Maria Göransdotter

Maria Göransdotter
Umeå University | UMU · Umeå Institute of Design

PhD in industrial design

About

14
Publications
1,545
Reads
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27
Citations
Introduction
Maria Göransdotter works as Associate Professor in design history and design theory at the Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University. Her research explores how design histories could be made to matter more for emerging and transformative design practices.
Additional affiliations
May 2021 - present
Umeå University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2015 - June 2018
Umeå University
Position
  • Vice Rector
August 2012 - September 2015
Umeå University
Position
  • Head of Department
Education
June 2014 - September 2020
Umeå Institute of Design
Field of study
  • Industrial design

Publications

Publications (14)
Article
Full-text available
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, investigations of dwelling habits were made in order to analyse Swedish families' ways of using their apartments. This article argues that these surveys provided arguments that legitimised and made possible the incorporation of the "furniture question" and concepts of good tase in government policy. "The Family...
Article
Full-text available
Design history tends to focus on designers and design outcomes, primarily objects. In contrast, historical accounts and analyses of designing are rare. This paper argues for the need of design histories that also address the origins of our design methods with respect to contexts, values and ideas in order to understand what these actually bring to...
Book
Full-text available
PhD thesis in industrial design. Full text available: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-174353 Design practices are to a large degree conceptually and methodologically based in ways of designing rooted in the 20th century. Some of the challenges that arise in contemporary design stem from an unawareness of design’s historicity, and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In design, the big questions are typically not where we come from, but where we are heading. History, thus, rarely has a prominent place in the understandings of how, or why, design is done in certain ways. Yet, the methods, processes and ways of thinking that shape contemporary design practices have come about over time, and are thus historically...
Article
Full-text available
This article outlines a direction for a research endeavour bringing together design research and design historical research from a perspective of contem- porary design methods. There is a need to probe and question the histories and geographies of design’s methods, to explore how they could contribute to expanding conceptual foundations and develop...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on the emergence of user-centred and participatory Scandinavian design ideas and practices in 1970s Sweden. Many of the concepts and methods still highly present – supported as well as contested – in contemporary design stem from the turn towards collaborative designing through the late 1960s and early 1990s. However, in Nordic...
Chapter
Full-text available
Design has formed as a professional field, over time, in relation to social, political, cultural, and industrial transformations. In this process, the ways that designing itself is carried out have responded to these changes as well. There is not one singular way of doing design. The varieties of tools, methods, materials, and situations that desig...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper focuses on how interior decoration and taste was seen and taught in relation to the vision of the ideal home in 1940s Sweden. Two phenomena that arefocusedon are surveys of how people actually lived, and the attempts made to alter that way of living. The activities of Svenska Slöjdföreningen (SSF, the Swedish Society of Industrial Design...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The objective of this study is to investigate aspects of the historical emergence of design methods in relation to societal challenges, to build a deeper understanding of the nature of design methods in order to allow their evolution in time. The research themes will integrate methodologies stemming from design studies research practices with roots in the humanities and social sciences with methodologies pertaining to practice-based research through design. One aim is to prototype collaborative formats for investigating the historicity of design methods, in order to critically engage designers and researchers together in exploring limits and possibilities in existing and emerging design processes and practices.
Project
The overall research questions guiding this PhD project are how design histories could be made differently, if we were to take a starting point in today's practices of designing and explore the foundations of and conceptual changes within these in relation to past, current and future ideas and contexts of design? And further: Could such historical inquiries allow us to broaden the perspectives on the past in order to not only make sense of the present, but to critically question core concepts, methods and frameworks in design in order to open up for other possible future trajectories in design education and practice? In my ongoing dissertation work, I propose that 'transitional design histories' could contribute to bringing about shifts in positions and perspectives in and on designing. I prototype what these kinds of transitional histories might be like, by tracing concepts and contexts central to practices associated with Scandinavian user-centered and participatory design. Through an idea-focused analysis of Swedish practices and discourse around the design and use of everyday things, I base these studies mainly on 20th century texts and historical archival materials. The early 20th century ideas and practices that were influential in forming Swedish design discourse came to be highly present not only in the industrial design profession, as it emerged in Sweden, but also in state policy and goverment intitiatives aiming to reform everyday life in different ways. There was a societal consensus that things, homes and domestic life were crucial elements in building a modern society with thoroughly modern citizens. I investigate ideas and methods that today are an integral part of a 'Scandinavian user centered design', and discuss how these still carry with them norms, values and practices linked to the specific historical contexts that these once emerged in. My supervisors are Johan Redström, Umeå Institute of Design, and Kjetil Fallan, Oslo University.