AI and More-than-Human Design

IDE Design Master Class for Professionals

A New Approach to Designing with Artificial Intelligence

In our masterclass AI and More-than-Human Design you will get your hands on an unconventional toolbox of concepts and design methods that expand your ability to design responsibly in a messy world. Digital things today can sense, reason, and learn in ways that previous industrially produced objects could not. To access their hidden ecosystems and enable better designs, we need a fundamentally new way of designing with data and algorithms.



Powered by data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, connected things (from product service systems to conversational agents) can sense, think and learn in ways that previous industrially produced objects could not. A more holistic perspective is needed to fully understand the different worldviews and capabilities that human and artificial actors bring to the digital transformation of society, and to create the conditions for responsible and sustainable digital futures. This fundamentally new perspective is More-than-Human Design.


Learning Objectives

During this master class you will:

  • Understand the fluid and entangled nature of things in a digital world;
  • Apply ideas of more-than-human design to expand human imagination and capabilities in creating the conditions for inclusive and sustainable digital futures;
  • Select and devise more-than-human design tools and techniques in design practice.


  • More-than-human design theory and methodology;
  • Methods and tools of more-than-human design;
  • Cases and examples of more-than-human design.



9:00 Registration and welcome drinks

Introduction and overview
Overview of the master class, aims and structure, expectations and background of the participants

10:00 Lecture – Fundamentals of More-than-Human Design with Elisa Giaccardi

Overview of more-than-human design as a framework to help designers understand and attend to complex ecosystems of people, services, and products. Examples.

11:00 Break

Lecture - Interview with Things with Elisa Giaccardi
Introduction to Interview with Things. How to frame and reframe a design problem by considering the agency of things and their effects on our experience.


at the Porceleyne Fles

14:00 Workshop – Interview with Things with Iohanna Nicenboim

Techniques for conducting Interview with Things. Exercises for practicing the application of the presented techniques.

15:30 Break

Workshop – Interview with Things (continued) with Iohanna Nicenboim

Using insights from Interview with Things. Exercises for deriving design requirements, ideation and prototyping.

17:00 Wrap-up and conclusive thoughts
17:30 End of the first day
9:30 Reflections and adjustments
10:00 Lecture - Thing Ethnography with Elisa Giaccardi

Introduction to Thing Ethnography. How to gain access to worldviews and ecosystems unattainable with traditional design methods.

11:00 Break

Workshop - Thing Ethnography with Dave Murray-Rust

Techniques and demo on how to use sensors for Thing Ethnography. Exercises for practicing the application of the presented techniques.

13:00 Lunch
at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering

Workshop - Thing Ethnography (continued) with Dave Murray-Rust

Using insights from Thing Ethnography. Exercises for deriving design requirements, ideation and prototyping.

15:30 Break
16:00 Case study with Elisa Giaccardi
Discussion of a case study. Benefits, challenges, and limitations of More-than-Human Design. Application of main insights to participants’ own practice.
17:00 Wrap up and conclusive thoughts
17:30 Drinks and closing

Practical Information

How to prepare?
One week before the course, you will receive a homework assignment to get prepared for the master class. The preparation will require approximately two hours. Furthermore, it can be useful if you think of a case from your design practice to bring to the course.

The preparation material (including case studies, reflection questions, and relevant articles) will be sent as a PDF by email. Participants will receive the reader at the beginning of the course. Hand-outs of all lectures will be provided with space for personal notes. All materials provided are included in the course fee.

After the course
Two months after the course, a consultation timeslot will be offered to all participants to share experiences and ask questions. The format and the timing will be discussed with the participants during the IDE Master Class.