Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute together with Michelle Christensen – and since September 2022 he co-heads the research group ‘Design, Diversity and New Commons’. He has taught critical approaches to design and design methods at amongst other places the Köln International School of Design, the UdK Berlin, and most recently, as a visiting professor at the international Master program in Integrated Design at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau.

In the framework of their visiting professorships at the Einstein Center Digital Future, Florian Conradi and Michelle Christensen explore the potential of research practiced within open labs as a mode of open science. Currently, they are initiating the ‘Critical Maker Lab’ as a site of research – as a transdisciplinary and trans-university terrain that attempts to exceed the boundaries of theory and practice, the political and the everyday, and academia and activism. This with the aim to probe new modes of collaboration within research, in order to surface critical perspectives and practices. Within the Critical Maker Lab, their research, teaching and experimental design practice focuses on decolonial, feminist/queer theoretical and sustainable approaches to critical making and free/open technologies.   

Florian Conradi is particularly looking forward to unexpected collaborations with other scientists in order to experimentally challenge his own research interests through an interdisciplinary dialogue and thereby create new collaborations. "The ECDF offers me the opportunity for an open dialogue and an academic experimental space to build bridges between civil society, politics and science. Critical perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in a digital society must be addressed and developed together," he says.