One of the great challenges of scientific research is to communicate your work outside the well-established and therefore comfortable boundaries of science papers. (READ MORE)

1. »How to conquer the world?«, collaboratively designed slideshow by members of »Graduate College«, Heidelberg University, result of a »Thinking Hands« workshop 2016:

2. »How does research on evolution help to survive in the future?«, collaboratively designed visual for children by members of »Graduate College«, Heidelberg University, result of a »Thinking Hands« workshop 2016:

3. »Finding a Partner for Life«, collaboratively designed slideshow by members of »Guse Laboratory«, Heidelberg University, result of a »Thinking Hands« workshop 2014:

Contact Stephanie for an individually designed workshop

Contact Thomas Hotko / Brainds for consultancy

Workshops in Cooperation with »Brainds«/Vienna.

About Thinking Hands workshops in cooperation with „Brainds
Doctoral Thesis, 2012 – 2015
»Thinking Hands – A Social Design approach«
Mentor: Marion Elias

In 2015 I finished my doctoral thesis »Thinking Hands – A Social Design approach«. Within that work I described and tested the method »Thinking Hands« that I developed and applied to social design needs. It was inspired by an extensive experience of collaborate drawing with my artist colleagues Katrin Funcke/Illustrator, Berlin, Kristina Heldmann/Illustrator, Berlin, Ute Helmbold/Illustrator, Essen, Soenke Hollstein/Designer and illustrator, Berlin and Stefan Michaelsen/Designer and illustrator, Essen.

»Thinking Hands – A Social Design approach«
Social Design is a currently worldwide movement that strictly requires social justice, cooperation, sympathy, and interdisciplinarity, thereby differing profoundly from commercial and author based design. Exploring the nature of Social Design, I discovered a specific collaborative illustration method that matches this design practice. I have named it »Thinking Hands«.

»Thinking Hands« aims to generate an illustrative composite work that functions as a collective memory. It develops when people with common interests draw and supplement each other’s drawings, finally assembling the essence together. Watching other participants draw creates sympathy for their perspectives because it is an act of intui- tively sharing ideas. Sympathy bears cooperation and care, which are requisite features of Social Design.

The method allows a barrier-free analyses of complex issues by combining multiple perspectives ranging from childlike logic to expert knowledge. Innovative connections – a flow of ideas and design – become possible.
»Thinking Hands« is suitable for socially relevant topics as well as for scientific issues. Scientists can visualize their research questions without technical language and thereby more easily engage in public discourse, a relevant objective for universities and research institutions that is crucial in generating societal interest and funding. At the same time, it offers the prospect of lively exchange across disciplines, an increasingly important and desireable goal in consideration of complex social and environmental problems.

This thesis compiles a characterization of Social Design and highlights how »Thinking Hands« can be used as a social innovative tool for it with regard to society, education, and responsible design.