Practice-based
design research

Research at Umeå Institute of Design

The primary objective of our research is to develop the design discipline by extending its existing practices and by forming its future foundations. To achieve this, we make use of a range of activities and formats: We educate design researchers in our PhD programme. We carry out basic design research in research programmes. We lead and participate in collaborative projects together with industry and academic partners. We work closely with both national and international design research networks, such as the Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education and the Design Research Society (hosting its 2014 conference).

Depending on the purpose, we make use of a range of different research formats to advance design. We use programs for research efforts that require substantial critical mass to be possible. With a lifespan of three to five years or even more, our research programs are set up to probe deep into the futures and foundations of design. We use different kinds of projects to advance existing design practice as well as its future forms, typically through collaboration with industrial and academic partners. Our projects range from basic research to the applied, and are all significant research efforts often taking years to complete. Additionally, we also make use of more compact formats, events and interventions, for instance to conduct pre-studies or to probe new areas and formats.