Previous summer schools


Theatre in Design: Date: 22-26 August 2016

Venue: Kolding, Denmark University of Southern Denmark.
This 5-day event brought together researchers from different academic disciplines to study how various forms of theatre can support design and design research by exploring social dynamics and interactions with objects. Summer school featured PhD students involved with theatre in designing products, systems or services, in facilitating practice changes in private or public organisations, or in engaging with users or other stakeholders.


The Perceptive Body: Date: 18-21 August 2014

Venue: Department of Media, Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland.
The Nordes PhD Summer School 2014 had the theme The Perceptive Body and explored diverse theoretical approaches to experience and their possible relation with and use in artifact & interface design.


Design on the Move: Date: 27, 28 & 29 August 2012

Venue: Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)
Design researchers increasingly do approach complex environments to find new possibilities and solutions. This challenges the research methods as well as the design methods we use. This year we have put together a programme for NORDES Summer School 2012 that will focus on how the research methodologies in several design based research approaches do relate to the complex issues of mobility and urban contexts.

The theme Design on the Move are to do with the shaping of interdisciplinary inquiry and methods following the medley of theory and practice related to the use of designed artifacts or solutions in mobile situations. This year’s summer school will be dedicated to practical workshops as well as formal research presentations and talk focusing on of how methods develop, in accordance to theories and current approaches to designing for mobility and place-making.

Mobile life, mobility and urban place making entail new forms of citizen participation as well as community building that concern a wide spectre of design related disciplines, such as urban planning, cultural heritage, sustainability and green design movements. Mobility is currently conceptualized as going beyond the mundane movement-spaces function that move ‘subjects’ and ‘objects’ about (Thrift 2004) into forms of mobility that transgress types of places and spaces. This summer school has put focus on how we can explore, observe and conceptualize these place-making processes methodologically.

The summer school is based on two formal research seminars where invited keynotes present diverging approaches to design methods into mobility, and where PhD students present mobility issues from their own research project, in addition to an experimental workshop day focused on practical activities with a variety of research methods related to mobility. The aim is to motivate participants to shift their current activities towards sharper and faster production of written texts and hopefully papers for the next NORDES Conference (2013).

Participation in NORDES summer school is free, but participants have to cover travelling and stay by themselves. We will suggest reasonable bookings.

Course co-oordinator

Dr Dagny Stuedahl, InterMedia, University of Oslo

(the school will be co-hosted by AHO and InterMedia).


(The doing of) Design Things in Pukeberg, Nybro, Sweden, 23.8 – 27.8, 2010

Design deals with things, but what does that suggest? In design practice the things we deal with may be objects, products, artifacts and services, but also assemblages, processes, projects and even parliaments. This diversity also goes for contemporary design thinking, focusing things such as design collaborations as well as prototypes and “matters of concern”. This diversity may be noticed in the etymology of the English word “thing” which reveals a journey from a meaning of an assembly, like the governing assemblies in ancient Nordic and Germanic societies, to a meaning of “an entity of matter”. In short: How are design things being done in contemporary design practice, thinking and theory.

The Nordic Design Research Conference (NORDES) summer school 2010 is addressing such design theory issues conceptually and exploratory in a five-day course for Ph.D students. Each day will have a specific design thing theme, and each theme will be explored both in a reflective seminar and a performative workshop.