Curator, Designer, Science Communicator
Based in Munich, Germany

Tanja Seiner works at the intersection of the conceptual investigation of the processes and mechanisms that shape living environments, and the transfer of these findings into tangible spaces and formats like exhibitions and educational programs. Central to her work is the exploration of the transformative potential of design.
She works for cultural institutions like design and science museums, academia, non-profit organisations and enterprises. Her expertise encompasses concept development, design, curating, science communication and teaching.

Subsequent to her diploma in product design from the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Tanja Seiner worked as a senior designer at studio Jerszy Seymour Berlin. Here she conceived products and furniture for industry but soon began to collaborate on conceptual installations for museums amongst which MUDAM Luxembourg, MAK Vienna and Marta Herford (2007–10).
As assistant curator at the municipal art space Lothringer13 Halle in Munich she contributed to the realignment of the institution and collaborated on numerous group exhibitions with local and international artists (2014–2017). Her exhibition »Touch deeper« (Lothringer13 Halle, 2016) investigated how the technological promises of efficiency and control have changed and are changing human behaviour and living environments with works by international designers and artists.
In her first self-initiated exhibition »Pet Market« (erstererster, Berlin 2015) she explored the relationships between humans and their pets from a design perspective. »Creatures Made to Measure – Animals and Contemporary Design« at Museum Marta Herford (2018–19) and Design Museum Gent (2019) took her research into the role of design in human-animal relationships yet further. The accompanying publication was published at Kerber Verlag (»Creatures Made to Measure«, Eds­. Design Museum Gent, Marta Herford, Tanja Seiner, 2019).
In 2020, Tanja curated the Pop-Up exhibition “Fungi for Future” at BIOTOPIA Lab in Munich, which highlights the relevance of Fungi in nature and everyday life. In her ongoing collaboration with BIOTOPIA – Naturkundemuseum Bayern, she conceives and curates thematic exhibition areas for the future museum.

Tanja regularly brings her investigations to design and art education. She has taught at the product design department and in interdisciplinary seminars in collaboration with the department of art history and aesthetics at Kunsthochschule Kassel (2010–15), at the cx centre for interdisciplinary studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich (2018) and was visiting curator at the Kunst-Transfer-Praxis program of the Academy of Fine Arts Nuernberg (2020).

Tanja Seiner co-founded an collaborated from 2018-21 with UnDesignUnit, a studio that values design as a critical medium in investigating current and emerging developments and uses it as a tool for conceiving education and exhibition formats. She also co-founded the housing cooperative KOOPERATIVE GROSSSTADT which strives to create communal urban spaces in Munich with its building projects.



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FUNGI FOR FUTURE – The (in)visible power of fungi

Pop-up exhibition in the BIOTOPIA Lab
Botanisches Institut, Munich, Germany
October 2020 – September 2022

Watch a quick tour on facebook or instagram.
Walk-in 360° tour with all exhibits explained:
Featured in BR 2 Radiowissen (in German):
BIOTOP!CS – BIOTOPIA Podcast (in German):


Curated by Tanja Seiner
Exhibition Design: Konstantin Landuris Studio
Illustrations: Miro Poferl, HEYmiro

The world of fungi is immensely diverse. It is estimated that there are up to 3.8 million species of fungi-over 90 per cent of which may still be unknown. Just as plants and animals make up two kingdoms of life, fungi make up their own kingdom in nature. Fungi can be harmful and cause serious diseases in plants, animals and people. At the same time, life as we know it would not be possible without them: as decomposers, they convert organic waste back into the cycle of life.

Humans have always made use of fungi in many ways and are still discovering more and more species in this largely unexplored realm of organisms. This leads to promising applications, such as new materials that could replace plastics and open up a path to an oil-free future.

The more we learn about these organisms, the clearer it becomes how they shape our everyday lives.


Botanical State Collection Munich (SNSB-BSM) / Carole Collet / Georg Dünzl (Verein für Pilzkunde München e.V.) / Technical University of Berlin – Department of Applied and Molecular Microbiology / Patrick Hickey / nat-2 ™ / Mogu / Mehling & Wiesman / Merlin Sheldrake / Studio Klarenbeek & Dros, V. Meer, Zvnder – Nina Fabert

More information:

Photos: BIOTOPIA/Andreas Heddergott, Kathrin Glaw


Creatures Made to Measure – Animals and Contemporary Design / Design Museum Gent

Dieren op maat
Design tussen mens en dier
Creatures Made to Measure
Animals and Contemporary Design

17.05 – 29.09.2019

An exhibition of the museum Marta Herford in collaboration with and after an idea by Tanja Seiner, complemented with 11 works for Design Museum Gent.
Here is a video about the exhibition at Design Museum Gent.

Participating designers and artists:

Martin Avila / BLESS / Melanie Bonajo / Karin Borghouts / The Center for Genomic Gastronomy / Kurzgesagt – Ina Nutshell / Center for PostNatural History (Richard Pell) / Marcus Coates / Thalia de Jong / Theo Deutinger / Aleksandra Domanović / Konstantin Grcic / The Hercules and Leo Case / Christine Herdin & Katharina Wahl / Marlène Huissoud / Max Kosoric & Sanne Pawelzyk / Silvia Knüppel / Kuang-Yi Ku / Dietrich Luft / Lisa Ma / Christien Meindertsma / Next Nature Network / Thomas Pausz / Ana Rajcevic / Veronica Ranner / Andrea Roe & Cath Keay / Peter Schäfer / Johanna Schmeer / Basse Stittgen / Susana Soares / Sputniko / threeASFOUR / Thomas Thwaites / Koen Vanmechelen / Marije Vogelzang / Chris Woebken / Pinar Yoldas

Catalogue (EN/NL)
Design: Johannes Tolk
Publisher: Kerber
ISBN 978-3-7356-0604-4

Scenography: Michiel Hutsebaut

Photos: Michiel De Cleene

More information:

Speculative Dinner Performance – Superfood of Draught

08.07.2021, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden
Framework programme of the exhibition “Future Food”

In collaboration with UnDesignUnit

What will we eat in 2050? The Speculative Dinner Performance ventures to look into the future and asks how we will nourish ourselves when the conditions for food production in our latitudes will be transformed by increasingly dry conditions and other climatic changes. Will we grow exotic fruit in our regions or rely on salt-tolerant plants that prosper with sea water? Will ancient hyperlocal crops or edible wild plants prevail over hyper-seasonal products of globalization that are available all year long like the tomato or avocado? Will seaweed become an important source of nutrients in extreme climate conditions? Or will the undemanding and protein-rich quinoa become a new staple food for us?

In collaboration with Christine Krauss (ChirpFood) a menu was developed, which takes three future scenarios as a point of departure asking what might disappear from our menu, and what might enter it? And how do these futures taste?

The dishes are based on three potential future scenarios and offer, in combination with customized interactive elements, a playful and sensual participative event which may inspire us to challenge our eating habits and to further our sense of taste. While we are tasting possible ingredients and dishes, we reflect on the possible courses of action we have in the here and now in addressing the challenges of climate change and its multi-faceted causes, and we discuss with invited guests from theory, research and practice the extent to which the scenarios, or individual assumptions underlying the scenarios, are likely to be true.

The future tasting was accompanied by a panel with guests from research and practice:

Dr. Johannes Franke, climate scientist, Saxon State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology, Dresden
Frank Gaupels, head of SalFar project, Ökowerk Emden foundation
Dr. Christoph Neinhuis, Institute of Botany, TU Dresden l Botanical Garden Dresden

Photos: Oliver Killig

Creatures Made to Measure – Animals and Contemporary Design / Marta Herford

16 September 2018 – 6 January 2019, Marta Herford

From a concept by and in collaboration with Tanja Seiner

Factory farming or laboratory meat, cuddly pets or robots in animal form – the relationship between animals and humans is often the subject of hot dispute. Animals have always served an important purpose for humans. When, however, the optimization according to human expectations goes so far that animals are having to undergo cosmetic surgery and are bred artificially in laboratories, or even serve as organ donors for humans, we have to ask whether these “creatures” are even still animals at all?

The designers and artists in this exhibition ask for the “acceptable degree” of manipulation and research possibilities of replacing animal-based raw materials and even the animal itself. At the same time, they take a look at the relationships between humans and animals from new perspectives and conceive scenarios that look to the future.

With works by:
Martin Avila / BLESS / Melanie Bonajo / Center for Genomic Gastronomy / Center for PostNatural History / Marcus Coates & Volker Sommer / Aleksandra Domanović / Konstantin Grcic / Christine Herdin & Katharina Wahl / Thalia de Jong / Silvia Knüppel / Max Kosoric & Sanne Pawelzyk / Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell / Dietrich Luft / Christien Meindertsma / Next Nature Network / Ana Rajcevic / Veronica Ranner / Peter Schäfer / Johanna Schmeer / Susana Soares / Sputniko / ThreeASFOUR / Thomas Thwaites / Marije Vogelzang / Chris Woebken / Pinar Yoldas

Scenography: Johannes Tolk, Susanne Münzner

Design: Johannes Tolk
Publisher: Kerber
ISBN 978-3-7356-0528-3

Photos: Johannes Tolk

BIOTOPIA Festival EAT – Taste the Future

1-day festival in May 2019

Lead-in programme for BIOTOPIA – Naturkundemuseum Bayern, a 21st century life sciences museum and future forum for science communication, currently in development in Munich.

In collaboration with UnDesignUnit

With over 3,500 visitors, the EAT-Festival explored and discussed the myriad dimensions of food.

With the EAT-Festival, one of the main themes of the new BIOTOPIA museum was introduced to the visitors. In workshops and labs, panel discussions, exhibitions and in direct exchange with scientists, designers and artists, institutions and companies, visitors of all ages got to know local and global perspectives on nutrition – from the rediscovery of traditional methods of preservation to circular economy and an increasingly resource-friendly agriculture supported by algorithms, to animal-free meat production.

The focus was on pointing out the scope of action which we humans have by way of acting emphatically and shaping a living environment that we share with other organisms.

Inspired by the principle of the cabinet of curiosities, the BIOTOPIA Display conceived by UnDesignUnit for the BIOTOPIA Hautnah-Fest (2018) und the EAT-Festival (2019) brought together natural stuff, zoological specimen, artefacts, design objects, photographs and videos. With these selected exhibits the display provided a first overview of the multi-faceted activities and events at the festival, raised curiosity and encouraged visitors to distil their own thoughts and questions, which they could then pursue in direct exchange with the contributing festival participants at their respective stands.

Full list of participants and a look back at EAT on the BIOTOPIA website

Photos: Verena Braun, Verena Hägler, Andreas Heddergott

Hautnah – Das BIOTOPIA Fest • Skin Close – Fabric of the Future

1-day festival in June 2018

Lead-in programme for BIOTOPIA – Naturkundemuseum Bayern, a 21st century life sciences museum and future forum for science communication, currently in development in Munich.

In collaboration with UnDesignUnit

What fabric is our future made of? What is natural, what is synthetic? UnDesignUnit conceived for BIOTOPIA – Naturkundemuseum Bayern the festival “Hautnah – Stoff der Zukunft” (Skin Close – Fabric of the Future). With formats developed especially for the occasion, such as the Mitmach-lab or the Hautnah display, a podium discussion with an international cast and a lecture series, visitors could experience current developments in the life sciences and material research and their application in fashion and design – from the first material experiment through to wearable clothing. The BIOTOPIA-Fest explored the interplay between »natural« and »artificial« as well as »organic« and »manmade« and combined historic samples and current research with its first applications into a unique experience.

UnDesignUnit invited internationally renowned designers who work at the juncture between design and natural sciences and facilitate the access to highly complex scientific subjects in a playful and engaging manner. The specifically developed interactive formats invited a large audience to question the conventional and ordinary and to take on new perspectives.

Inspired by the principle of the cabinet of curiosities, the BIOTOPIA Display conceived by UnDesignUnit for the BIOTOPIA Hautnah-Fest (2018) und the EAT-Festival (2019) brought together natural stuff, zoological specimen, artefacts, design objects, photographs and videos. With these selected exhibits the display provided a first overview of the multi-faceted activities and events at the festival, raised curiosity and encouraged visitors to distil their own thoughts and questions, which they could then pursue in direct exchange with the contributing festival participants at their respective stands.

Full list of participants and a look back at Hautnah on the BIOTOPIA website

Photos: Andreas Heddergott, UnDesignUnit


2018, Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, Munich

In collaboration with UnDesignUnit

To what degree can we shape our futures here and now? To what extent are our futures shaped by governments, technology companies, and other players?

UnDesignUnit developed the new format “Future-Making-Lab – Shaping Our Futures Ourselves!” where participants explored in interdisciplinary exchange with each other which social, economic, political and ecological implications the use of drones might have. Assuming that the future is rooted in the present, they conceived, built, explored and tested alternative scenarios to predominant designs for the future based on critical and speculative design methods.

The lab was conceived and hosted by UnDesignUnit, and the results were presented in form of mock-ups and models in the presence of designer Fiona Raby. The lab’s intention was to explore the ambivalent relationship between present day and future, between pre-fabricated visions of the future and our own imagination, and to investigate the role which design might play in speculating about possible futures.

Following the lab, Fiona Raby held her lecture “Who Else Makes Our Futures?”. The designer and professor at The New School in New York talked about the power of imagination, fiction, alternative realities and the values designed into everyday objects.

The event was funded by bayern design and the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology.

Photos: Tanja Kernweiss


Touch deeper

10 December 2016 – 5 March 2017, Lothringer13 Halle

Curated by Tanja Seiner

Promising comfortable and optimized daily routines, numerous smart objects have docked onto us. What are these things (or beings?) that have moved into our homes? How are the objects that surround us changing, and how are they changing us?
The exhibition “Touch deeper” at Lothringer13 Halle in Munich explores these questions with works by international designers and artists, who consider not only new technological possibilities but also the completely analog needs of our changing living spaces. They create alternative views on the efficiency and intelligence of these devices and examine how we, with an increasing number of digital companions and surroundings, want to live. Amid overwhelming technological innovations, “Touch deeper” attempts to also look at those aspects that are often ignored by the promises of a progress that has become its own end. By means of prototypical designs, different perspectives on a digitally enhanced future open up, in which the interplay between technical possibilities and human needs are recalibrated.

With works by:
BLESS / Oliver-Selim Boualam / Maarten Baas / Dunne & Raby / Mark Formanek / Kunstflug / Makkink & Bey / Keiichi Matsuda / Julien Prévieux / Philipp Scholz / Thomas Thwaites / Unknown Fields Division

Photos: Jörg Koopmann

Booklet in German (PDF, 7 MB)


Pet Market Publication

The publication documents the Pet Market Berlin exhibition in numerous pictures and includes texts by Volker Albus, Marvin Altner, Tanja Seiner and an interview with Ulrike Neurath.

Tanja Seiner, Oliver Vogt (Ed.)
ISBN 978-3-945824-03-0
108 pages
€ 10,- + shipping

order: [email protected]


Pet Market

Pet Market explores the complex and diverse relationships between pets and humans from a design perspective and provides suggestions and outlooks for their shared living spaces. On the occasion of DMY – International Design Festival Berlin, Pet Market inaugurated at the erstererster gallery in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg area in June 2015. Pet Market is an invitation to be inspired while shopping, to be attracted to and seduced by, but also to question and discuss the products on display.

Participating designers:
Volker Albus / Leo Berger / Ayzit Bostan / Charlotte Enders / Christof Flötotto / Sven Funcke / Martí Guixé / Dominik Hehl / Christine Herdin / Sophie Herzberg / Nathalie Indra / Silvia Knüppel / Max Kosoric / Dietrich Luft / Christoph Medicus / Jennifer Meyer / Sanne Pawelzyk / Peter Schäfer / Corinna Seeger / Olaf Val / Katharina Wahl

Concept & exhibition design: Tanja Seiner

Photos: Anja Köhne


Press Reviews:

“Tanja Seiner’s Pet Market happens to be an inventive cutting edge design project as well as a crowd pleaser.” Lisa Paul Streitfeld, Huffington Post

“An intelligently thought through project…Pet Market works at both a design theory and design practice level, can however also be enjoyed for the objects on display and what they are, with no need to search for a deeper meaning, a fact which, when combined with the uncomplicated shop-style exhibition design, makes Pet Market an eminently accessible and highly enjoyable exhibition around a subject to which only very few of us rarely give even a modicum of thought.” Alasdair Thompson, Smow Blog

Open Table

KOOPERATIVE GROSSSTADT is a recently founded housing co-operative in Munich that also serves as a platform for events and interventions all relating to the topics of architectural quality standards as well as urban living. In January 2016, a symposium with more than 20 invited “experts” – architects, residents, politicians, project developers, designers, artists – took place at the Lothringer13 Halle in Munich. With more than 300 visitors at the “Open Table”, visions and ideas for improved town planning and residential housing construction in favour of a versatile and open city were exchanged, and it was determined how these ideas for a cooperative urban life can be realised.

Concept & organisation in collaboration with KOOPERATIVE GROSSSTADT eG

Photos: Jörg Koopmann




Exhibition display for models, prototypes and sketches that were created within the context of the design project „Another Cup of Tea“. On occasion of the annual „Interventionen“ exhibition at the regional council Kassel, artists and designers were invited to provide insights to their current work. The photographs of mixing fluids were created by Selina Schwank.

Installation photos: Robin Stummvoll


TOOLS Publication

Design provides tools that widen the user´s scope of action. TOOLS was the title of a design course taught by Tanja Seiner at the School for Arts and Design Kassel. It resulted in a publication featuring designs by Natascha Burk, Saskia Drebes, Dominic Ender, Joost Fähser, Gesina Glodek, Julian Herden and Nils Oertel. The array of projects includes experimental music instruments, lightshow-generators, herb distilleries and thermoforming machines for glass.

Tanja Seiner, Oliver Vogt (Ed.)
ISBN 978-3-945824-00-9


Easy Frame

Easy Frame is a patented system for the quick and easy mounting of canvas and paper on a stretcher-frame without any additional tools. Slotted wooden bars are connected to plastic corners and are fixated with metal pins.

Cooperation with Tim Mackerodt, Andreas Munk

Client: Hahnemühle




For the exhibition RES PUBLICA/RES PRIVATA, the glass façade of the gallery L40 Berlin was transformed into a thriving scenery of microbes during night-time. The growth of the microorganisms could be observed from the crossroads Rosa-Luxemburgstrasse/Torstrasse – a busy part of Berlin, which reflects the growth and transformation of the illustrated microcosm. The exhibition was curated by Susanne Prinz.

Concept, design: Tanja Seiner
Programming: Daniel van Westen
Installation photo: Frederick Vidal


First Supper

In her position as designer and project manager for Jerszy Seymour Design Workshop in Berlin (2007-2010), Tanja Seiner was in charge of projects for the furniture and consumer goods industry, and the conception and realization of editions and spatial installations for design galleries and museums. The here shown installation „First Supper“ at the MAK Vienna was created on site by melting polycapralactone wax. It provided the functional basis for a public dinner to discuss the idea of an „amateur society“.

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Crisp sound that has fallen under the hammer at the christmas auction of erstererster gallery, Berlin. Pared-down minimalist style gingerbread that that comes without icing or decoration.



At Jerszy Seymour Design Workshop in Berlin Tanja Seiner was designing various projects for the consumer goods industry (2004-2005 and 2007-2010). Among them were numerous designs and concept studies for kitchen appliances. These hairdryers for Moulinex have, besides their striking shape and extended handle, another distinguishing feature: the rubber-nozzle can be squeezed to direct the airflow.

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