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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.

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Anke Gruendel

Anke Gruendel is a Ph.D. candidate in politics at The New School for Social Research. Her research explores how designers are changing governmental practice and the histories that have given rise to design-led public innovation and wicked problem solving.

ANKE GRUENDEL is a Ph.D. candidate in politics at The New School for Social Research. Her research explores the different ways in which designers are changing governmental practice and the histories that have given rise to design-led public innovation and wicked problem solving.

Following the network of contemporary design-led public innovation, Anke investigates how discourses around complexity and intractability continue to redefine the political. She traces the ways new interdisciplinary design practices contribute to technical proposals for democratic governance in which participation, expert knowledge, and iterative problem solving are utilized to change policy making, public service delivery, and administrative organization more generally.  

As such practices increasingly invoke “wickedness” as a particular quality of governmental problems, designers envision a system in which problems cannot be contained and in which attempts to solve any issue have the potential to cause an infinite regress of further problems. In a genealogy of “wicked problems,” a term coined by the German mathematician Horst Rittel, Anke investigates changes in the political in 1960s German and U.S. systems science. Following Rittel through his work for the German government and at U.C. Berkeley, she highlights similarities to design-led public innovation today.

GRADUATE INSTITUTE FOR DESIGN, ETHNOGRAPHY & SOCIAL THOUGHT, 63 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NY 10003