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Markus Wernli
PolyU Scholars Hub

Markus Wernli

Research Assistant Professor

Member of Internationalisation Task Force

  • V602d
  • +852 2766 5460
  • Expertise: Agroecological Innovation, Probiotic Agency, Citizen Science Pedagogies and Eco-mobilising Design


Markus Wernli is a researcher and practitioner focused on metabolic relatedness, probiotic agency and inter-species community design. He is Research Assistant Professor associated with the Environment of Interior Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Educated at Hong Kong PolyU (PhD Social Design) and Transart Institute of Danube University (MFA New Media), Markus’ career extends across communication design, community art practice, and eco-activism. In recent years, his research in agroecological placemaking and citizen science pedagogies brings focus to the social and ecological impact of body-technology pairings and human-biosphere interactions for collectivized resource regeneration and scholarly work. He serves as peer reviewer of CoDesign Journal and is cofounder of the Anthroponix Foundation, a nutrients circulation platform that was awarded funding from Design Trust in Hong Kong and Creative Industries Netherlands in Rotterdam.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • PhD in Design, Urban Design Lab, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2019 
  • Masters of Fine Arts in New Media, Danube University Krems, Austria, 2007
  • Bachelors of Visual Design, Zurich School of Applied Art, 1994
  • Bachelors of Jewellery Design, Zurich School of Applied Art, 1989

Professional Qualifications

  • Swiss professional certificate in Graphic Design
  • Swiss professional certificate in Jewellery Engraving 

Academic and Professional Experience

  • Lecturer in communication design, Zokei University of Art & Design, Kyoto, April 2005–March 2007.
  • Adjunct Instructor, San Francisco State University, Multimedia Studies Program, January 2001–June 2003.


Teaching Area

  • Social Design
  • Social Practice Art
  • Communication Design
  • Art Direction
  • Information Design


Research Outputs

Wernli M. (2021). "Anthroponix: Upcycling Urine as Collective Design Practice", in: NERD – New Experimental Research in Design 2: Positions and Perspectives. Boston: Birkhaeuser

Wernli M. & Boyer B. (2021). ‘Breathful’ design in breathless times. Strategic Design Research Journal. Volume 14. 175-186

Wernli M. (2020). "Collective urine upcycling to grow plants and material responsibility", in: Culture, Community and Climate: Emergent Praxis. Kingsbridge, Devon:

Wernli M. (2019). “Short-comings and unintended vulner-abilities” in: Design and Nature: A Partnership. Routledge, London.

Andreev N, Ronteltap M, Wernli M (2017). “Lactic Acid Fermentation of Human Urine to Improve Its Fertilizing Value.” Journal of Environmental Management

 Figure_4_Markus WERNLI



泥玩 Soil Trust:集「棄」還田 Building Capacities for Collectivized Nutrients Cycling in Hong Kong

Pilot Study for Reusing Fermented Urine in Indoor Water-Based Plant Growing System



  • Internationalisation Grant of Dutch Creative Industries (Rotterdam)
  • Seed Grant of Design Trust, Hong Kong




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