“Crip Making” keynote by Aimi Hamraie, 16 September 2021, 7–8:30pm (CEST)

Download Flyer


Is design informed by the lived experiences of disability inherently political? Several concepts exist within critical disability studies to name disability-led design. These include crip technoscience (Hamraie 2017; Hamraie and Fritsch 2019), “microactivist affordances” (Dokumaci 2020), “Criptastic hacking” (Yergeau 2014), and the “design theory of disability” (Guffey and Williamson). These approaches center disability as a latent feature of material culture, a difference that results in designing otherwise. Yet, design by disabled people renders disability as an individual identity, rather than a methodological or cultural framework for approaching the world. In this talk, I take a more expansive approach by thinking about the field of “crip making” as a relational and epistemological phenomenon. I contrast crip making with disability making geared toward normalization and assimilation. Then, I read crip making practices through feminist concepts of standpoint epistemology and situated knowledge, philosophies of “critical making” and “critical design,” and theories of “design friction.” Finally, I draw on examples from the Critical Design Lab to illustrate crip making as a frictioned, relational approach to design that approaches accessibility as an always-unfinished project.


Aimi Hamraie (they/them) is Associate Professor of Medicine, Health, & Society and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, and director of the Critical Design Lab. Hamraie is author of Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) and host of the Contra* podcast on disability, design justice, and the lifeworld. They identify as disabled, SWANA, and diasporic Iranian. Their interdisciplinary research spans critical disability studies, science and technology studies, critical design and urbanism, critical race theory, and the environmental humanities. More Information


German Sign Language Interpretation will be provided during the public talks.

Please let us know about any further accessibility requirements. Email to robert.stock [at] hu-berlin.de by 15 August 2021.


Please sign up through the Zoom registration page linked below to receive access to the public discussion, maker session and keynotes: https://hu-berlin.zoom.us/meeting/register/u50tdemupzMjGtK077RmdOcB26_v7OGXyG2g.

More Information

Read more about the program.