By Design or by Disaster

Christa Müller

Dr. Christa Müller (Germany) is a sociologist and committed to research on postmaterial lifestyles and on sustainable concepts of prosperity. She was awarded a PhD in sociology by the University of Bielefeld and received the Schweisfurth Research Award for Ecological Economics. She has undertaken fieldwork in Costa Rica, Mexico and Germany. Currently she is director of the joint foundation anstiftung in Munich. She teaches at different Universities. Her most recent books (in German): “Urban Gardening” and Stadt der Commonisten. Neue urbane Räume des Do it yourself (together with Andrea Baier and Karin Werner). Christa Müller blogs at and 

Glocal Design Spring 2015 | 27.3. | 14:30

The DIY-Movement: an aesthetic and ecological recommencement?

The subtle loss of self-determination, experiences of alienation, standardized „Lebenswelten“, commodification of nearly all social subsystems: the status of consumption has become hegemonic. And, of course, it produces various cultures of resistance. Ultimately these cultures arise right in the middle of urban areas. Informal actors are experimenting with informal design concepts reclaiming the cities and the public spaces. Self-built laboratories such as urban community gardens, open labs or intelligent social design concepts for refugee problems are increasing from bottom up. In these experimental areas we observe the search for appropriate ways of dealing with new problems that market and state as allocation instances cannot provide anymore.


Interesting questions / statements

Do we find in the Do-it-yourself-movement an aesthetic and ecological recommencement?

How can we protect revitalized urban spaces from commercialization and gentrification ?

What do we need design for?[/two_third_last]