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Johan Redström

Johan Redström joined UID as professor of design in 2012, and has been responsible for the PhD programme and research direction at UID. Between 2015 and 2018, he was Rector of UID. 

Research qualifications: Docent

Works at

Östra Strandgatan 30 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå


Coming into design was for me initially the result of a collision: on one side music, on the other philosophy. After studies in both areas (and some more), I ended up as a PhD student in philosophy but in parallel still experimenting with interactive and electronic music. But then I was recruited to a new research group working with applied research on art and technology (Göteborg University). This work, basically what we now call interaction design, for me turned out to be a perfect combination of projects together with industrial partners, design experimentation and practice-based research, and in 2001 I defended my PhD thesis called 'Designing Everyday Computational Things'. Since then I have primarily been doing and directing design research at the Interactive Institute, I've been adjunct professor at the School of Textiles at the University of Borås, Sweden, and associate research professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Denmark.

What I do at UID

As professor in design, I teach and do research (see below).


Since I joined UID, most of my teaching as been at PhD level. Developing a new curriculum for the PhD programme, I developed a set of basic courses in design research that I also have been teaching. Among the areas are research methodology in artistic and practice-based design research, philosophy and design, and most recently a course on design history. I also supervise PhD students (currently 8).


In general, my research has been centred on experimental and critical design practices, and on theory development in the context of practice-based research. I'm interested in prototyping new design practices as a response to post-industrial conditions and contemporary challenges such as sustainable development. Over time, I have also learned that prototyping new 'practices' in this sense (unlike doing design projects) require a lot of work on the artistic and conceptual foundations of design. For instance, what does 'form' actually refer to when we're talking about acts and processes rather than shape and object? Intuitively, we may know that basic notions such as form and material are as important as ever, but how do we understand and articulate what they has now become? Asking such basic, almost philosophical, questions in the context of practice I find most interesting.

International Journal of Design, Chinese Institute of Design 2024, Vol. 18, (1) : 95-106
Collins, Robert; Redström, Johan; Rozendaal, Marco
Human-Computer Interaction
Giaccardi, Elisa; Redström, Johan; Nicenboim, Iohanna
DRS2024: Research papers
Özçetin, Seda; Redström, Johan
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
diid disegno industriale industrial design, Bologna University Press 2023, (80) : 32-43
Nicenboim, Iohanna; Elisa, Giaccardi; Redström, Johan
CHI EA'23: Extended abstracts of the 2023 CHI conference on human factors in computing systems
Nicenboim, Iohanna; Venkat, Shruthi; Rustad, Neva Linn; et al.
Proceedings of the 12th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI’22): Participative Computing for Sustainable Futures
Collins, Robert; Redström, Johan
DRS 2022: Bilbao: Editorials
Giaccardi, Elisa; Speed, Chris; Redström, Johan; et al.
DRS 2022: Bilbao: Research papers
Nicenboim, Iohanna; Giaccardi, Elisa; Redström, Johan
Artifact, Intellect Ltd. 2021, Vol. 8, (1-2) : 16.1-16.19
Redström, Johan
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
Design Issues, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 2020, Vol. 36, (4) : 33-44
Giaccardi, Elisa; Redström, Johan
DIS' 20 Companion: Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, New York: ACM Press 2020 : 397-400
Nicenboim, Iohanna; Giaccardi, Elisa; Juul Søndergaard, Marie Louise; et al.
She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, Shanghai: Tongji University Press 2020, Vol. 6, (1) : 83-100
Redström, Johan
RTD2019 Method & Critique: Conference Companion, Delft: Delft University of Technology 2019 : 35-35
Redström, Johan
Academy for Design Innovation Management Conference 2019: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations
Redström, Johan; Wiltse, Heather
Design Issues, MIT Press 2018, Vol. 34, (2) : 20-30
Göransdotter, Maria; Redström, Johan
Studienhefte Problemorientiertes Design, 8
Mazé, Ramia; Redström, Johan
London: Bloomsbury Academic 2018
Redström, Johan; Wiltse, Heather
Design thinking, design theory
Redström, Johan
Design History Society Annual Conference; Design and Time, Middlesex University, London, UK, September 8-10, 2016
Göransdotter, Maria; Redström, Johan
Proceedings of DRS 2016: Design + Research + Society : Future-Focused Thinking, London: Design Research Society 2016 : 4029-4044
Lindh Karlsson, Monica; Redström, Johan
International Journal of Design, International Journal of Design: 2016, Vol. 10, (1) : 73-84
Pawar, Aditya; Redström, Johan
Design and anthropology, Routledge 2016 : 83-99
Redström, Johan
Proceedings of the 2nd Biennial Research Through Design Conference
Davoli, Lorenzo; Wiltse, Heather; Redström, Johan
Nordes, Nordes: 2015, (6) : 1-10
Lindh Karlsson, Monica; 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
Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, Vol. 19, (1) : 26-49
Wiltse, Heather; Stolterman, Erik; Redström, Johan
DIS '14 Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Designing interactive systemsPages, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) 2014 : 121-130
Davoli, Lorenzo; Redström, Johan
Design’s Big Debates, Umeå: Design Research Society 2014 : 1015-1029
Davoli, Lorenzo; Redström, Johan; van der Vleuten, Ruben
Metod − Process − Redovisning: Artiklar och rapporter om den fortsatta utvecklingen av konstnärlig forskning = Method - process - reporting : articles, reviews and reports of the ongoing development on artistic research, Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet 2014 : 112-129
Redström, Johan
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) 2013, Vol. 20, (4) : 26-
DiSalvo, Carl; Redström, Johan; Watson, Matt
Proceedings of the 5th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2013, IASDR'13: “Consilience and Innovation in Design”
Kuenen, Christoffel; Redström, Johan
Stockholm: Axl Books 2013
Mazé, Ramia; Olausson, Lisa; Plöjel, Matilda; et al.
Share this book: critical perspectives and dialogues about design and sustainability
Redström, Johan
Digital Creativity, Routledge 2010, Vol. 21, (3) : 155-172
Bergström, Jenny; Clark, Brendon; Frigo, Alberto; et al.