Anja Groten is an independent designer and researcher based in Amsterdam. Investigating the possibilities of frictional encounters as part of design practice, Anja designs collective moments of critical making, aimed at discussion, confrontation and contingency. Anja works on (self-)commissions and besides tutors at the Design Department of the Sandberg Instituut, and the Design Academy Eindhoven. In 2013 Anja co-founded the initiative Hackers & Designers, attempting to break down the barriers between the two fields by enforcing a common vocabulary through education, hacks and collaboration.
In autumn of 2017 Anja joins the PhD Arts doctorate programme focussing on Critical Making.,

Collaboration and collective modes of production are essential for my design practice. Working independently allows me to build and engage with different communities and collectives. I work on–self-initiated as well as commissioned projects.

For 3 years I co-organized De PUNT, a collective art and project space in the east of AmsterdamDe PUNT has been also the home base of Hackers & Designers, an initiative I founded with Selby and James in July 2013. Hackers & Designers organizes monthly meet-ups and encounters with technologies and makers, aiming to bring the two professions closer to each other to create a common vocabulary. In the summer of 2015 H&D launched a summer academy program for the first time–the H&D Summer Academy.

Other collaborators are André, Chris, HeerkoJanneke, Jeannette, Joel, Leanne, LéoMaartje, m–d buero, Ruben, Thomas, Casco, Read-in, Sjoerd, Yolande, The Center for Genomic Gastronomy.

Anja Groten – Design & Research
Haparandadam 7 – Studio D5
1012 AK, Amsterdam


Decolonizing Design


New roles of design have emerged in the recent decade. Whether called critical, speculative, or social design, contemporary practitioners share an understanding that design should become more involved with social and political matters. There seems to be a mutual consent that designers should persistently reflect on whether their practice is able to break open dominant misconceptions about matters such as race, gender, and class, rooted in visual culture. Are contemporary designers looking beyond their comfort zones?

We invited designers A Parede from Brazil and curator Amal Alhaag from Amsterdam to talk about the responsibilities of design in regards to inequality.

In collaboration with Ruben Pater.

Hackers & Designers Summer Academy documentation

This publication is made using Wikimedia as a co-writing and editing tool, Pandoc to translate the wiki markup to html and Scribus to layout the pages.

Find more about the workflow on the H&D wiki. The source code is available on github


Instant & Momentary Publishing


The Momentary Zine is an interactive publishing installation and has been shown at Zinefest Berlin, at the Libre Graphics Meeting in London and at Northside Festival in New York. We custom developed software to create the zine, which is open source and available on Github. With the help of speech to text technology the spoken word translates to text. Simultaneously an algorithm runs an automated image search on Google or Imgur, querying the spoken words and adding the image results accordingly to the zine layout. The outcome is a printed zine.

In collaboration with Hackers & Designers and Vicky de Visser

Refugees and Migrant Workers are Here With …

Perform your Immaterial Labor today!


Teaser website for the 2016 edition of the Hackers & Designers Summer Academy. The program centers around the controversial topic of immaterial labor, and the effects digital economies have on our current techno-society, – an on-going discussion at stake in both design/art and developer practices. H&D engages this year’s summer academy participants to go into discussion and critically reflect on their (digital) activities that exist outside/alongside the traditional wage-based definition of labor. What does it mean for the future of our practices to contribute to creative commons and open source projects, to self-initiate, to organize communities, to promote and publish on social networks, to perpetually generate content, to evolve multiple identities as bloggers, vloggers, mojo contributors…?

Website in collaboration with Hackers & Designers, Finn and Rens.

Moneylab #3 – Failing Better

A collective attempt to fail better with artists, critics and activists that are all feeling the pinch.

Amsterdam, December 1 & 2, 2016

#HDSA2015 Documentation: Web to print

Hackers & Designers – Smart & Poor

Post Perdu: Poemsorting 2015-2016

Post Perdu: Verloren gegevens – Lost data – 2014-2015

Post Perdu is a monthly mailing by Perdu, podium and bookstore for experimental Dutch poetry. The English translation of Perdu is “Lost”. On every post card I show lost data, found on Google Street view. These flaws of technology are creating new cohesions and new visual narratives. Every months the card is printed on different paper. Amsterdam 2014–2015