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Anja Neidhardt-Mokoena

Doctoral student at the UID and the Centre for Gender Studies.


Works at

Doctoral student at Umeå Institute of Design (UID)
-, Östra Strandgatan 30 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå
Affiliated as doctoral student at Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)
Samhällsvetarhuset, Plan 4

My PhD research project explores potential ways in which the entanglement of design and its museums with oppressive structures might be understood and addressed in order to bring about positive change. It combines design research and feminist research to get insights into how established design museums have been shaped over time, how their interwovenness with systems of oppression might be challenged, un-raveled or at least be re-arranged. This thesis demonstrates that there is hope, and formulates characteristics and qualities that could make alternative design museums.

Before starting my PhD in 2019, I worked as a design journalist and educator. Between 2018 and 2021 I co-created the platform depatriarchise design (now part of Futuress) together with its founder Maya Ober. In 2019 I also collaborated with Lisa Baumgarten on the project Teaching Design that she continues to lead. I hold a Master degree in Design Curating and Writing from Design Academy Eindhoven, and a Bachelor degree in Communication Design from Academy of Visual Arts, Frankfurt am Main.

Feminist ethnographies: methodological reflections in gender research, Umeå: Umeå University 2023 : 90-106
Neidhardt-Mokoena, Anja
Nordes 2023: Exploratory papers
Neidhardt-Mokoena, Anja; Wiltse, Heather
Imagine elsewhere - a day for re-thinking design museums, Online and Växjö, Sweden, November 29, 2022
Neidhardt, Anja
DRS2022: Research papers
Neidhardt, Anja; Wiltse, Heather; Croon Fors, Anna
Design struggles: intersecting histories, pedagogies, and perspectives, Amsterdam: Valiz 2021 : 205-225
Flesler, Griselda; Neidhardt, Anja; Ober, Maya
Design Research Society Festival of Emergence, online, September 6-17, 2021
Neidhardt, Anja
Kompliz*innen. Dezentrale Versammlung für emanzipatorische Gestaltung, Online, April 15-16, 2021
Neidhardt, Anja
Basel: depatriarchise design 2020
Futuress, ; Depatriachise design,
interactions, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) 2020, Vol. 27, (6) : 19-21
Neidhardt, Anja; Ober, Maya

Research projects

1 September 2019 until 31 August 2025

I believe that there is much potential in design education to contribute to shaping a more just design discipline that itself becomes able to take part in changing society for the better. My role as design educator is informed by both intersectional feminist theories and practices. At Umeå Institute of Design, I teach in the Bachelor program, as well as in the Master program Interaction Design. I mainly bring in a critical feminist approach to the project in question, support the students to develop a foundational understanding of norm-criticality in design and of feminist methodologies and epistemologies. I am always keen to bring in sources and examples from what is usually seen as outside of the well-established design discipline, like projects by activists or fiction pieces and popular podcasts.