7th Nordic Design Research Conference
15 - 17 June 2017
AHO · Oslo, Norway


! Sign up for workshops

We have four workshop sessions at this NORDES Conference. Please do sign up for them quickly to participate.

Workshop 1 How can we critically & creatively engage with power relations in collaborative design research?
Workshop 2 The Cyberiad - Telling stories of power relationships in future words
Workshop 3 Privileged participation: design, allyship and decoloniality
Workshop 4 What is your critical approach? Design, power and proximity

Each has place for max 25 persons (registration required), and lasts 3 hours.

To register please mail you name and workshop number to Vlad Lyakhov:

More details of the workshops are found in the Programme

! Important dates

5 January Call for papers
7 April Deadline: Submission of full contributions (papers, workshops, etc.)
28 April Conference Review Meeting
8 May Reviews to authors
15 May Early bird registration
31 May Upload of final contributions
9 June Conference programme published
15-17 June Conference

! Important notes

This is a full submission conference for all categories of contributions and it includes double anonymised reviews.

Call for Papers

This 7th Nordic Design Research Conference comes at a time when earlier social, political and economic conditions, expectations and frameworks are under pressure, and indeed change, globally. Relations between design and power are today perhaps more present that before and them are seemingly strongly polarised.

What then are design practitioners, educators, researchers, policy makers and activists, among others, to make of these changes and how are they to engage in effecting informed, ethical, participative and meaningful change?

The theme of DESIGN + POWER allows us to take up what are difficult and dynamic relationships of design in the face of current societal challenges, needs of the design professions and wider political and economic forces. We are able to do so, and need to do so, precisely because design and design research are co-creative, productive and forward looking in character and actions. We have built a substantial body of related research but we need to work actively to ensure its survival and adaptation. Different interpretations of power are invited that may address its unfolding, for example, in terms of positionality, norm-criticality, feminisms, decolonism, materiality, temporality, responsibility, justice, equality, ethics, politics, governance, institutions, participation and engagement.

The theme of DESIGN + POWER raises a host of questions, some of which we list:

Where is design in this changing landscape of communication, participation, production and culture?

How are we to proceed - ‘constructively’ and analytically - when earlier boundaries between design disciplines are becoming more permeable?

Do our frameworks – such as from Participatory Design and Co-Design - need reinvigoration and modification?

What space is there for humanistic approaches in design based inquiry, including the projective and the speculative as part of new emergent criticality?

What are the origins of social innovation perspectives and to what extent do they operate or need revision and extension to account for the rapid and demanding challenges of migration, changing nature of work and inclusivity?

Where does design research sit when relations between innovation, commercial interests and consumer needs and demands are now in a mix of purposes and participants?

How are we to further understand the entanglement product and services, interactions and products where services and processes increasingly drive public and commercial design cultures and experiences?

How are we to shape a design-research community with diverse knowledge and practices suited to 21st century needs at a time when other infrastructural and organizational changes are underway societally?

How too are we to engage productively, that is informatively and critically, when our own institutions are undergoing budgetary and staffing cuts?

At a European level, to what extent are design research models and partnerships under threat in the shadow of Brexit?

How are we to reconstitute relations between industry, practice and analysis so that designer-researchers are able to produce appropriate, timely and even troublesome outcomes that have tangible and developmental social and economic impact?

The conference will be arranged around a number of thematics within which a diversity of types of contributions will be positioned. These DESIGN + POWER related thematics are:


The theme DESIGN + POWER draws our focus to important relationships between our practices and research in design and the powerful forces of change and conservatism that are prevalent today. Design research needs to face up to these changes and the many challenges they present to us and to our assumed positions, practices and research world views. The conference is agonistic in its orientation, yet it will be filled with debates and detailed research offerings that tease our and bring to the surface relations and negotiations between design and power. Design needs to engage culturally and critically when earlier models of consensus are under threat and erasure. It must face up to changing conditions and expectations between the academy and its publics, between commerce and culture and better define and demarcate its own dynamics, means of impact and commitment to social, economic and cultural betterment.

We live in times of increasing divergence between the super wealthy and billions of global citizens without basic provisions and rights. Global finance continues to re-engineer its own interests while democratic processes are overridden militarily and infiltrated by the mediation of false witness and public political processes. Technology determinism is again rife as robotics and artificial intelligence are promoted as future solutions to post-industrial development. Smart cities and smarter homes are presented as givens. Hybrids of products, interactions and services are emerging rapidly, with relatively little critique and social or cultural analysis. Strong claims are made for social media’s roles in enhancing deliberative democracy and locative, contextual participation, yet we have seen the force of state power in the face of citizen challenges. Focus on the experiential has emerged in the growth of Service Design at the same time as Systems Oriented Design reminds us to engage with wider holistic views on the complexity of the social, technical, creative and cultural. Gender, race, cultural diversity, knowledge mediation and sustainability, amongst others continue to be important but how does design engage with them?


Contribution types

The conference will take up the theme of DESIGN + POWER in the way in which it will be choreographed and run. As all contribution types will be available online prior to the conference, the actual event will avoid ‘point and talk’ type paper sessions as the dominant mode of address, though some formal paper sessions will of course prevail. In contrast, as a part of this being a design conference about power and design, a variety of formats will be included: for example the Exhibition will have a dedicated space but Paper sessions on submitted works will be held in that space, Keynotes will not all be lectures but in some cases dialogues, selected papers will be included in curated Panels.

NORDES 2017 includes a mix of categories as a means to enhancing the formal academic conference format already established. We invite contributors to be explicit about their modes of address and means of communication and we welcome innovation and experimentation. All contributions will be accompanied by formal, peer reviewed submissions with reviewers tailored to their design. This means active participation in submissions: exchanges with the conference chairs prior to submission is welcomed. Curators of sessions will therefore also be needed and these are also invited as formal contributions (e.g. panels, workshops)


These will vary in type and extent, some traditional keynote lectures, some shorter more dialogical interventions, some summarial and perhaps provocational. We are also instituting an Honorary Keynote for the first time to recognise the work of our own regional luminaries. We are also launching the Young Scholars Keynote and do so by inviting a new and already active researcher highly suited this theme. In addition to international keynotes, we also take up insights from practice through a new locally based keynote from a leading national design research participant in Oslo.

Full paper

Full formal academic papers (5000 words, including references, max 5 MB) must advance design research through clear analysis and findings thoroughly positioned within transdisciplinary design.

Short paper

Short research papers may (3000 words, including references, max 5 MB) and should refer to existing inquiry or work in progress, preferably single issue presentations. Short papers may also be experimental in nature but must locate and analyse innovation in relation to an identified body of research.


Design research is enriched by case-based investigations and cases are welcomed submissions that should provide detailed accounts of design practice with analysis (5000 words including references, max 5 MB).


We welcome the bold submission of artifacts of various types (physical, digital, prosessural, performances, etc) that must be accompanied by an explanatory an notational and analytical text (2000 words including references). All contributions must be fully formed, whether conceptual or completed. All costs for shipping and main materials are to be covered by contributors. Curating will be selective and devised by a dynamic team.


There is room for the creative and effective use of posters as a holistic and yet concentrated mode of communicating completed work or work in progress. Both aspects are welcomed but will be accompanied by formal presentations within the conference, not merely sidebar events as is often the case. There will be no more than 20 posters accepted. For initial submission, please upload an A1 portait PDF poster. It must have legible written research text (500 words). Your poster needs to contain images that are analysed. Only very effective, clear and outstanding posters will be accepted. These will be given prominence in large formats to be devised with the organisers after acceptance.


As a design research conference, we support multiple modes of communicating our inquiries. This format invites strongly visual presentations of research and should stretch the presentational and critical interpretative dimensions of design and related research in paper and essay forms. We encourage contributors to include sensorial an experimental and not only argumentative and formalist rhetorical submissions. Strongly designed contributions will be preferred. Submissions must be accessible as online documents, so that video and still images with verbal text are easily retrievable and are connected to interpretive positioning and analysis, not only description (2000 words, 5MB maximum). For first level submission, please use the template provided and embed visual material.


This submission requires a one or a two curators to propose a panel session (3 will be accepted). The submission should include a position paper by the curator/s (3000 words, including references) together with 3 to 4 contributions, each of which will need to be submitted as a formal paper. A mix of long (5000 words including references) and short papers is preferred. The Panel will operate as a pre-prepared dialogue session and not a presentation format.


This format is included to allow designer-researchers to engage conference attendees in active participation on identified key issues that need to be discussed and debated. We welcome the inclusion of tools, methods and design events as ways of conducting these sessions (half day only). However, a Workshop’s possible creative and process oriented character must be based on material represented in a submitted formal papers (max 5000 words including references, max 5 MB). These papers may be of two types: referring to completed work that is to be conveyed and shared or the presentation of proposed tools and methods that are in need of comment and experimental uptake by participants. We encourage contributors to send in joint papers to this format. We also welcome sessions that explicitly provide clear outlines of how that work will be translated into dynamic events and participation in this shared conference space.

Doctoral Consortium

The Doctoral Consortium will be held on the final day of the Conference. This is a space for presentation and exchange of work in progress, for the building of networks and for the development of future collaboration. Typically, this space also provides room for project based inquiries to exchange experiences and needs. Please note that this is a peer reviewed part of the conference: doctoral students are warmly invited to submit to any of the conference categories for peer review. NORDES has always benefitted for PhD students’ contributions and we welcome active participation. We anticipate space for about 20 PhD participants. Required is the submission of a position paper that outlines the research and a specific interest or need to be addressed in the Consortium. Papers for this Contribution type may be published in the Programme.

Download Book of Abstract


Template & Submission

For all contributions

Please adjust the template to suit the word/page/size limits noted above under Contribution types (e.g. Workshops, Doctoral Consortium and Pictorials). Pictorials may use visual design to advance an argument as needed. Accepted contributions will be asked to rework material following review for completed submission in the final templates (to be provided in early May). The Exhibition space offers a variety of types of presentations. Please ensure you have read, edited, language checked and double checked all References. This is a design conference so we welcome innovation in and through design but, as it is a research conference, we ask you to ensure that your contribution aims for the highest international standard worthy of serious peer review.

Download and Upload


Registration & Fees

Registration includes refreshments, lunches and the conference dinner (Thursday 15 June). Other dinners and venues are to be covered by participants.

Regular participant

Early bird: NOK 4600 *
Regular: NOK 5500
On site: NOK 6000

Student, including PhD **

Early bird: NOK 2400 *
Regular: NOK 3100
On site: NOK 3500


Extra person conference dinner: NOK 700

* Early bird: Before 15/5 2017
** Student admission only with valid student ID.
All fees above include 25% VAT

and Payment


Conference venues

AHO (Day 1 and 3): Maridalsveien 29, 0175 Oslo

Westerdals (Day 2): Vulkan 19, 0178 Oslo

Hendrix Ibsen (Exhibitions): Vulkan 16, 0178 Oslo

All three venues are located in close vicinity to each other. The nearest bus stop is "Telthusbakken".


Oslo is an expensive city: we suggest you use commercial hotel and accommodation services and others such as AirB&B to look for options and deals.

Travel Information

See Visit Oslo for all information on travel to and from the aiport and for local travel.
To get to AHO from the Central station we suggest you take bus 54 (every 15 mins) or it's a comfortable 20 minute walk that is easy to track on Google Maps.


NORDES has always sought to engage with prevalent and emergent issues and needs. NORDES 2017 continues this tradition and it incorporates our legacies of participatory and co-design as well as the diversity of interests, practices and interpretative frameworks NORDES has fostered and sustained.

NORDES 2017 builds outwards from decision making, into processes of framing, shaping and enacting, though participative negotiations and engagement. This builds on the earlier work and frames of NORDES, and Scandinavian design traditions co-design and Participatory Design, and design and politics in the contexts of the building of the social democratic welfare state, design activism and feminism. We extend these into the dynamics, ethnographic, speculative, poetic and exploratory in contemporary contexts of design and social innovation, design and culture, the growth of systems and service design and sustainability issues, the focus of our last conference.

Programme Committee

Conference Chairs:
Associate Professor Dagny Stuedahl (HiOA)
Professor Andrew Morrison (AHO)

Programme Chairs:
Full paper: Prof Andrew Morrison
Short paper: Assoc Prof Dagny Stuedahl
Case: Prof Tuuli Mattelmäki
Exhibition: Assoc Prof Kristina Lindström
Poster: Assoc Prof Synne Skjulstad
Pictorial: Assoc Prof Lise Hansen
Panel: Prof Troels Degn Johanssen
Workshop: Assoc Prof Tau Lenskjold
Doctoral Consortium: Prof Maria Hellström Reimer

General Committee: Jonny Aspen, Martin Avilà, Anne Louise Bang, Thomas Binder, Alma Culén, Håkan Edeholt, Tore Gulden, Peter Hemmersam, Stefan Holmlid, Sara Ilsted, Janike Kampevold Larsen, Steinar Killi, Jørn Knutsen, Susan Kozel, Henry Mainsah, Maarit Mäkelä, Thomas Markussen, Satu Miettinen, Maziar Raein, Åsa Ståhl, Ole Smordal, Einar Sneve Martinussen, Apolonija Šušteršič, Unni Tandberg, Mathilda Tham, Rachel Troye, Anna Vallgårda, Laurene Vaughan, Bosse Westerlund.

Looking forward to seeing you in Oslo at Nordes 2017.

For more see

Sign up for workshops!
NORDES 2017 · Design + Power · 
 7th Nordic Design Research Conference
15 - 17 June · AHO · Oslo, Norway