Thrilled to announce that my new book “Inklusion als Entwurf” (Inclusion as Design) is now available!

»Wie wir Dinge gestalten, hat einen maßgeblichen Einfluss darauf, was oder wen wir als ›normal‹ oder ›normabweichend‹ empfinden. Design markiert somit die Grenzbereiche zwischen In- und Exklusion, indem es implizit Rollen- und Wertebilder konfiguriert und dabei gleichermaßen in den Herstellungs- und Deutungsprozess von Normalität involviert ist.

Wenn solche Normvorstellungen durch Design mitkonstruiert werden, bedeutet das im Umkehrschluss jedoch auch, dass sie sich durch Design dekonstruieren, also kritisch hinterfragen und verändern lassen: Design kann also auch Gegenmodelle entwickeln.

Tom Bieling deckt auf zahlreichen Ebenen Verbindungen von Design und Inklusion auf und leitet daraus nicht nur neue Operationsbereiche für Designer ab, sondern liefert auch Anknüpfungspunkte für andere Praxis- und Wissensfelder.«

[Foto: Hans Sauer Stiftung]

Ab 30. September 2019
Tom Bieling: Inklusion als Entwurf
Birkhäuser / DeGruyter
BIRD Board of International Research in Design
320 Seiten, deutsch
ISBN-10: 3035620202
ISBN-13: 978-3035620207


Book: Integrative Design

June 15, 2019

Design reflects social developments in those issues which are also embraced by design researchers. A key concept for how designers position themselves in the future, according to the editor’s thesis, may well be integrative design. This term denotes design’s potential for the integrative development of a society, a potential imperatively linked with economic and political positions.

The book Integrative Design collects basic essays on aspects of integrative design, including design after ownership, inclusion, design as an interface with society, the integration of design and technology, and the political agenda of design. The associated website documents research projects that expand on these aspects.

Essays by Jörg Petruschat, Tony Fry, Cameron Tonkinwise, Ursula Tischner,
Anna Meroni, Tom Bieling, Sandra Groll and Helge Oder.

Ralf Michel (Ed.): Integrative Design – Essays and Projects on Design Research
Birkhäuser / DeGrutyer / BIRD Board of International Research in Design
ISBN-13: 978-3038216445

Book: Discursive Design

April 20, 2019

Nice to see this MIT Press book by Bruce M. Tharpe and Stephanie M. Tharp has become real. Happy to play a tiny little part in it, too. #DesignFiction #CriticalDesign #SpeculativeDesign

TINCON (short for Teenage Internetwork Convention) is a conference for teenagers and young adults that revolves around the central theme of “digital youth culture”. In lectures, discussions and workshops, the 13- to 21-year-old visitors deal with topics such as digitalization, society, politics, environmental protection and lifestyle. I was invited to give a talk on the social aspects of technology and host a very exciting session with Dennis Wilkens and Beatrice Gold about the role of technology in our everyday lives.

Tom Bieling at TINCON 2016

In order to understand and to deal with contemporary societies, different concepts are possible or necessary. Some of the essential elements in Richard Sennett’s work to do so, are related to the notion of Work, Capitalism, City and also to Ritual and Religion as fundamental structures (of Society). A couple of days ago, i met Mr. Sennett* for a coffee and we had a fascinating conversation on material culture, democracy and according “power relations”, also the role of technology was discussed. The central question: What kind of technology do we need? Sennett put it in a nutshell, as you will see in this designabilities video.

* Richard Sennett ist the Centennial Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and University Professor oft he Humanities at New York University. Sennett has studied social ties in cities, and the effects of urban living on invividuals in the modern world.


January 11, 2014

F L U G M U S I K (Projektleitung: Tillmann Dehnhard & Tom Bieling

Eine Woche lang arbeiteten Studierende aus verschiedenen Fachbereichen der Berliner Universität der Künste (UdK) zusammen an fliegenden Klangobjekten und klingenden Flugobjekten. Objekte, die schweben, gleiten, geworfen oder katapultiert werden. Objekte, die klingen, singen, knattern und flüstern. Einzige Grundbedingungen: kein Strom, kein Schwarzpulver. Leitung: Tilmann Dehnhard (Jazzinstitut Berlin) Tom Bieling (Design Research Lab) Videoschnitt: Antje Lass.
Das Projekt F L U G M U S I K ist Teil der “Campus Kollision” 2014 (Trailer).


July 23, 2013

In the winter semester 2012/13, a group of 130 9th semester graphic-, media- and product-design students from German University in Cairo (GUC) and GUC Campus Berlin have been participating in the Cairo- and Berlin-based Project “DESIGN IN(G) SOCIETY”, lead by Tom Bieling (Design Research Lab, Berlin). The intercultural project, related to the course “Advanced Research Methods”, focuses on the designer’s role in terms of understanding, influencing and creating social sustainable processes in urban context. The guiding questions were: What role does the design of urban environment and public spaces play in terms of enabling or hindering social interaction? What role do “objects” play in this context? A special fo­cus was laid out on social Interaction between people with “conflict potential” (e.g. old-young, man-woman, rich-poor, different cultural or religious backgrounds, state — people, etc….). Final goal of the course was, to find (designerley) ways of solving the social Problems, the participants discovered, using the broad range of de­sign-relevant issues and skillz (e.g. Product-, Service-, Information-, Interaction-, Event-, …Design).

This video collects some of the manifold impressions from the project. The project has been accomponied by a blog, meant to document the process and the outcomes of this project. Click here, if you want to learn more about DESIGN IN(G) SOCIETY!

Credits: The video contains material from the following project teams, in its order of appearance: Project “The burial Chamber” (Hesham Ashour, Mohamed El Kholy, Shreef Kamesh) Project “New Cairo Residents vs Street Vendors” (Ahd Badawy, Heba Sherif, Mariam El-Tonsy, Nadine Azim, Yasmine Motaleb) Project “Kiosk Hangout” (Alyaa El Gharby, Aya El-Shawarby, Dina El Said, Nehal Reda, Salma Bayoumi, Sara Sallam) Project “Don’t judge me!” (Ayounour Hussein, Farah Galal, Salma El Far, Samar Khazbak, Shaymaa Ezzo, ) Project “Sexual Harassment” (Aya Elsify, Esraa Thabet, Hend Awad, Mennat-Allah Kheireldin, Norhan Abdelmosen, Noura Hussein)

Supervision: Tom Bieling, 2012/13

Interview Flux FM

May 1, 2013

Tom Bieling im Interview mit Jan Mölleken (Flux FM) am 14.04.2013

Radio Interview on the Project DESIGN IN(G) SOCIETY.

To listen or download the Interview click here! (Language: German).

For further Infos on the project click here!

Or “watch” it on Youtube:

At the Design Research Lab, we develop the Mobile Lorm Glove, a mobile communication and translation device for the deaf-blind. The prototype translates the hand-touch alphabet “Lorm”, a common form of communication used by people with both hearing and vision impairment, into text and vice versa.

Textile pressure sensors located on the palm of the glove enable the deafblind user to “lorm” on his or her own hand to compose text messages. A Bluetooth connection transmits the data from the glove to the user’s handheld device. It is then forwarded to the receiver’s handheld device in the form of an SMS. If the wearer of the Mobile Lorm Glove receives a text message, the message will be forwarded via Bluetooth from his or her handheld device to the glove. Initiated by small vibration motors located on the back of the glove, tactile feedback patterns allow the wearer to perceive incoming messages.

The Mobile Lorm Glove provides particularly two innovative ways of communication for deafblind people: it supports mobile communication over distance, e.g. text message, chat or e-mail, and it enables parallel one-to-many communication, which is especially helpful in school and other learning contexts. With this newly developed technology and interaction, it will soon become possible to also “feel” e-Books or audiobooks. The Mobile Lorm Glove functions as a simultaneous translator and makes communicating with others without knowledge of “Lorm” possible. As a result, it empowers deaf-blind people to engage with a wider social world and further enhances their independence.

The next step of our research will be to prepare the implementation of direct speech input and output.

Team: Tom Bieling, Ulrike Gollner