Lynn is a design researcher based in Berlin, exploring the wondrous world of science.

Since her studies in Communication Design, Lynn Harles has been involved in exploring the potential of the interdisciplinary intersection of design and science, regarding societal, technological and environmental challenges. In her master project “Design in the Anthropocene” (2016), she accompanied researchers in their work on plastic waste pollution in the oceans and collaborated with material scientists on biobased alternatives. Fore her, the role of design is not only to develop sustainable products, but rather to act as a translator and facilitator in responsible research and innovation processes. The design discipline itself is a scientific field in its own right, which renegotiates the boundaries and understanding of science.

She is currently holding a position as Research Fellow at the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation in Berlin.  As part of her work, she explores Responsible Foresight approaches for public engagement of science. In the research project „Food Fictions“ funded by BMBF, she developed a systematic approach for interdisciplinary scenario development  („Fact to fiction“) and explored food tastings and speculative podcast episodes as new format for science communication on bioeconomic topics. She is currently involved in a collaborative research project „Transferwissenschaft“ on the potential of design for interdisciplinary knowledge transfer in innovation ecosystems. In the project, she is investigating which approaches, methods and competencies the design discipline can use to counteract current challenges in science communication.

Beside her practice-based work, Lynn is also a PHD candidate at Bauhaus-University in Weimar. In her thesis „Embodying Uncertainties”  she develops and explores new formats for public engagement in science through design. She questions how scientific uncertainties and ambivalent research topics like (quantum physics, biotechnology) can be communicated to enable public debates. Against this background, she examines how speculative design practices (SDP) evolving from Critical Design (such as speculative design, design fiction, or discursive design) can be used to develop discursive formats for „postnormal science communication“.
At the design research level, the dissertation focuses on the process of knowledge production through SDP, which has been little researched so far. A first attempt in this dissertation is to develop a systematic process („Fact to Impact“) based on qualitative content analysis and use cases, which allows transdisciplinarity, traceability to scientific facts as well as impact measurement.

In the context of her research interests in science communication, she is particularly interested in science topics that deal with invisible and hard-to-imagine phenomena that continually challenge our understanding of nature, such as quantum physics, microbiology, and genetics. She wants to give shape to the invisible main protagonists of the universe, to remind us that we humans are only a small part of a very complex ecosystem.

Take a Fact and Act, 2020
„From Fact to Artifact – Ethical responsible speculative design“
Digital Lecture at Universität der Künste, Berlin

Berlin Science Week, 2020
Digital Keynote
„Hungry for Science Symposium“ – Berlin

Speculative Futures Meetup, 2020 
Digital Keynote
„Food Fictions – Speculative Food  Design“ – Berlin

12. Forum Wissenschaftskommunikation , 2019
Keynote & Fishbowl
„Zukunft gestalten. Design Fiction als Methode für bidirektionale Wissenschaftskommunikation“-Essen

Design for good, 2019
Lecture and Keynote
Bauhaus-University Weimar -Weimar

Collaborate to Innovate, 2019
„Design for Good“ – Berlin

Global Biosummit Community, 2019
Attendee 2019
Massachusetts Institute of Technology –  Boston

Silbersalz Science & Media Festival, 2019
Moderation Panel Discussion
„Art, Technology & the environment“

The Open End Festival, 2019
„How to create desirable futures through science & design“

Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel, 2019
Lecture in terms of the exhibition „PRODUCT(ION)“
„Towards a planet-centered future through the interdisciplinary field of science and design“

Harles, L & Heidingsfelder, M. (2021). From fact to artifact. Design for Common Good. Swiss Design Network Conference. Basle

Harles, L. (2020). Speculations on the role of design in a biotechnosphere. Form Design Magazine, voraussichtliche Veröffentlichung Feb 2020

Harles, Lynn; Heidingsfelder, Marie; Jütting, Malte; Lemke, Svenja (2019): Design for Innovation Toolbox. Berlin.

Harles, L. (2019). Rwandan ways of thinking: How to use cultural dynamics for society-based innovations. Slanted Special Issue Rwanda, 102-103.

Harles, L. (2015). Pineapples, global waves and new design era. Forum Magazin für Politik, Gesellschaft und Kultur. Ausgabe Nr. 356 , Seite 52ff.

Food Fictions | 2020
Natural Museum of History in Berlin

In terms of my position at Fraunhofer,
funded by the BMBF in terms of „Wissenschaftsjahr 2020/21“
in collaboration with Studio Ellery, IZT  an MfN


Designbiennale Luxembourg | 2016

„The Revolution of Things“ in terms of Local Craft Meets Design
Cercle Cité

Since 2019
PHD Candidate (Faculty of Art & Design)
Bauhaus-University Weimar

Since Feb 18
FRAUNHOFER IAO | Centre for Responsible Research and Innovation
Design Researcher at „Design-Based Strategies“ 

MA Communication Design
University of Applied Sciences Trier

BA Communication Design
University of Applied Sciences Trier


Expeditionsmitglied | Volontariat
Fokus: Erneuerbare Energien & sozialer Wandel
Ladakh, Nordindien | Juni 2016


Forschungsassistenz | Praktikum
Fokus: Genforschung & Umweltschutz | Buckelwale
Puerto Lopez, Ecuador | September 2015


Expeditionsmitglied | Volontariat
Fokus: Auswirkungen von Mikroplastiken auf Plankton
Nord Atlantik Überquerung | Juli 2015


Forschungsassistenz | Praktikum
Fokus: Tierschutz | Florida Seekühe
Cristal River, Florida | Januar 2015

Gold Winner: Young Talents
Project: „Design in the Anthropocene“

Nomininated for: Newcomer Communication + Product Design
Project: Woodpacker