PROLAB – Living Labs as prototypical milieus

Prototypes are able to make vague but visible statements about future technologies and about how one might possibly interact with them. Moreover, they open up alternatives but are able to direct imaginations along a certain path. For instance, in how far does the design of an autonomous vehicle convey visions of tomorrow’s traffic? Besides, are visions that are materialised through prototypes more likely about to be realised? Against this backdrop, prototypical design can be regarded as a model for contemporary societal learning and innovating.

The sub-project “PROLAB – Living Labs as Prototypical Milieus” focuses on how prototypes within the fields of transport and health are conceptualised by potential users, designers and industrial stakeholders. This raises issues of how learning and innovating take place in so-called living labs: how is this influenced by different participating actors and by digitisation? In turn, it can be asked, what kinds of participation do living labs facilitate? Within the project, designed prototypes will be followed throughout their whole formation process, including, for example, via hackathons. They will ultimately be presented at an exhibition at the Deutsches Museum Nuremberg.

Funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within the funding initiative „Die Sprache der Objekte – Materielle Kultur im Kontext gesellschaftlicher Entwicklungen“

Link to the official website:


Cooperation partners in the collaborative project: Johannes-Gutenberg Universität Mainz (JGU), Deutsches Museum Nürnberg, Interaction Design Lab at tge University for Applied Sciences Potsdam


Part of the collaborative project „PROTOTYP – Material design of the future. Prototypes as communication media of the new.” (coordinator: Prof. Dr. Sascha Dickel, Johannes-Gutenberg Universität Mainz (JGU)),

Project leader(s):
Prof. Dr. Sabine Maasen

09.2018 – 08.2021

Project type:
Third-party funded Project, Consortium Project

Funding institution: