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Staff photo Maria Göransdotter

Maria Göransdotter

PhD in industrial design. Associate professor in design history and theory at Umeå Institute of Design. 

Works at

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

I teach and research in design, specializing in the areas of design history and design theory. I hold a PhD in industrial design. In my dissertation, Transitional Design Histories, I argued for the need of activating a historical awareness in designing, through exploring how design histories that take a starting point in designing might contribute to opening up the conceptual spaces of contemporary and emerging design practices. Read more about my PhD project here.

Between February and September 2021, I was Senior Resident Researcher at the Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, working on the project Designing Design Methods: Exploring past and present methods development to face emerging practices and unstable futures. 

We are not many at Umeå Institute of Design who are actually from Umeå, but I am one of them. I was born here, grew up in Saudi Arabia, and have since then mostly lived in Umeå (with stints in Gothenburg and Italy). My educational background is in the History of Science and Ideas at Umeå University, and I have also studied semiotics and aesthetics at the University of Bologna, Italy. I have been a PhD student and teacher in the field of history of ideas, and started teaching as an external teacher at UID in 1995 where I work full time since 2008. Between 2009 and 2018 I was a part of the school's leadership team: deputy head of department 2009-12. Head of Department in 2013-15, and Vice rector between 2015 and 2018. 

Contact me if you'd like to discuss how the past matters for how we see and do things today and in the future:
- design studies
- design history
- design theory
- history of technology
- history of ideas
- participatory design
- user-centered design
- Scandinavian design

Hundra år av design och demokrati : Alla vägar bär hit, online, 12 mars, 2021
Göransdotter, Maria
Matters of Scale: Proceedings of the 9th Nordic Design Research Conference, Kolding, Denmark, Kolding: 2021 : 187-196
Göransdotter, Maria
Nordic Design Cultures in Transition 1960-80, Workshop, online, May 27-28, 2021
Göransdotter, Maria
Umeå Institute of Design Research Publications, 8
Göransdotter, Maria
Nordic Design Cultures 1960-80, SDU Design, Denmark, October 2-4, 2019
Göransdotter, Maria
Design Issues, MIT Press 2018, Vol. 34, (2) : 20-30
Göransdotter, Maria; Redström, Johan
Design History Society Annual Conference; Design and Time, Middlesex University, London, UK, September 8-10, 2016
Göransdotter, Maria; Redström, Johan
Conference Proceedings: Volume 2. Design Research Society 2012: Bangkok: Research: Uncertainty Contradiction Value, Bangkok: Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University 2012 : 526-541
Göransdotter, Maria
NU2010: Dialog för lärande
Göransdotter, Maria; Erhardsson, Margareta
NU2010: Dialog för lärande
Göransdotter, Maria; Erhardsson, Margareta; Lindh-Karlsson, Monica
Historiska studier: skrifter från Umeå universitet, 1
Utsikter, insikter, avsikter: universitetspedagogisk konferens i Umeå 27 – 28 februari 2007, Umeå: Universitetspedagogiskt Centrum, Umeå universitet 2007 : 11-23
Andersson, Åsa; Göransdotter, Maria
Tänk efter, tänk nytt, tänk om: den sjunde universitetspedagogiska konferensen 2–3 mars 2005, Umeå: Umeå universitet 2006 : 173-188
Gelfgren, Stefan; Göransdotter, Maria
Årsbok om folkbildning 2004, Stockholm: Föreningen för folkbildningsforsking 2005 : 49-65
Göransdotter, Maria
Vidgade vyer: Globalt perspektiv på idéhistoria, Lund: Studentlitteratur 2000 : 214-232
Göransdotter, Maria
Historisk Tidskrift (S), (3) : 449-478
Göransdotter, Maria
Nordisk arkitekturforskning, Göteborg: 1999, Vol. 2 : 45-54
Göransdotter, Maria
Kultur och konsumtion i Norden 1750-1950, Helsingfors: Finska Historiska Samfundet 1997 : 253-274
Göransdotter, Maria
Kollektive identiteter, ting og betydninger, Oslo: Senter for teknologi og menneskelige verdier 1997 : 49-62
Göransdotter, Maria

My main areas of teaching are design history and theory, focusing on ideas and practices central to critically probing matters of concern in contemporary designing. At Umeå Institute of Design (UID), I mainly teach on the BFA programme and on the MFA programme in interaction design. During the spring of 2021, my colleagues and I presented a proposal for a new BFA programme in industrial design that fully integrates sustainability perspectives, developed with the support of PUNKTUM funding. I teach on pedagogical courses for university teachers at the Centre of Teaching and Learning (UPL) at Umeå University, and have also with UPL developed pedagogical courses for design teachers. On PhD level, I have for many years taught a course at the Faculty of Arts at Umeå University. In 2015, I was awarded recognition as 'recognized university teacher' in our university's pedagogical qualification model.