Julien McHardy

Julien McHardyFormer Member

Julien is working across several fields bringing his design and social science background to projects that combine hands-on design work with more explicitly theoretical considerations.

His PhD study ‘On electric bikes, An Ethnography in Motion,’ investigated electric bicycles as distributed global objects through a multi-sited ethnography of German and Taiwanese manufacturers. His more recent work on re-appropriating collage as a concept and tool for thinking about objects that intimately cut together worlds that do not go together easily can be seen as a continuation of this project.

Beside his continuing academic work Julien co-runs the design agency Five Ninety Design. In his function as design strategist he works for the design innovation agency Actant and with the design research group Being and Dying. As an editor Julien is setting up the new academic open access publisher Mattering Press. And as a designer and producer he contributes to several exhibition projects. The overarching interest that holds his diverse practice together is in (inventive) methods that can provide new ways of forging collectives, objects and collaborations.

He is a freelance researcher, editor, designer, strategist and cultural producer. He received his Master’s (2008) in Transformation Design from the Glasgow School of Art and a PhD (2013) in Science and Technology Studies from Lancaster University. In 2015 he held a visiting fellowship at Leuphana University.


For his current work see his website.


  • Rottenburg, Richard, Oulimata Gueye, Julien McHardy, and Phillip Ziegler (eds.) (2021) "Digital Imaginaries: African Positions Beyond Binaries." Bielefeld & Berlin: Kerber. → https://zkm.de/de/publikation/digital-imaginaries-afrikanische-positionen-jenseits-des-binaeren
  • McHardy, J. and O. Gueye (Art direction, Exhibition and Research project) (2018) "Digital Imaginaries (Exhibition)." Dakar May 2018, Johannesburg July 2018, Karlsruhe Oct 2018.:
  • McHardy, Julien (2017) "Like Cream: Valuing the Invaluable." in Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 3: 73-83.
  • McHardy, Julien (Scenography / Art Direction) (2016) "Europe Endless Express Theatre and Politics Festival." 3 day train trip Amsterdam-Prague-Bratislava-Cologne-Amsterdam.
  • McHardy, Julien (2015) "Why Books Matter: There is value in what cannot be evaluated." Jointly hosted on the LSE Impact of Social Science Blog and on the Hybridpublishing Blog. → http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/09/30/why-books-matter/
  • McHardy, Julien (2014) "On Electric Bicycles: An ethnography in motion." Dissertation Thesis, Lancaster University.
  • McHardy, J., C. Werner and N. Volkmann (Exhibition, Scenography) (2014) "Seismographic Sounds: Visions of a New World (Curated by Norient)." Forum Schlossplatz, Aarau (August 2014); Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe (Nov 2015); CTM Festival, KKB Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin (Mar 2016); Castelgrande, Bellinzona (Apr 2016); BASE, Milano (Dec 2016); Kornhausforum, Bern (Jan 2017).
  • McHardy, J. and N. Volkmann (Installation, Scenography) (2014) "5 Videoclips from X." Keck-Kiosk, Haus für elektronische Künste H3K, Curated by Norient.
  • McHardy, Julien (2013) "The Making of Electric Cycling." in Sustainable practices: Social Theory and Climate Change , edited by Elizabeth Shove and Nicola Spurling. London: Routledge.
  • McHardy, Julien, Jesper Wolf Olsen, Jen Southern and Elizabeth Shove (2010) "Makeshift Users." in Design Research: Synergies from Interdisciplinary Perspectives , edited by Jesper Simonsen, Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt, Monika Büscher and John Damm Scheuer, 96–109. London: Routledge.