The Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education

(This site was running until 31st December 2015, please se more info in the latest news article on the start page.)

The aim of the Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education (previously the Center for Research in Design) is to create a solid, critical and future-oriented platform for research, advanced practice and education in the field of design.


The Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education is a national center for design research based at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The faculty encourages the development of design as a field of knowledge so that it can respond to social, economic and technological challenges in society in a sustainable, innovative and aesthetically aware manner. Currently the faculty is hosting more than 50 doctoral students from 13 of its 20 member institutions throughout Sweden.

Design concerns us all – everyday and everywhere, in private and in public. In this sense, design is society’s biggest cultural sector. Thanks to its ability to effect renewal, design also has a decisive impact on competitiveness in many industries. Design research is needed so that design can develop its cultural and innovative role to meet the future’s complex and rapidly changing world with its increased demands for sustainable development.

The Graduate School

Who can apply?

Anyone who is registered as a doctoral student at one of our member institutions is welcome to the Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education. Your institution applies on your behalf by emailing a study plan, a brief project description, a statement of reasons and your CV to our director Maria Hellstrom Reimer, see address below.

Basic course

The graduate school’s basic course in design research is for a total of 18 higher education credits. The course runs for two years and includes four workshop events (“internat”) per year. The course provides an introduction to the various methods, theories and research fields of design research. During the course, the doctoral student has the opportunity to build a network of contacts and gain an overview of current design research both in Sweden and abroad. The course provides a common foundation in the subject of design research for all doctoral students regardless of their background and research field. Students can subsequently follow up the course with supplementary and advanced studies. The basic course is planned and led by the graduate school’s management group and is held at various member institutions throughout Sweden. This gives each institution the opportunity to present its own research and allows the doctoral students to orientate themselves and get to know various researchers.

You will receive a total of 18 higher education credits for the basic course. Each workshop event (“internat”) will give you 2 higher education credits for a total of 16 higher education credits for all the workshop events. This includes a presentation of your work to the other attendees at one event and participating as an opponent at another presentation. To receive the remaining 2 higher education credits you must submit a short essay on your relationship to design research, based on readings and seminars. The essay may discuss any of the themes during the course that you are specifically interested in and that can be used as part of your thesis work. The essay must not be extensive (about 4-5 pages) but must be presented and discussed during one of the workshop events, probably in your seminar group.

Advanced courses and projects

As a complement to the basic course, students are also offered advanced courses in specialised research fields, methods or theoretical constructs. The advanced courses are given by the member institutions and at their initiative, or are commissioned by the Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education. In general, the advanced courses are worth 7.5 higher education credits but can also be longer or shorter in length. It is also possible to start projects or special interest groups, which can then receive funding from the Swedish Faculty for Design Research and Research Education. As an example, there is currently a joint venture between the Faculty and a research institute in innovation.


Prof. Maria Hellström Reimer
Phone: +46-40-665 71 47
maria [dot] hellstrom [dot] reimer [at] mah [dot] se

Susanne Helgeson
Phone: +46-8-790 68 40
sushel [at] kth [dot] se

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The Art of Becoming a Design PhD – watch our video now!
Password: designfakulteten

Read the summary of the Design Faculty’s activities between 2008 and May 2014 as we are seeking funding for our continued existence.

Designfakulteten grundades i december 2007 med finansiering från Vetenskapsrådet och KTH. Dess främsta verksamhet är att driva en nationell forskarskola i design i samarbete med ett 20-tal institutioner runt om i Sverige.

Institutionen för maskinkonstruktion
Brinellvägen 83-85
100 44 Stockholm


Föreståndare maria [dot] hellstrom [dot] reimer [at] mah [dot] se (Maria Hellström)
Informationsansvarig sushel [at] kth [dot] se (Susanne Helgeson)

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