Hardt. M

Meike Hardt is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. Her research is on designing community-led (design) practices for the democratization of AI systems in public spaces/sectors, while scrutinizing the possibilities and limitations of „critical" (design) practices for inclusivity and equity in socio-technical contexts.

Academic Background

She is a multidisciplinary designer and a Ph.D. researcher at AI DeMos Lab since October 2022 with an interest in the political dimension of design practice and (design) economies using Intersectional feminist, Post-colonial, and Posthumanist theories as lenses. She was involved as a researcher and coordinator, in the project "Critical by Design?" at the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures (IXDM), FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland. From 2016 to 2020, she was co-founder of the design studio m—d—bureau in Zurich, and from 2014 to 2017, she was working as an assistant at the MA Design department of the Bern University for Arts (BUA).

Research Profile

Meike Hardt's research project deals with modalities of “critical” (design) practices to transform/undermine hegemonic power knowledge structures in AI systems within public space/spheres—assuming that, in order to enable critical engagement and democratization of AI systems within public space/spheres, design-disciplines have to change from within. For that reason, this research aims to design, experiment, and articulate community-led (design) practices to foster transparency and the democratization of AI systems, and, alternatives to common design practices, which following many decolonial and feminist design scholars too often reproduce the totalizing epistemology of modernity and its inherent exclusionary power structures and knowledge production. By linking democratization and AI systems with “critical” practices, dedicated to alternative and bottom-up ways of collaboration, economies, and value practices, this research work aims to explore their potential for transparency, inclusivity, and critical engagement, while simultaneously scrutinizing the limitations of their “critical” ability.

Involved in the project(s)

AI DeMoS lab

Media coverage:

  • Hard, M. Designing with Algorithms—Reflections on the Book Design. In: Dörrenbächer, J./Hassenzahl, M./Neuhaus, R./Ringfort-Felner, R. (2022). Meaningful Futures with Robots – About the Design of a New Coexistence with Machines. Taylor and Francis.
  • Elzenbaumer, B/Hardt, M. “Ci concimiamo a vicenda”, Building support structures as part of design practice. In: Mareis, M./Greiner-Petter, M./Renner, M. (2022). Critical by Design? Genealogies, Practices, Positions, Transcript. (link)
  • Förster, M/Hardt, M. Critical By Design? The book's design as SF figures. In: Mareis, M./Greiner-Petter, M./Renner, M. (2022). Critical by Design? Genealogies, Practices, Positions, Transcript. (link)
  • “Datenspuren: Data Traces: Big Data in the Context of Culture & Society”, Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures at Academy of Art and Design (FHNW) in cooperation with Haus der Elektronischen Künste Basel (HeK), 2015 (link)