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Heather Wiltse

I am associate professor in design for the data-intensive society at Umeå Institute of Design, where I am currently leading a project called “Design Philosophy for Things That Change”.

Works at

Associate professor at Umeå Institute of Design (UID)
Östra Strandgatan 30 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

My transdisciplinary research centers around trying to understand, articulate, and critique the role of digitally connected, responsive, and data-intensive things in experience and society in ways that can inform response-able design. This work builds on an interdisciplinary background and education in human-computer interaction, science and technology studies, design, and communication and culture with a PhD in Informatics from Indiana University Bloomington in 2013 (advised by Erik Stolterman).

The focus of my research is on doing design philosophy at the intersection of critical design studies and philosophy of technology; and my teaching focus is currently design studies and design philosophy taught to industrial design students (mostly MFA and PhD level), framed as an interdisciplinary enterprise of understanding the social complexities, consequences, and responsibilities of design.

From 2018-2021 I led a project called “Design Philosophy for Things That Change” (funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation) that aimed to develop a philosophical and aesthetical foundation that forms and informs a design practice capable of conceptually handling the complexity of the evolving, globally connected and locally manifested sociotechnical landscapes now created using networked computational technologies and digital media.

My recent books are Changing Things: The Future of Objects in a Digital World (with Johan Redström, Bloomsbury 2019); and (as editor) Relating to Things: Design, Technology and the Artificial (Bloomsbury, 2020).  Current work seeks to understand and explore possible alternatives for interaction and governance mechanisms in data-driven socioeconomic systems as part of the DCODE network (funded by the Horizon 2020 programme under a Marie Skłodowska-Curie training network grant), which aims to develop foundations of design competence for a digital society. I have served on the executive boards of the Design Research Society and the Society for Philosophy and Technology, and am currently a member of the International Advisory Council of the Design Research Society. I am also an associate editor for the Journal of Human-Technology Relations.

AI & Society: The Journal of Human-Centred Systems and Machine Intelligence, Springer-Verlag New York 2023, Vol. 38 : 227-243
Hauser, Sabrina; Redström, Johan; Wiltse, Heather
Nordes 2023: Exploratory papers
Neidhardt-Mokoena, Anja; Wiltse, Heather
Human-Computer Interaction
Özçetin, Seda; Wiltse, Heather
DRS2022: Research papers
Neidhardt, Anja; Wiltse, Heather; Croon Fors, Anna
Foundations of Science, Springer 2022, Vol. 27, (3) : 915-920
Wiltse, Heather
118 theories of design(ing), Vernon Press 2021 : 233-233
Wiltse, Heather
118 theories of design(ing), Vernon Press 2021 : 211-211
Wiltse, Heather
SPT 2021 - Techological Imaginaries: The Society for Philosophy and Technology Conference - June 28-30 2021, The Society for Philosophy and Technology 2021 : 405-405
Wiltse, Heather; Redström, Johan
EASST4S 2020: Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and Agency of STS in Emerging Worlds
Wiltse, Heather
Bloomsbury Academic 2020
Wiltse, Heather
Relating to things: design, technology and the artificial, Bloomsbury Academic 2020 : 1-12
Wiltse, Heather
Relating to things: design, technology and the artificial, Bloomsbury Academic 2020 : 239-255
Wiltse, Heather
Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations Conference 2020, 4-7 November, 2020
Wiltse, Heather
Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations
Redström, Johan; Wiltse, Heather
Design Issues, MIT Press 2019, Vol. 35, (1) : 73-77
Rodgers, Paul; Innella, Giovanni; Bremner, Craig; et al.
4S 2019: Innovations, Interruptions, Regenerations : Society for Social Studies of Science annual meeting, New Orleans, September 4-7, 2019
Wiltse, Heather
The State of Responsible IoT 2019: Small Escapes from Surveillance Capitalism, Berlin: ThingsCon e.V. 2019 : 53-58
Wiltse, Heather
London: Bloomsbury Academic 2018
Redström, Johan; Wiltse, Heather
EASST2018:: Meetings: Making Science, Technology and Society together
Torretta, Nicholas B.; Wiltse, Heather; Sanchez de La Barquera, Xaviera
University of Twente 2018
Wiltse, Heather
Nordes 2017: DESIGN+POWER
Barbosa, Janaina T.; Wiltse, Heather; Mota, João A.
Design Studies, Oxford: Elsevier 2017, Vol. 53 : 24-46
Jung, Heekyoung; Wiltse, Heather; Wiberg, Mikael; et al.
The ethics of technology: methods and approaches, London: Rowman & Littlefield International 2017 : 193-218
Michelfelder, Diane P.; Wellner, Galit; Wiltse, Heather
Does Design Care...?: An International Workshop of Design Thought and Action : 79-83
Wiltse, Heather
Postphenomenology and media: essays on human-media-world relations, Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books 2017 : 3-25
Wiltse, Heather
SPT 2017: The Grammar of Things, 20th conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, Darmstadt, Germany, June 14-17, 2017
Wiltse, Heather
DRS2016, 2016 Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference, 27–30 June 2016, Brighton, UK
Wiltse, Heather; Lindh Karlsson, Monica; Lindström, Kristina; et al.
Proceedings of the 2nd Biennial Research Through Design Conference
Davoli, Lorenzo; Wiltse, Heather; Redström, Johan
Nordes 2015: Design Ecologies
Redström, Johan; Wiltse, Heather
Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2015, Denver, Colorado, 11-15 November 2015
Redström, Johan; Wiltse, Heather
interactions, ACM Press 2015, Vol. 22, (3) : 20-21
Wiltse, Heather
Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, Vol. 19, (1) : 26-49
Wiltse, Heather; Stolterman, Erik; Redström, Johan
iConference 2014 Proceedings
Jarrahi, Mohammad Hossein; Snyder, Jaime; Askay, David; et al.
Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, Philosophy Documentation Center 2014, Vol. 18, (3) : 154-182
Wiltse, Heather
The Information Society, Taylor & Francis 2013, Vol. 29, (5) : 322-323
Wiltse, Heather

Research projects

1 June 2021 until 1 June 2025
1 June 2021 until 1 June 2025
1 September 2019 until 31 August 2025
1 July 2018 until 31 December 2022