I am associate professor in design history and design theory at Umeå Institute of Design, and Director of PhD studies in industrial design.
I teach and do research in design, specializing in the areas of design history and design theory. I hold a PhD in industrial design, after doctoral studies in the history of science and ideas, semiotics, and 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 Mapping Design Methods: Exploring past and present methods development to face emerging practices and unstable futures. Currently, I am together with colleagues from three Swedish universities engaged in the artistic research environment Design after progress, which runs between 2023 and 2028.
We are not many at Umeå Institute of Design who are actually from Umeå originally, 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 1996 where I have been employed since 2006. Between 2009 and 2018 I was a part of the school's leadership team: Deputy head of department 2009-12, Head of department 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
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 teach and tutor on all three cycles of the studio-based education in industrial design, and I have taught design theory in other Nordic and international design schools.
I teach in 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.
Currently, I am working with UID colleagues on developing the curriculum for a new BFA programme in industrial design that fully integrates sustainability perspectives.