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TU Berlin

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Merle Ibach

Researcher in Residence
Technische Universität Berlin /
Einstein Center Digital Future


Merle Ibach works, researches, publishes, and teaches in the field of Design Culture.  She is a junior researcher at the Institute of Contemporary Design Practices, FHNW Academy of Art and Design, Basel. Between 2016 and 2019, she worked as a research assistant on the project "Shift Register" at the Critical Media Lab, Basel. Shift Register was a workshop-based investigation of the critical makers of the Anthropocene. In 2018, she completed her Master of Arts in Integrative Design with a field study on the knowledge objects of the 'Open Movement', an open source community in Switzerland developing an OS clock mechanism. Since 2019, she is part of the SNSF-funded project 'Commons in Design' and a PhD candidate at the doctoral research group 'Digital Media / Knowledge Cultures' at Leuphana University Lüneburg. In her PhD project, she focuses on design cultures, in particular the maker movement, and asks how 'future' is negotiated in and through 'making'. Her research is based on empirical field studies, autoethnographic experiments, and participatory workshops. By using multiple methodological approaches, she intends to get a profound understanding of the interplay between different human and non-human actors, practices, and imaginaries.

From September 2021 to January 2022 she was a researcher in residence at the Chair for Open Science at the Technische Universät Berlin and the Einstein Center Digital Future. During that time, she conducted a participatory workshop in which she practically investigated the relationship between DIY and uncertainty. She has published the first results of her PhD research in the Critical Makers Reader (2020) of the Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam and in the edited volume NERD 2 (2021) of the Board of International Research in Design.

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