Oslo 2012

Title: Design on the Move

Date: 27, 28 & 29 August 2012

Venue: Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)

Submission: 1-2 page position paper about your project and the relevance of summer school theme. Deadline for submission: 1 August.


Contact: dagny [dot] stuedahl [at] intermedia [dot] uio [dot] no

Design researchers increasingly do approach complex environments to find new possibilities and solutions. This challenges the research methods as well as the design methods we use. This year we have put together a programme forNORDES Summer School 2012 that will focus on how the research methodologies in several design based research approaches do relate to the complex issues of mobility and urban contexts.

The theme Design on the Move are to do with the shaping of interdisciplinary inquiry and methods following the medley of theory and practice related to the use of designed artifacts or solutions in mobile situations. This year’s summer school will be dedicated to practical workshops as well as formal research presentations and talk focusing on of how methods develop, in accordance to theories and current approaches to designing for mobility and place-making. 

Mobile life, mobility and urban place making entail new forms of citizen participation as well as community building that concern a wide spectre of design related disciplines, such as urban planning, cultural heritage, sustainability and green design movements. Mobility is currently conceptualized as going beyond the mundane movement-spaces  function that move ‘subjects’ and ‘objects’ about (Thrift 2004) into forms of mobility that transgress types of places and spaces. This summer school has put focus on how we can explore, observe and conceptualize these place-making processes methodologically.

The summer school is based on two formal research seminars where invited keynotes present diverging approaches to design methods into mobility, and where PhD students present mobility issues from their own research project, in addition to an experimental workshop day focused on practical activities with a variety of research methods related to mobility. The aim is to motivate participants to shift their current activities towards sharper and faster production of written texts and hopefully papers for the next NORDES Conference (2013).


These events are designed to address mobile tools and research methods in design, not only on mobility, but also on changing methods in carrying our design inquiry.

Sunday 26 August: Welcome event

Monday 27 August: Mobile Impulses Seminars

10h00-14h00 Invited speakers on different aspect on methods for designing and researching mobility

14h00-17h00 project presentations, discussions

Venue: AHO

Tuesday 28 August: 2 Workshops: Design Research Methods on the Move

The two workshops will approach research methods on mobility from different angles. The walkshop will focus on semiotic and material means while the watershop will focus on participation and performativity. Attendance at one only for practical reasons. Participants from the two workshops will meet at the end of the day and exchange their research findings from the day. Camera phones, iPADs, cameras etc will be needed as tools.

A: Walkshop

10h00-12h00 On the move

This moving workshop will be carried out in and on the streets of Oslo, stretching notions of urban probes and ethnographic eyes through perambulation and situationist inflected humanist inquiry. The walkshop examines signals, sensors and urban data alongside mobile apps and locative media tools. Short mobile reflections will be produced via smartphones / iPads and location based services and social media tools based on historical and socio-cultural aspects of place-making and movement in the city. The participants will be working in smaller groups of 5 persons.

12h00 Lunch at locations identified en route

14h00-1600 Reflections and write ups at AHO.

B: Watershop

10h00-16h00 On land and on board

This event will take place at the harbor as a floating mini-laboratory for reflecting on the emergent practices of mobile design and harbor areas of the city. The Watershop draws on an assembly of artifacts, digital tools and shared activities to examine the given roles of mobile tools and media in documenting, designing and conveying urban spaces. The harbour represents a border into other kinds of placemaking and mobility, in the limited space of boat and ships and on maps, navigation instruments and so on. How can a harbour space integrate means of these other types of movement and mobility?

Wednesday 29 August: Parallel Seminars: Moving My Research Onwards

Venue AHO

10h00-13h00 Seminar presentations of student papers and discussions

13h00 -  Closing lunch, evaluation and Award(for ‘most moving’ contribution to the summer school)

This formal session will be based on a set of time based presentations of PhD research projects drawing on 4 modes of presentation:

  1. a core issue you need to address in either theory or methods

  2. a pointed discussion of a key text you have selected from your readings

  3. an identified debate in design research that move you but needs new direction

  4. a draft text of your own for presentation and review.

Depending on the total number of students, participants will be grouped in accordance to research focus and interest, and will be given the role as discussant for at least one presentation. Each group will be 5-8 persons.

Participation in NORDES summer school is free, but participants have to cover travelling and stay by themselves. We will suggest reasonable bookings.

For further information: http://www.nordes.org/index.php?Summer+Schools

Course co-oordinator

Dr Dagny Stuedahl, InterMedia, University of Oslo (the school will be co-hosted by AHO and InterMedia).


On the NORDES summer schools

The summer schools are usually based on seminars and workshops that take place every second year. Their overall aim is to:

- introduce areas of reflection, theory and design that typically are regarded as a marginal a part of the PhD curriculum at a design faculty

- provide a common ground for Nordic PhD students to meet and learn from one another

- facilitate means for developing and discussing both formal and informal research programs and projects.

- support fresh design researchers in developing their projects and confidence in research through seeing it in respect to that of others

- present and rehearse material for further development as paper for the bi-annual NORDES research conference in the following year

- strengthen regional knowledge and collaboration on doctoral education, including contributions from participants to the summer school, for further development and international extension and exchange.

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