Department of Product Design


Most research activities at Department of Product Design are embedded in one or more of the Interaction Design, Sustainable Product Design and Design Methodology domains. Combining insights from various disciplines makes that our research is often explorative. Our key areas are as follows:

Design methodology

Designers must work in a systematic and re-examinable manner, in an integrated product development process. We wish, through action research, to develop work methods that support creativity, technological demands, aesthetical sensibility and social understanding. Areas of interest include: design methodology, structured design processes, creative concept development.

Interaction design (Man-machine Interaction (MMI))

New products create frameworks for how we think and how we experience the outer world. When one looks at the design process we must begin with one's motivation for action, and then create products that support desirable interplay between people. Key areas: user integration in the design process, user analysis and testing, design of user interfaces.


Whereas ‘classic’ ecodesign paradigms often are based on material and recycling oriented solutions, recent research suggests that the main improvement potential for reducing life cycle impacts of products and services may be through influencing user behavior. We try to understand how habits, attitudes, preferences may lead to both desirable behavior and desirable products that companies want to put on the market. A second important perspective in our research focuses on stakeholder information and communication in sustainable product development.

Please visit our staff's individual pages for a description of individual research projects.


A list of current publications and research about design from the department can be found through the Frida research database.

Focus 2007 - 2010

The department's research focus for 2007-2012 centers primarily on:

  1. User-centred Product Design, and
  2. Design for Innovation
    (Strategic Design).

Within both focal areas, specific attention is paid to sustainable product design.

While the first focus area, User-centered Product Design, deals with understanding the role of the user as a driver and enabler for product innovation; the second topic area, Design for Innovation, pertains to understanding and supporting the needs of those industrial partners that are key to the transformation of innovative product concepts to commercially successful product innovations.

Read more about the department's research focus (pdf 1.9M).

Article collections

Read design articles in pdf format (IPD) NTNU The annual collections of PD9 research articles from 5th year design students can be purchased from through the department.

Download pdf