Mathilda Research What's up Workshops

  1. Power workshop at Nordes design conference

    Power workshop, Nordes, AHO, Oslo, 1 July, 2017

    Design + Power was the theme of Nordes 2017 design conference, hosted by AHO, Oslo. There was a great line up of keynote speakers, including Dori Tunstall, OCADU, Canada, the first black dean (this was highlighted by Professor Tunstall herself) of a design school. She spoke of the experience of decolonizing art and design conference, and set the red thread for a conference with many interesting contributions and discussions around  decolonization and the inherent necessity of challenging the modernist project of/by design. A question that ran through my head during the conference was whether we are now colonizing the term decolonizing. I was also thinking about how we can consider all human settlement on our planet as colonialism. My colleagues Åsa Ståhl and Sara Hyltén-Cavallius (Department of Design, Linnaeus University) and I ran a workshop entitled ‘How Can We Critically & Creatively Engage with Power Relations in Collaborative Design Research?’. We selected power ‘cruxes’ from the development project BOOST, and together with 25 participants we enacted these in front of a video camera, watched the film, and discussed how power relations, both at the level of the hands-on research situation, and in terms of the institutions and metanarratives that underpin and enable research, can be changed. This was a high risk workshop both to facilitate and participate in, and we were very grateful to participants for generous engagement. We came away with many insights, including the question of how to let silence and non-participation play a bigger role in collaborative research.

  2. BOOST metadesign learning cycle

    This spring we have been engaging in an exciting learning cycle for the project BOOST.

    BOOST metadesign learning cycle, Skype, 27 June, 2017

    BOOST metadesign is based at the Department of Design, Linnaeus University, and conducted by Mathilda Tham, Sara Hyltén-Cavallius and Åsa Ståhl. The three-year-long development project explores needs of and dreams for housing and inhabiting at the intersection of migrants, students and an ageing population in a context of sustainability, and in the region of Småland, southern Sweden. The exploration is mainly taking place through collaborative workshops together with students, migrants and older people (wiser people, super adults, senior citizens, older adults) as well as architects, city planners, representatives for housing societies and municipalities. This will generate scenarios and guidelines directed at decision makers and citizens. To enrich and contextualize the practice, Anette Lundebye and Hannah Jones (Stanford University) have identified a series of practical examples and theory, in the remit of housing and our particular audiences. Specifically, we are interested in intergenerational housing concepts and practices. We set up a Skype learning cycle where practice and theory are shared and discussed and we generate ideas for the next steps. A key theme that we discuss are the norms around housing, ownership, temporalities of a home, the standard of a home, the amount of space privacy requires.

  3. The Future of Natural Materials

    Grow. Lamp – A Grow It Yourself by Danielle Trofe, using Ecovative’s patented Mushroom® Material technology.

    Anette recently did some consultancy work for Space Doctors, which consisted of desktop research on the future of natural materials (ingredients and processes) that might form the basis of different kinds of consumer packaged goods in the future. The examples looked at various areas from biomimicry to regenerative processes that might also be compostable or that stimulate or trigger natural processes, from mycelium, moss, kelp or citrus fibre. Much of what may form the future of the bioeconomy, or the biocycle economy.


    How can designers free design? Design School Kolding, Denmark, 1 June, 2017

    The Cumulus Redo Conference, Design School Kolding, 30 May-2 June, 2017 focused on ‘redoing’ – design and education, society. The unusually interactive and outwards-facing design conference kicked off with a workshop including all delegates where we, in small groups, identified concrete challenges and some hands-on steps in order to redo. I was proud to be one of the keynote speakers (others included Rachel Cooper, Ezio Manzini). The starting point of my talk ‘How can designers free design?’ was a reminder ‘freedom, freefy’ that for the last ten years have gone off each morning at 8am on my three synchronized digital devices. The first is to remind me that I am free which I, and probably other people too, often forget. The second, ‘freefy’, is to remind me that because I have freedom to move, I also have a responsibility to use it. (By this I don’t mean movement by trains and planes, but moving my head, my thoughts, my actions, my criticality, my creativity to new, and sometimes uncomfortable places and encounters, to probe, challenge, open up and try to be generous.) I argued that freedom can be compared to stretching, and that when we don’t stretch into a full potential, the unfilled freedom space may translate into surrogates like overconsumption. I also argued that design intrinsically is a practice of negotiating freedoms, but that, as we sometimes turn too anxiously to other fields (or when are too cool for school), lose some important potentials for design. The talk ended with Let it Go, a power and freedom ballad of our youngest generation.

  5. BOOST: ‘Future of Home’ facilitation guide

    BOOST ‘Future of Home’ facilitation guide, Spring 2017

    During Spring 2017, Hannah Jones and Anette developed a set of metadesign workshops and a facilitation guide as part of the BOOST metadesign project led by Mathilda Tham at the Department of Design, Linnaeus University. The guide includes: a definition of metadesign and crucial concepts and principles, alongside facilitation guidelines for a set of metadesign tools to lead a ‘dreams & needs’ workshop and a ‘future of home’ workshop. These were used by Sara Hyltén-Cavallius and Åsa Ståhl in a series of collaborative workshops together with students, migrants and older people as well as architects, city planners, building companies, housing associations and municipalities to explore the needs, dreams and visions to inform the ‘Future of Home’ in the region of Småland, Sweden.

  6. Launch of Småland Living Lab

    Labhall, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden 27. October, 2016.

    A year after the idea of a Småland Living Lab was born, we designed and facilitated a multi-stakeholder one-day workshop to synergise knowledge and interests, and generate concrete ideas for projects in the remit of sustainability in Småland. The 41 participants went through a day of cooking, thinking, talking, mapping, making and forging new connections across: local authorities, NGO’s, researchers, industry, cultural sector, craft, small-hold farming and more. Now we are exploring the rich material that came out and preparing it for a next stage of funding applications and living lab’ing.

  7. Curious Design Change workshop

    Curious Design Change Workshop at Linnaeus University, Sweden, 16. October 2015.

    To launch the design research platform Curious Design Change that Mathilda leads at Linnaeus University, Sweden, we designed and delivered a transdisciplinary workshop. The 30 participants included researchers from the fields of design, literature, gender studies, archeology, economics, history, informatics, and some externals — energy authority, municipality, business incubator. The workshop took place in the huge wood and metal workshop in three consecutive sessions on: Curiosity (mapping research interests and possible synergies), Change (possible strategies for implementation) and food for thought (making an organic lunch with a local chef). The question guiding the session was ‘what is the potential of our collaborations?’ and to explore what new and exciting transdisciplinary research may emerge between design and various fields such as gender studies or …  Imagine a new field called:Intergalactic gender expression!

  8. Designing learning scenarios for futures of sustainability

    Nordes 2015: Design Ecologies, Konstfack, Stockholm, 9. June, 2015

    For their ambitious 3-hour workshop at the Nordes 2015: Design Ecologies conference, Dr. Hannah Jones and Anette held the question: How can we re-design design education to design itself, so that it can become really responsive and effective on behalf of the environment? The aim of the workshop was to facilitate the co-design of learning experiences, which explored and responded to a range of sustainable futures scenarios at a systemic level. The workshop outcomes took the form of design ‘seeds’ or prototypes of these sustainable futures learning experiences that might be further developed into classes etc. One of the key insights from the workshop was the experiential ways in which the teams of participants imagined and communicated these future learning-scenarios.

  9. Nordes Design ecologies

    Nordes Design Ecologies. Stockholm, June 2015

    Mathilda is co-chair, with Martin Avila, Håkan Edeholt and Bo Westerlund, of Nordes conference Design ecologies – challenging anthropocentricism in design which will take place at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, in June 2015.

    This will be an exciting event with a mix of contributions from visionary scholars and practitioners, on the themes of sustainability and politics, economics, technology education, and even some wildcards.


  10. Metadesign workshop for course leaders at the School of Design, LNU

    School of Design, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden, 19 October 2012

    We, Mathilda and Anette were invited to hold a full-day workshop for the staff in the school of Design at Linnaeus University. The purpose of the day was to offer an experience of some pedagogical approaches to sustainability that have emerged from our metadesign research, and to prompt discussion on diverse ways of engaging with sustainability in design education. The design of the day was based on the framework of ‘co-operative inquiry’ (Reason and Heron, 2001) and led to interesting reflections on managing uncertainty, paradoxes and agency.

  11. Metadesign at the Design & Emotion conference

    Central St. Martins School of Art & Design, London 11-14. September 2012

    Anette and Hannah Jones are presenting a paper and a workshop at the 8th International Conference on Design & Emotion, this year hosted at Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design in London. The article presents the findings from the first phase of an SRVD project carried out in November 2011 with the MA Design students at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO). The project, entitled ‘Metadesigning Spaces of Engagement and Exchange’ set about ‘bisociating diversities’ within the community and co-designing ‘seeds’ to revitalize a multi-cultural shopping and cultural centre in Veitvet, Oslo.


  12. Article in connecting the dots magazine # 5

    Connecting the Dots, London 20-23. September 2012

    What happens when designers shift their focus from satisfying consumer desires, to facilitating new social possibilities? Anette, together with Hannah Jones, has  co-written an article that explores the notion of Socially Responsive Design. They interview six design experts from their network to discover how they define Socially Responsive Design, what it feels like to be involved in this practice; and how it’s likely to impact on design in the future. The Dutch magazine connecting the dots will be out in September for the London Design Festival (14 – 23 September 2012). Read it here

  13. ‘Norwegianness’

    London, March/ May, 2011

    After having recently completed a couple of projects for Space Doctors providing insights on ‘norwegianness’, Malcolm Evans, Founder of the company said about our work:

    Lundebye & Tham provided Space Doctors with brilliant insight into evolving cultural meanings & semiotic codes around ‘Norwegianness’ on two 2011 projects, one for a major bank and the other for a global provider of environmental solutions.  Building on a history of highly successful work for us in cultural and design semiotics.

  14. Mistra Future Fashion

    Mistra, Sweden, 22 Mars, 2011

    Mistra, the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, has awarded 40 million Swedish Kronor to a transdiscpilinary research programme on sustainable fashion exploring new business models, design and innovative materials, sustainable consumption and consumer behaviour and policy. The funding was won by a consortium coordinated by SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and partners include Stockholm School of Economics, Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, as well as H&M. This is Mistra’s first venture into fashion. Mathilda has been a member of Mistra’s board since 2008 and has supported the development of the call, which came out in 2010. See more here.

  15. Languaging Fashion and Sustainability

    Nordic Textile Journal, University of Borås, Borås 2010

    Mathilda contributed a paper to the Nordic Textile Journal’s special issue on communication. Her piece explores the potential of language and a process of languaging as powerful design interventions that can be auspiciously directed at the paradigm level of a system – in this instance the fashion system, with the aim of achieving more a sustainable fashion industry. The article critically and creatively synthesizes and builds upon some of the researcher’s previous work, in the realm of fashion and sustainability, and metadesign.

    Tham, M. (2010). Languaging fashion and sustainability – towards synergistic modes of thinking,
    wording, visualising and doing fashion and sustainability. The Nordic Textile Journal, Special Issue
    Fashion Communication. 1/2010. 14-23.

  16. Socially Responsive Design II

    Oslo National Art Academy, Oslo, 18-20 October, 2011

    This year the Master students were asked to take their new campus as a starting point to explore broader lifestyle issues in terms of social and environmental impacts. The aim was to help understand their new community at KHiO, both within the institution as well as it’s relationships with the neighborhood. Together with Hannah Jones from Goldsmiths, the students got to experience a metadesign process by taking part in a series of collaborative workshops with the aim of synergizing interdisciplinary design teams; co-design different design interventions; challenge views of what design is and what it could be.

  17. Future of Surface Care

    London, July, 2010

    Recently we did an analysis on emerging trends in surface care for Space Doctors and their client – a major player in the industry. We looked at how consumers are choosing products to clean their homes alongside trends for the future home. Signals point to homes becoming less like machines and more like living organisms, which will lead to interesting shifts both in consumer behaviour and products.

  18. Nappy of the Future?

    London, June, 2010

    We just completed an analysis on the ‘nappy of the future’ for Seymour Powell. Looking at a range of existing international customs of nappy usage, existing products and emerging trends on new materials. Interestingly about half of the world’s children never wear nappies! The research revealed a whole lot of unsustainable facts and figures  – especially with regards to environmental impacts from waste management to water and energy inefficiencies. However the research also offered some compelling insights to opportunities for innovating new product-service systems.

  19. Metadesign & Socially Responsive Design

    Romsås, Oslo, 12-16. October, 2009

    Romsås, Oslo, 12-16 October, 2009

    This week-long Socially Responsive Design (SRVD) project with the first year MA Design students at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, used design research and metadesign tools to initiate a research project on potential meeting-spaces for local inhabitants at Romsås in Oslo. Through a series of presentations and workshops we challenged the students to question their assumptions on diversity and to develop their roles as designers beyond their traditional expertise.

  20. Pecha Kucha at Stockholm Design Week

    Stockholm, Sweden. 5 February, 2009. Pecha Kucha.

    Stockholm, Sweden. 5 February, 2009. Pecha Kucha.

    Mathilda participated in Pecha Kucha Night organised by Svensk Form at Berns during Stockholm Design Week. She dedicated her 20 slides and 6ish minutes to how we can design shared learning experiences with examples of methodology from the Lucky People Forecast project, the metadesign research, workshops in Bandung, Indonesia and teaching on the MA Design Futures, Goldsmiths.


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