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Ground Tests

How designerly research is constructing tools and methods for extra-disciplinary knowledge practices?

Community Driven Studies and Activities in Extra-Disciplinary Art, Design, and Media Research.


Project's presentation

Ground Tests studies and elaborates art, design and media research. We undertake extra-disciplinary investigations that connect contexts, communities, and concerns through means that animate non-traditional knowledge practices. How should be these be composed, and how should they work ? Our ‘tests’ activate concepts and styles with their origins in cultures of art, design and media creativity, while diverting these modes toward socially and ecologically responsible issues and ends.

Ground Tests investigates current artistic perspectives, design practices, media systems and digital methods as cross-cutting activators of change, allowing human and nonhuman collectivities to represent and express their circumstances and interests, needs and desires. Informed by these explorations, this project tests and grounds the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of artistic and designerly investigations, through empirical experiments that are responsive, respectful and impactful. 

Ground Tests undertakes case studies and actions at the critical, permeable and shifting boundaries of ecology and culture, nature and science. The project draws on the experimental orientations of existing practitioners to inspire and enlarge our modes of creating site- and subject-specific inquiries with collective social, political, ecological import and impact. We intend an elaboration of the scope of research itself, what it is and what it does, as active and responsible engagements with the contexts in which this work is undertaken. How do we reflexively regard the repercussion and beneficiaries of knowledge practices? What accesses are created to the means and outcomes of creative research, in practice?


Critical Media Lab - Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures (IXDM)

Academy of Art and Design FHNW, Basel

Prof. Dr. Sophie Houdart

Study Contexts

Offshore School

Strelka Institute

Ursula Biemann

Floating University Berlin

Quartier Rouge

Goldsmiths Centre for Research Architecture


COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology - Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique