About Annelies Vaneycken
My practice addresses the intersection of design, art, politics, social engagement, and everyday life where I design supportive structures, alternative spaces, and public narratives that aim to disrupt and open up conventional perspectives and attitudes towards specific social groups in society whilst aiding the further development of the democratic project. In my projects, I often engage in ethnographic and participatory engagement with members of these groups, and in many cases, my design interventions occur in public space.
I have been trained as a visual communication designer/designer (MFA Graphic Design at LUCA School of Arts Brussels & MFA Design at Sandberg institute Amsterdam) and obtained my Ph.D. in Design at HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design, University of Gothenburg.
My main research interest lies in investigating the role of design in the further development of democracy, social inclusion, and sustainability. My research approach combines Research through Design and Design Anthropology and connects to political ambition, human rights, and sustainability.
I am involved in ongoing research with colleagues in MFA Child Culture Design on children’s involvement in design processes by critically analysing and improving methodologies such as co-design and participatory design. We here focus on the role of play, affordance, and openness.
My Ph.D. thesis: Designing ‘for’ and ‘with’ ambiguity: actualising democratic processes in participatory design practices with children (available in GUPEA) holds an explanation of the Ambiguity-Approach I have developed for creating more free, equal, and just participatory design processes when children and adult designer collaborate on a common project.
I was a 2014-2017 Research Fellow in the EU Marie Curie project TRADERS where I (as Office for Public Play) explored free play as a participatory design approach when working with children on their participation in public space issues.
I am currently teaching in MFA Child Culture Design and MFA Embedded Design where I teach on, amongst other things, design methodologies and methodologies for collaboration (e.g., co-design, participatory design).