On Designing Hope


Hope fuels our actions to change the present and aspire for a better future. Hope bears transformative power and is in itself a creative and formative force. The hopeful mind does not give up but continues to invent solutions for problems it is faced with. It constantly imagines alternatives for the given, utopias that have the potential of becoming true. But this restless pursuit of the better is what makes hope a bittersweet pill, as it makes us endure the worst just for the sake of hoping that some day things might change, as long as we continue working and fighting for it. Hope is what’s left to humankind after Pandora opened her mythical box. The great evils escaped torturing us from then on – however, hope remained. The question raised is whether hope is the means to challenge all evils or, as German philosopher Nietzsche would put it, the greatest evil of them all? Either way: Hope is a mighty force.


This is what makes it so appealing to designers, politicians and advertisers. Hope can be used and abused by stirring up fears or amplifying confidence. The tools for this are the rhetorics of hope which manifest in images and imaginaries or in endless speeches peppered with the adequate keywords and delivered in the right tone. Technologies play a crucial part in this, as they are invented and used to maintain these rhetorics. At the same time they are also subject to our hopes. Although we don’t follow a modernist idea of technological progress leading to a brighter future anymore, we still engineer our world to tackle ecological, political and social deficits.



The exhibition was funded by




Hope Lab, Digital Debate Lab and exchange programs were funded by



Curated by Alexandra Waligorski & Jeanne Charlotte Vogt

Art Mediation: Alexandra Waligorski, Begüm Inal, Katharina Bitz, Katharina Steins, Marie Trabandt, Martina Sander, Olga Luchanok, Verena Kuni


Exhibition “Designing Hope”


by Adam Harvey, Alacoque Ntome, Amelia Marzec, Amelie Hinrichsen, Awuor Onyango, Benedikt Groß, Benjamin van Bebber, Bernd Hopfengärtner, Burak Arikan, Eden Mitsenmacher, Else Tunemyr, Felix Kosok, Florian Egermann, Golan Levin, Hannah Perner-Wilson, Heath Bunting, Jared Onyango, Jeremy Bailey, Jules LaPlace, Kathia von Roth, LAb[au], Lauren McCarthy, Leo Hofmann, Lilian Nejatpour, Ludwig Zeller, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Martín Nadal, Melisa Allela, Mika Satomi, Natan Sinigaglia, onformative, Pinar Yoldas, Simon Weckert, Tega Brain, Alexandra Waligorski, Jeanne Charlotte Vogt, Gloria Schulz, Verena Kuni

More than 30 artists exhibited and shared their work during NODE17 Forum for Digital Arts