Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskaplig fakultet

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Umeå Institute of Design is looking for an exceptional postdoctoral researcher to be part of the research project Design Philosophy for Things that Change. This is a two-year full-time position. Application deadline is August 17, 2018.

Project description

This project is about developing a design philosophy for things that change: a philosophical and aesthetical foundation that forms and informs a design practice capable of conceptually handling the complexity of the evolving, globally connected and locally manifested sociotechnical landscapes now created using networked computational technologies and digital media. It seeks to investigate what happens when computational processes, dynamic networks, and contextual customisation emerge as factors as important as form, function and material were for designing, using, and understanding objects in the industrial age.

The project will involve design philosophical development, speculative design research, interdisciplinary symposia, and public engagement. The postdoc will be an integral part of all project activities, including their planning and integration, but will mainly focus on carrying out speculative and constructive research through design. Since contributing to the educations at Umeå Institute of Design is one of the goals of the project, there will also be opportunities to engage with course development and teaching.

The research project is led by Heather Wiltse and Johan Redström, and funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. The postdoc will be the third member of the core project team. There is also an advisory board for the project consisting of internationally-recognized philosophers and design researchers, and interdisciplinary symposia with other invited researchers will be another key part of the project.

The required qualification is a doctoral degree, or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent to a doctorate, in interaction design, human-computer interaction, digital media, or other relevant fields. To be eligible, the degree should have been completed a maximum of three years before the end of the application period unless certain circumstances exist.

The candidate must have documented experience in speculative and constructive design research related to digital interactive technologies. The candidate should have excellent design skills, including the ability to make high quality artifacts as part of research through design. Interest and experience in working with and developing design theory and philosophy is a merit, such as experience of teaching. The candidate should be highly motivated, responsible, and passionate about developing as an individual design researcher as well as collaborator in interdisciplinary research. The ability to communicate well in spoken and written English and to work both independently and collaboratively are requirements.

The application must be submitted via Umeå University’s  e-recruitment system (apply button above), and should include:

  • A curriculum vitae (CV) with a publication list
  • A cover letter summarizing your qualifications, your research interests, and your motivation for applying (max 2 pages)
  • Names and contact information to two persons to give references
  • Copies of relevant degree certificates
  • Copies of the PhD thesis and relevant publications (max 5 publications)
  • A design portfolio (a link to an online portfolio is fine)

Other information
For more information about the project and position, contact Assistant Professor Heather Wiltse at For more information about Umeå Institute of Design, see We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Upon agreement
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1191-18
  • Heather Wiltse, Assistant Professor, 090-786 88 39
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 18.Jun.2018
Last application date 17.Aug.2018 11:59 PM CET

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