Lynn is a design researcher based in Berlin. She loves science, fiction and microbes.

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 found that the role of design is not only to develop more sustainable products, but rather to act as a translator and facilitator in innovation processes. Since then, she has dedicated herself to establish a new understanding of design.

She is currently holding a position as Research Fellow at the Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation in Berlin, where she explores the potential of speculative and social design practices to enable novel ways of public engagement in science and to foster societal-based innovations. In other words: She strives to depict complex and radical technologies and their possible social impacts, in order to raise questions about the “sooner-now”. Her practical work is ranging from speculative product design to fictional virtual spaces.

Beside her practice-based work, Lynn is also a PHD candidate at Bauhaus-University in Weimar. In her thesis “From fact to artifact” she aims to expand the ideological notion of speculative design practices evolving from Critical Design (Design Fiction, Speculative Deign, Associative Design etc) by trying to establish them as a scientific practice within the framework of society-oriented innovation research.

The content of her work focuses mainly on biotechnological and bioeconomic innovations such as synthetic biology, gene engineering and microbial cell factories, that are challenging our understanding of nature, evolution and what it means to be human. Therefore, her research topics range from food futures, bioeconomy, urban-rural developments and health.

Fascinated by the hidden potential of microbes, her independent research project „Welcome to the Microbiocene” is currently speculating about how the ongoing domestication of microbes can lead to radical new biobased innovations and novel social perceptions of coliving with bacteria and viruses.

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