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

Lynn is currently working as a Design Researcher and Creative Engagement Manager at the Natural History Museum in Berlin, where she explores and showcases the value of design research for science communication, public engagement and collaborative learning processes in natural sciences dealing with climate change and planetary health. For her, natural history museums are innovations hubs for climate action and a key-stakeholder sustainable design and innovation processes.
She wants to bridge Design with scientific disciplines in the design education, to support design students following a career in science and to support to shape the field of design research in Germany.
She is also PHD Student, a voluntary mentor at Experimental Realisme and a Jury member at German Graduate Design Award 2023.
She is super lazy in updating this website, that does not yet show her broad range of recent and current projects.

The whole story:
Already since her studies in Communication Design at HS Trier, 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 field work on plastic waste pollution in the oceans and collaborated with material scientists on bio-based, speculative materialities.  For 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.

From 2018 to 2023, she was working as Research Fellow at the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation in Berlin.  As part of her work, she explored the value of Design Approaches, such Co-Design, Speculative and Critical Design approaches for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) as well as Science Communication and Public Engagement on a diverse range of topics.
In terms of this position, she developed her own research project „Food Fictions“ funded by BMBF (2021) aiming at using „speculative food design“ as narrative tool for science communication and public engagement on planetary health – from pop-up exhibitions, to cooking workshops to podcasts episodes. She was also involved in  „Transferwissenschaft“ , where she coined the value of design research for interdisciplinary knowledge transfer. To do so, she explored the commonalities between design and science since the 1960s to question supposed contradictions between different disciplines. For her, science and design are complementing each other – while science understands the world in its being, design understands the world in its becoming.

Beside her practice-based work, Lynn is also a PHD candidate at Bauhaus-University in Weimar. In her thesis, with the current working title „Between extinct species and speculative artifacts: Natural History Museum as catalysts for climate action through Design research“, she explores future roles of natural history museums (NHM) at the intersection of design research, science communication and public engagement. A special focus is placed on the role of speculative artifacts in bridging the gap between knowledge from the past, challenges of the present and probable solutions for the near future.

Following the hypothese, that NHM are the Design Research Labs of the future, she explores the potentials of intersection of NHM and Design Universities and their value for Design Education in Germany.

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.

Between extinct species and speculative artifacts: How science communication and public engagement on socio-ecological issues can benefit from design research” , 2023
Digital Lecture at Lucerne School of Art and Design

Transfer by Design: Was kann die Transferwissenschaft von der Designforschung lernen?, 2022
Digital Conference in terms of „Transferforum 2022

Mapping Experts, Building Networks: Ein interaktives Instrument für die strategische Planung von Wissenschaftskommunikation für missionsorientierten Transfer in Forschungseinrichtungen., 2022
In co-authorship with Dr. Konstantin Kiprijanov,
Digital Conference in terms of „Transferforum 2022

Panel on Science Journalism“, 2022
Panel Discussion at Annual Synbio Conference
organised by German Association on Synthethic Biology

„Quantum Weirdness and a world without time: What can
speculative design practices learn from quantum phsyics?“, 2022
Digital conference keynote,
Primer Conference

Grantler’s corner „Design, Forschung, Wissenschaft“, 2022
Panel Discussion at Munich Creative Businessweek

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 February 2023
Creative Engagement Manager
Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin /
Berlin School of Public Engagement and Open Science

Since 2020
PHD Candidate (Faculty of Art & Design)
Bauhaus-University Weimar

FRAUNHOFER IAO | Centre for Responsible Research and Innovation
Senior Researcher at „Co-Design and Transferstrategies“ 

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