Booklet ‘Caiga en el taxi’, 2020

Caiga en el Taxi

by Aída Herrera Peña and Paula Ariza
2020 (2014)

Caiga en el Taxi was a social design project that explored the labor conditions and the power structures of the public taxi transportation system at the International Airport El Dorado in Bogotá, Colombia in 2014. Aiming to foster healthier behaviors and critical reflections to enhance the social state of affairs and the transportation experience, five industrial designers created a communication strategy by means of performance and embodied experiences, not only to make visible the conflicts of the territory but also to impact the collective imaginaries of passers by, taxi drivers, among others.   

Fieldwork and context footage, ‘Caiga en el taxi’, at the International Airport El Dorado in Bogotá, COL 2014

In the captivating collaboration of 2020, Aída Herrera Peña and Paula Ariza (two of the five designers involved in the project) embarked on a storytelling venture, weaving their project into the fabric of a booklet. Their mission? To ignite awareness and provoke reflections on the profound impact design practices could wield on social relations and modes of association.  Now, they tell the project’s journey in a digital blooklet across five stages of the design process: Context, Research, Definition, Ideation & prototyping, and Implementation.

Cover booklet ‘Caiga en el taxi’, 2020

For more information, get in touch with

M.Sc. Design Reserach program conducted by Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in cooperation with Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.  

On Performativity and Design

by Aída Herrera Peña

This Master Thesis is based on the author’s body knowledge, concerns, curiosities, and experiences. She consider it to be an experiential research that entails a dynamic and unfinished process but which reveals what was possible during the four-month period of its development.

By exploring how performativity contributes to and enhances design research practices, this research outlines, through a historical overview, the transition of design domains from technological to social innovation. It emphasizes changes in design ways of doing and knowing. The framework delves first into a shift of perspective manifested in Western design cultures during the 1960s and 1970s and follows a dialogue between the epistemologies of the North and the current epistemologies of the South (Colombia) with the purpose of unveiling three major ideas. Initially, it serves as a way of reflecting on the socio-environmental consequences revealed from such historical context. Then, it acts as the basis for Western design cultures to acknowledge the diversity of contexts in which design practice takes place. Finally, it postulates the making of a plural world beyond the dominant modern and capitalist way of life and dualistic way of knowing.

Having explored the above and proposed non-dualist and non-traditional design practices with a focus on contextual and experiential knowledge, this research continues its journey to ground performativity within design practices through a theoretical analysis of performative and design ways-of-doing and knowing. It includes a deep exploration at a social level of the terms ‘performance,’ ‘performative,’ and ‘performativity,’ which are intrinsically related to the concept of ‘tacit knowledge.’ With all the above in mind, the author provides a discussion and conclusion that seeks to open up possibilities for designers to delve into a plural world in a non-dualistic way, recognize social concerns at local and global levels, and finally, embody an event, an action, or a behavior through contextualized body language and embodied knowledge.

Keywords: Performance, performative, performativity, tacit knowledge, body language, context, Global South, design research, industrial design, social innovation, design

(EN) On Performativity and Design, Hurra Hurra x Bauhaus: ein Designpodcast der BURG 2020, DE

HURRA HURRA Podcast Colouring Book, Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle, 2021

(ES) La vivencia del diseño, Exploratory Practices of Resistance and Decoloniality in Arts and Education, Universidad Nacional de Colombia 2021, COL

Participants of the workshop “Checking/Browsing”, Digital format Festival Bauhaus Study Rooms. Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, DE 2020
Images from the interactive digital text Browsing by Aída Herrera Peña. “Checking/Browsing“, DE 2020.


by Aída Herrera Peña and Vivien Tauchmann (2020) 2022

‘Checking & Browsing’ invited participants to reflect critically on the relationship between consumers & production workers, the ‘here’ & ‘there’, the individual & the collective. The starting point was two similar gestures of opposite origins: browsing on one’s smartphone and the monotony of workers on the assembly line whose daily task is to check the functionality of smartphone screens. Two different but parallel exercises revealed in this collective experience not only a critical reflection of one’s own behaviour, but also the interrelation with the people and their work that is behind the objects surrounding us. 

Photo by the team of Diss/assembly of Performative Things, Aída Herrera Peña and Vivien Tauchmann performing “Checking/Browsing“, Kunstraum Vika e.V, DE 2022.

By designing an embodied experience that invited the audience to delve into the act of reading, Aída created an interactive digital text “Browsing” intertwined with Vivien’s work and research about the working conditions at assembly lines of smartphones in Asia.

Photo by the team of Diss/assembly of Performative Things, on-site Workshop Checking/Browsing’. Kunstraum Vika e.V, DE 2022

Photo by the team of Diss/assembly of Performative Things, Participants at the on-site workshop “Checking/Browsing“, Kunstraum Vika e.V, DE 2022.

Photo by the team of Diss/assembly of Performative Things, Participants at the on-site workshop “Checking/Browsing“, Kunstraum Vika e.V, DE 2022.

 Related links
1. Symposium Dis/Assembly of Performative Things 2022
2. Dis/Assembly of Performative Things 2022

(EN) Bauhaus Study Rooms || 3 questions, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau 2020, DE

Gestures of Domestic Memories: a performative way-of-knowing

by Aída Herrera Peña,
2021, DE (in progress)

Project developed within the framework of Forecast Sixth Edition – Skills e.V. mentored by french choreographer Mathilde Monnier.

The human body seen as active material in constant transformation and the tool to perform ordinary tasks in ordinary circumstances for making a living, such as to care and maintain up to a certain standard other's private living spaces, is the point of departure to explore domestic work in Berlin, where a migrant body of work find a way to alleviate the struggles of life.

Nowadays, household services are an inevitable source of profit for enterprises and a practice for many humans when starting to make a living in foreign territories. As bodies in transition in their way of being, and in-between radically different worlds; coming from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere, they have found a source of income in the commonality of the human being in Western contexts, the domestic life.

Between the private and public constellations, this project explores the reality of domestic work through body gestures, intuition, and tacit and embodied knowledge, attempting to critically reflect on the performance of our domestic way of living at a socio-cultural and political level.

In a capitalist society where digital marketplaces exchange human bodies in the form of services, a migrant domestic worker shows us the daily life of household chores. From her self-consciousness, she takes us on a journey of gestures and sensations expressed in time, space, and movement. This short film-performance based on real events brings us a unique perspective about the everyday reality of domestic work and migration in Berlin, as well as a call to reflect on our daily performances.

CREDITSDirector and producer  <Aída Herrera Peña>Camera and Edition <Esteban Annon>Music composition <Andrés Ibagon>
Cast <Ruslana Massarova> <Aída Herrera Peña>

Aída Herrera Peña, Berlin-based design researcher with a background in audiovisual media production, dance, and industrial design with a focus on social studies - including performance studies -. Andrés Ibagon, Buenos Aires/Bogotá-based historian and artist with emphasis on Latin American and Argentinean theater and film studies. Art direction, script and sound design for media. Esteban Amon, Hamburg-based filmmaker and designer with a background in multimedia, fashion and editorial content. 


Contribution to Visualizing the Virus with an online pubilcation about the development of the project Gestures of Domestic Memories: A Performative Way-of-Knowing (Herrera, 2022).

Forecast Platform 6th Edition, Berlin 2022

Excerpts from the book Forecast Platform 6th Edition, Berlin, 2022.


Roundtable I have a problem with cleanliness at the Bauhaus Study Rooms 2022 with Adam Drazin (Moderator), Charlie-Anne Côté and Nancy Dayanne Valladares. Hybrid format, June 17th, 2022 at Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, DE.

“In the roundtable "I have a problem with cleanliness," Adam Drazin will discuss forms of cleaning in relation to design practices with Aída Herrera Peña, Charlie-Anne Côté, Nancy Dayanne Valladares and the audience. This panel starts with the premise that modes of cleaning are inherent in particular design practices. Therefore, the contributors will examine the production of cleanliness as a field of negotiations between materialities, modes and rules.” more


Participation at Openscreening in collaboration with Freilulftkino Insel, August 16th, 2023 at Ateliers Gardens, Berlin, DE.

Photos during the Openscreening at Ateliers Gardens, Berlin, 2023