Projects - Department of Design
Phd projects at the Department of Design
Phd projects at the Department of Design
Card deck phd department of design
Thomas T. Nordby
Ole Edward Wattne
Attila Bekkvik Szentirmai
Siti Salwa Isa
Descriptions of ongoing PhD projects
Descriptions of ongoing PhD projects
Title: From draughtsman to graphic designer: The emergence of graphic design as a concept and semi-professional practice in Norway between 1950 and 1990.
This doctoral project deals with the emergence and professionalization of graphic design in post-war Norway. From a nascent discourse during the 1950s, and further, from when the first self-proclaimed graphic designers gradually began to make their mark towards the end of the 1950s, until around 1990 when graphic design had established itself as the designation of one of the largest, but also one of the most complex areas within a broader Norwegian design field.
The project is based on archival sources, numerous interviews, and a comprehensive review of professional discourse in journals and membership magazines. An important motivation for the project has been the lack of research and in-depth treatment of these important and formative decades in the history of Norwegian graphic design.
The emergence of graphic design as a semi-professional practice represented a change in, and professionalization of, several occupational practices and was closely linked to technological and societal changes, including radical upheavals in the graphic arts and printing industry.
What’s more, graphic design emerged in a period in which the existing Norwegian design field underwent extensive changes. Among other things in the form of increasing specialization and professionalization, as well as a fragmentation of professional design discourse.
Based on professionalisation theory, a conceptual apparatus drawn from different but complementary discourse theoretical traditions, and common historical research methods, the emerging graphic design discourse is mapped and described through three orientation lines: the practitioners, the interest organizations, and the educational institutions.
With this, I am particularly interested in how graphic design was understood, defined, and positioned in relation to adjacent disciplines and occupational or professional groups.
I also pay special attention to graphic design’s ongoing professionalisation efforts as expressed through the work of establishing and strengthening educational programmes in graphic design, through the work of establishing and professionalizing an interest organization, through the work to enhance the general visibility and stature of graphic design, and through agitation for its benefit and value to society and business.
And about how these professionalisation efforts had clear parallels and direct links to what was happening internationally. While these efforts, by taking place within a specific national, political, and sociocultural context, also gave the emergence and professionalisation of graphic design in Norway its very own characteristics.
Title: Knowledge sources for wayfinding design: with an emphasis on the role of knowledge embedded in the artefact.
This thesis is an epistemological investigation of the relationship between different kinds of knowledge involved in design for wayfinding. The thesis examines the role of pre-existing theories and research, prescriptive documents (such as textbooks, manuals, standards and regulations), design methods and user involvement, designers’ explicit and tacit knowledge (such as internalised repertoires of solution types and ‘prejudices’), and – in particular – the role of knowledge embedded in the artefact (i.e. in the form of conventions, pattern languages and genres, and in actual existing wayfinding systems with associated process documentation such as sketches, visualisations, prototypes and specifications).
The research methods used are literature reviews, document analysis, interviews, observations and surveys. The research will contribute to an understanding of how knowledge exists and is created, discovered, elicited, used, re-used and disseminated in the process of designing wayfinding systems.
The result will also contribute to a more general understanding of how designers experience and reflect on their own use of knowledge, and how artefacts play a role in the formation, representation and dissemination of knowledge.
Szentirmai's Ph.D. project aims to produce a set of Evidence-based Accessibility Guidelines for Augmented Reality (AR). Digital Accessibility can be described as the quality of being able to use/interact with digital content regardless of the users’ diverse background, skills, abilities, preferences, and circumstances. The developed Guidelines aim to achieve social, academic, and industrial impact by generating new knowledge.
- Social impact: Evidence-based design recommendations will enhance the accessibility and usability of AR applications, making the technology and its novel features available to broad audiences.
- Academic impact: The research will advance the state-of-the-art in research fields such as Human-Computer Interaction, Universal Design of ICT, and Digital Accessibility.
- Industry impact: The published guidelines and evaluation framework can help businesses provide a better and more accessible UX to their users, thus expanding the market of possible customers.
Clothes are the most intimate artefacts that touch our skin. Our moving bodies are shaping and being shaped by what we wear. The sensations that unfold inevitably influence our well-being, whether we are conscious of it or not. As designers we are always crafting sensations. However, existing design practices do not always allow space for the conscious consideration of their impact.
My ongoing practice-based PhD research collaborates with people on the autism spectrum, with heightened sensory responses, who can become overwhelmed by these sensations. Through wardrobe studies, a soma design process, and my own fashion practice I gather insights into how people want to feel in their clothes: physically, emotionally, and socially.
The expected output is not so much about the clothing that emerges but about the ways of working that consciously craft kinaesthetic-tactile dialogues through an inclusive design process.
Tarcan's practice-based PhD project focuses on material-geography connections in design and making, based on experimental trials and processes.
Acknowledging more-than-human approaches, indigenous worldviews and traditional knowledge, she investigates how felting, a traditional craft technique that involves compressing wool fibers can be studied from designerly perspectives.
Additionally, she addresses craft-design relationships from comparing different elements, such as human-nonhuman agencies, cultures and geographies (Norway-Turkey), past and current meanings affiliated with feltmaking and wool material.
Kauppi's PhD project addresses edible insects as novel food. Her research is focused on the reasons to eat insects, consumer behaviour and interventions in design to introduce insects as novel food in the West.
Marketing, especially packaging design as a medium to communicate edible insects is her focus area in this body of research. The project is an EU funded project (ERANet-LAC), having multiple project partners in Germany, Poland, and several universities in South America.
Title: How can autonomous ships safely be controlled from land? Land-based Operation of Autonomous Ships (LOAS) is a 4-year, 10 M kr project that seeks to answer this question.
Led by Kongsberg Maritime, IFE, and NTNU, the project goal is to test interaction solutions for land-based control of autonomous ships. The findings will contribute to design of safe fleet management and effective remote manual control takeover for the future of maritime traffic.
Title: The Influence of Proportioning and Ordering in Semantic and Semiotic Form Development of Products.
The central research question of the project is, does the proportion and ordering theories can be used as tools for analysing and organising form in the semantic development of the form and add more value of a product?
The Intended in this study is to investigate whether the use of principles of formal design and geometrical principle by the designers in the design process will add more value of the formal aesthetic function of the product.
Title: Application of models and prototypes as creative tools in co-creation process to facilitate product planning and goal finding in the Fuzzy Front End of Innovation.
The aim of this project is to develop design and user driven model making and prototyping methodologies, which can be adopted by stakeholders to facilitate a plural approach in innovation, service system development and product design.
Completed PhD projects
Completed PhD projects
Isaac Arturo Ortega Alvarado
Everyday politics of circular futures
The project takes circular economy (CE) as its object of study and looks at it in Norway's context, emphasizing the City of Trondheim. The project covers three studies to uncover CE's shared understandings and future implications from a systemic perspective.
- The first study concerns CE as a project for the future use of materials through the visions in the discourses of local actors.
- The second study concerns alternative consumption in structuring CE understandings that contest consumerism.
- The third study concerns an exploratory study about a framing to advance matters of CE linked to production and consumption limits supported on discursive and multi-level design for sustainability.
The research approaches and methods in the three studies are qualitative and future-oriented. The conclusions from this project present insights to further research on CE beyond product and business efficiencies.
Experiences in chronic care. How can design support the integration of chronic illness into a patient's daily life.
The thesis investigates whether design theory and method can help to better integrate care practices in chronic illness into a patient's daily life. By reconsidering typologies of care and their continuous nature care practices can be influenced or changed for patients suffering from chronic diseases.
Åsa Snilstveit Hoem
Safety of autonomy, remote control and operations of transport system (SAREPTA).
A safer and greener transport system is urgently needed. Further development of conventional technology will play a role in achieving this, but to reach the ultimate goals of zero accidents and full decarbonisation, new and revolutionary technologies are needed. Autonomy and fully or partly unmanned operation is one of the most promising candidates here.
Some of the main problems are verifying safety/security, certification and costs of safe development. Improved design, verification methods and regulations may remove much of these problems, but these cannot be developed before the basic knowledge of the risks has been established.
No systematic documentation of risk levels was identified when I performed a review of safety and security of autonomous systems. In other words, the most baisc prerequisite for effective risk management is missing, that is, a baseline description of the hazards involved in an activity. Without this knowledge, it will prove impossible to establish the risk based regulatory framework needed to ensure timely implementation of the beneficial aspects of autonomy.
The PhD research will be a part of the larger NFR project dealing with the safety of autonomy, remote control and operations of transport system (SAREPTA). The vision i to "Enable the transition to a green, smart, safe and secure autonomous transport system". The project will contribute to this by building a scientific foundation that makes policies, decisions and public debates on autonomous systems knowledge-based rather than based on anectdotal evindece.
The main objectives of the project:
- Risk identification and risk levels
- Infrastructure vulnerabilities and threats
- Technical, human and operational barriers to mitigate autonomous system risks
- Organisational and human factors, as well as regulatory measures for risk mitigation
Co-design in the health sector. Development of service for GPS tracking of people with dementia.
The thesis aims to investigate whether codesign process of user-centered design can be customized for development projects in healthcare. That case followed projects at SINTEF Health, which aims to create GPS services for people with dementia and their carers and health professionals and institutions.
The work so far shows good results with the use of the methodology and highlights the limitations in relation to development projects aimed at sick people and their relatives.
How communication can be applied to user behavioural change in the context of a circular economy.
It involves examining the role of users and consumers in transforming product and service systems, what the existing literature says about the necessary factors for accepting such new practices, and how communication might be seen as a tool for adaptation.
It reviews some theories of communication as a social practice and means of structuration or behavior change, looking at these specifically in relation to the world of business marketing and advertising, and applying the findings to the context of user behavior change for a circular economy.
The project also analyses marketing communications and methods currently being used by businesses in order to sell circular economy services, conducting empirical research into communication practices that influence consumption and use decisions, designing participative studies and gathering data through direct interaction with user groups. Ultimately, it will provide a framework for business of consideration factors in designing communications for circular economy products and services.
User acceptance of circular resource efficiency.
As part of the Marie Curie CircEUit Innovative Training Network funded by the EU, this research project focuses on how consumer requirements such as (perceived) convenience for the end user and fulfilling requirements for circularity can be balanced. The research builds on existing insights from fields like design for sustainable behaviour, environmental psychology and social practice theory.
It focuses on creating understanding about consumption paradigms that exist on the micro level, and addresses locked-in behaviour in terms of what users think is acceptable when acquiring ‘functionality’ from commercial offerings.
Marie Cathrine Hebrok
Food waste handling practices in Norwegian households.
By researching socio-cultural, economic and material barriers, the research will address the opportunities for design interventions that product design may offer to reduce the environmental impacts of such practices.
This research is financed by the Norwegian Research Council through the project CYCLE. Marie is employed by SIFO, Norway’s National Institute for Consumer Research.
Industrial implementation of Design for Sustainability.
The project explores the role of soft-side parameters in determining successful implementation of design for sustainability (DfS) in industries. Soft-side parameters entails human related factors such as project perception, employee commitment, ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity in design for sustainability projects, among others.
The project builds from the academic standpoint that these soft-side parameters have a decisive role in the success of sustainability implementation and the use of tools, methods and frameworks developed for streamlining the implementation process.
The research work aims at contributing to both academic and industrial knowledge on DfS implementation and how to succeed in delivering the sustainability goals in the long term.
Effective implementation of sustainability in companies.
Integrating sustainability considerations and strategies in business is gaining increased attention due to concerns of policy-makers, other external stakeholders, and companies’ own agendas related to strategic and market positioning interests.
A growing number of companies currently work on the implementation of sustainability criteria in decision-making contexts throughout the organization. However, practice shows that the implementation process is not straightforward.
Academia provides a basis of empirical studies seeking to uncover what makes the implementation of sustainability in companies so complex. Among other difficulties, it is revealed that companies may lack strategy, goals, priorities and functional translation of these, when it comes to decide what and where to take sustainability action.
The project seeks to further uncover these challenges by exploring how companies manage their environmental information and the extent to which it helps them create and reflect on their environmental sustainability vision, strategy and goals.
Quality Assuring Universal Design in the eSociety. Towards Understanding the Effects of Interaction Design Methodology.
The overall aim is to improve knowledge on how to ensure universally designed ICT systems and services, and based on this strengthen universal design quality control. The main focus is on investigating the relationship between methodological stances (paradigms, worldviews, epistemologies, disability views and universal design views) and methodological practices.
Through a combination of survey research and interview studies, the role of methodological stances is investigated alongside other possible influencing promoting and obstructive factors for universal design quality (UD-Q). Modeling the methodological and discipline diversity of the field of universal design of ICT systems, and suggesting ontology for the field, constitutes a planned general contribution.
Miriam further aims to prototype a tool to help strengthen universal design quality control. The tool will subsequently be used to estimate and provide the quality metrics of the universal design methodology for a given ICT project.
Miriam is employed at Faculty of Architecture and Design, Department of Design, but her PhD work is formally linked to the PhD in Computer Science (UX-track) at Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Computer Science.
Increasing competitiveness and resource efficiency in the value chain of fresh bakery products through sustainable product, systems and service design.
The project will address waste behavior related to bakery products, the relation with packaging and retail solutions, the production chain, and address cooperation between stakeholders to address these challenges.
This research is financed by the Norwegian Research Council through the Breadpack project and the Industrial PhD scheme; Sofie is employed by Cernova AS, one of Norway’s major producers of fresh bakery products.
Anne Carlijn Vis
A human-centred approach to HHD.
By reconsidering where care takes place, opportunities to relief the healthcare system and its stakeholders can be sought.
The PhD focusses on enabling home treatment for people with chronic renal failure in Norway, by improved information mediation to patients and caretakers on treatment options and effects on way of life.
Martha Rice Skogen
Do You See What I See? Investigations into the Underlying Parameters of Visual Simplicity.
This research investigates the fundamental phenomena underlying how people view, interpret, and understand visual stimuli, with simplicity as a basic constraining concept. Many exploratory studies were conducted in the real world as well as in the computer realm of graphical user interfaces.
The final set of studies using GUI icons revealed that youths did not consistently associate detail-scant icon designs with simplicity, but rather with being more complicated. This revealed a potential for a “window of transition” where people learn to understand minimalized, abstracted imagery that adults associate with being “simple”.
Handheld devices for use within integrated operations in the petroleum industry.
There is little knowledge of the effects of hand held device design on efficient and safe plant operation. The aim of this research work is not to provide innovative technology but rather to emphasize the impacts of mobile technologies on people and business goals as well as on the physical and social environment in which technologies are used.
Design criteria for handheld devices are suggested and three concepts of mobile devices evaluated to identify their opportunities and challenges.
Brita Fladvad Nielsen
Framing humanitarian action through design thinking.
Her research focuses on how designers can take into account the needs of vulnerable end-user groups (refugees) in an inaccessible humanitarian relief context. Her research has also emphasized the importance of integrating these considerations into a complex stakeholder system that humanitarian action represents. Her research was conducted in Norway and Ethiopia.
Alf Ove Braseth
Information-rich design - a concept for large-screen display graphics. Design principles and graphic elements for real-world complex processes.
Human-centered design considerations in healthcare contexts: young children as users of medical products.
Johannes Zachrisson Daae
Informing design for sustainable behaviour.
Kirsi Maria Laitala
Clothing consumption: an interdisciplinary approach to design for environmental improvement.
Exploring design for country-specific customisation.
Ida Nilstad Pettersen
Changing practices: the role of design in supporting the sustainability of everyday life.
Shahriman Bin Zainal Abidin
Practice-based design thinking for form development and detailing.
Framing an eclectic practice: historical models and narratives of product design as professional work.
Kjersti Øverbø Schulte
Design activities in the Norwegian seafood industry : a theoretical approach to understanding cooperation and communication.
Hans Vanhauwaert Bjelland
Touching technology: design of haptic interaction
Marianne Støren Berg
Foundations and evaluation of the space for action approach. Customized process improvement for product development in small and medium sized enterprises.
Kristin Støren Wigum
Human and ecological problem solving through radical design thinking: Analyses and development of design theory and design framework based on long-term human needs and ecological sustainable principles.
Mind design: Steps to an ecology of human-machine systems.
Staging for creative collaboration in design teams: Models, tools and methods
Trond Are Øritsland
A theory of discursive interaction design: Mapping the development of quality and style in man machine interaction.
An analytical foundation for designing industrial ecological set-ups by reuse of product into new product development.
Design methods for high-volume automotive structures: Development of aluminium extrusion-based integrated seating systems.