About

I am an Amsterdam based designer and researcher. My focus is on teaching and lecturing, while developing self-initiated projects in design research, exploring hybrid modes of practice between design, theory and the political. I value research as a way of inhabiting practice and taking on a critical approach. An attentive merging of art and theory has been a core aspect in my work, both in education and artistic research.

Current research interests and areas of work include ecologies of communication, politics of communication, noise, participatory methods, emerging modes of practice, socially responsible design, practice based research, decolonising practices, spectrality studies.

My PhD ‘Miscommunicating and design: researching miscommunication as a proposition for designing political scenes’ was developed at the Design department, Goldsmiths, University of London, under the supervision of Jennifer Gabrys (Sociology) and Bill Gaver (Design). In my dissertation, I forward the concept of miscommunication as a creative and productive part of communication. I explore this concept as a proposition for designing political scenes through three figures: the parasite, the idiot and the diplomat, borrowing from the theoretical framework of Michel Serres and Isabelle Stengers—exploring noise, impasses and forms of exchange that take on misunderstanding. I draw out material and performative dimensions of communication and eco-political modalities of practice, looking to foster new qualities of participation in public space.

My background is in communication design, type design and typography. As a communication designer I have worked in a variety of settings and places, and also maintained a regular activity as a teacher in higher education. I have extensive experience with working community-based projects, and collaborating with others such as the collective Cascoland or Theatre of the Oppressed. I have initiated many workshops in design thinking and practice.

Barbara@barbaranevesalves.net