Image: Erik Abel


Our research addresses current and emerging practices in design, from perspectives of programmatic and practice-based design research. The primary objective of our research is to develop design as a discipline by extending its existing practices and forming its future foundations.

We aim to be at the forefront of addressing how design - its ethics and aesthetics, poetics and politics - can evolve to meet changes and challenges in social, technical and ecological contexts. The research at Umeå Institute of Design is thematically open with respect to the issues and areas of industrial design we engage with.

Key research areas

  • Transitioning social practices to more socially and ecologically sustainable futures through design
  • Understanding, articulating, and critiquing the role of digitally connected, responsive, and data-intensive things
  • Crafting the increasing and evolving presence of artificial intelligence and agency in everyday life

The expanding research environment at UID employs a strong team of researchers crafting practical, theoretical and methodological research contributions to the field of design that aim to shape the discipline for decades to come.

In everything we do at UID - including our research - we seek to put people first, to collaborate with diverse stakeholders and forms of expertise, and to actively engage in ways that make a difference.

We are not so much interested in technological or interactive possibilities for their own sake, but rather in how they come to matter - literally and figuratively. This includes the socioeconomic contexts that enable and shape professional design practices and products, as well as the social and political contexts of design action and its consequences.

Research projects

UID hosts a number of different research programmes and projects within the field of design.

Tio personer sitter samlade runt ett bord. En talar och gestikulerar medan de andra lyssnar koncentrerat. I högra kanten syns baksidan av en monitor.

Research Seminars

The UID research seminars inspire critical discussions related to design research.

PhD programme

PhD students at UID build advanced skills in crafting practical, theoretical and methodological research contributions to the field of design that will shape the discipline for decades to come.

Latest update: 2023-09-18