AHO PhD Colloquium 2018 - Abstracts


Synne G. Frydenberg – Serendipity in the field

Field research on ship bridges is challenging for designers and design researchers to conduct, due to the complex and unpredictable context they are faced with onboard. Through two field studies, we have investigated how to explore premises and possibilities to design augmented reality (AR) systems for navigators in the arctic by using an explorative and opportunistic mix-methods approach. The studies show that much relevant data is collected by serendipity due to the approach. In this paper we therefore ask, how may we facilitate for serendipitous outcomes in design-driven field studies? We present a case study of design-driven field research where we analyse which specific aspects that led to serendipitous outcomes described in our examples. We further discuss how practical support for designers and design researchers conducting design-driven field research can be developed.


Eimear Tynan  - Arctic islands: archival exposures

The article examines a selection of coastal sites on three remote Arctic islands to investigate the spatial and temporal conditions of these vulnerable environments. Mediating between two archival sources, namely meteorological data and historic photographs, new knowledge and insights into the natural and anthropogenic changes to these coastlines is exposed. Based upon recent fieldwork on these islands the historic photographs are unfolded and activated through comparisons with contemporary photography and local weather recordings. This, in effect, attempts to go beyond the frame of the photograph to expand the viewing point of the observer into a field of experience and immersion. With the presence of meteorological stations on all three islands, the article will translate the numerical feed of weather observations into a more relative and embodied account experienced on the islands. The challenging interplay between the two archival sources allows for a more relational and dynamic dimension of these island coastlines to be revealed. Thus, it extends beyond the boundaries of vision to shed light on a renewed knowledge and understanding of these coastal sites.


Yue Zou – Design for quality life - speculative transformation of lifestyle

Since climate change has become a tangible and serious issue that humanity has to face, more and more disciplines are evolving to address this field, including design. Design, especially product design, is regarded as a discipline that promotes consumer consumption. Design itself is a problem in the context of climate change. As new design approaches such as social innovation and transition design try to deal with issues such as climate change, designers sometimes lose sight of their aesthetic role. The core question of this challenge is how to understand the designer’s creative and aesthetic skills in these projects. In this paper, I will demonstrate why lifestyle transformation could be a promising practice space for designers by analyzing the current situation of transformative design and speculative design and discuss the relationship between these. By this means the study will inform a more sustainable direction into which designers can transfer their creative and aesthetic skills.


Lisbeth Iversen - Cocreation, civil society mobilization and participation in planning and monitoring of Raet National Park.

Implementation of the Landscape Convention and the combat for protection of landscape and natural resources, combined with the facilitation of use, development and value creation of coastal zones are key issues related to the conservation of biosphere and natural diversity, and sustainable management of natural and cultural resources, both at national, regional and local level. The Planning and Building Act and the Nature Diversity Act strive for holistic and sustainable results to ensure both quality and attractiveness, and are based on a principle of balancing considerations of various interests and resources. However, many conflicting interests and actors with different degrees of influence on the processes can make it difficult to achieve the desired results. One of the challenges associated with this type of planning and management, is that the areas are not owned by everyone, or are not experienced as accessible to everyone. In this article we look at the process of planning, establishing and organizing the management, of Raet National Park, with a focus on the area located in the municipality of Arendal, in the southern part of Norway. We ask how the municipality has been working related to the mobilization of people and cultural resources, and investigate whether sustainable results and additional values of broad participation and involvement, local knowledge and local resources can be identified. In particular, we look at the organization of the process and the role of the actors, the mobilization process and the information- and communication approaches connected to this process, what the actors understand by the terms of quality, attractiveness and sustainability, and how broad involvement and participation can pave the way for a new type of coastal zone management beyond the formal National Park Administration, making it possible for the entire civil society to help to fulfill the goals and the policy of the municipal area-plan. The article's contribution to the research front is that it builds a bridge between institutional leadership- and management literature, the literature on collaborative nature management and planning theory.


Tom Davies – ‘….Gnawing at the heart of the country’

According to Floor Wibaut, a Dutch welfare planner behind much of the development of suburban expansion of Amsterdam, ‘The point of departure for raising the culture of the working classes…must lie in the improvement of housing conditions’. This presentation considers the heritage of housing, beginning with the premise, outlined in the (in process) article ‘A Social Excursion: Providing for the many’, that through welfare provision we entered into a social contract with ourselves. Furthermore, the subsequent abandonment of welfare models does not absolve us of the responsibility to deliver on a collective commitment to improve conditions and lives. Whilst heritage (along with other disciplines) has become increasingly concerned with communities, shown in terms such as ‘heritage community’ (1) and ‘Communal Value’ (2), its practitioners are frequently frustrated in their efforts to support communities. Balancing opposing tensions in managing change and the involvement of appropriate agency (heritage-practitioners, housing models, etc.) are central in supporting communities and the places in which they live (3). The challenges this presents are explored through three sites: Alexandra Road, Swiss Cottage (1967-78), Highgate New Town (’73-79, 76-78 & ’78-81) and Vestli, Stovner District (1968-78), East Oslo. This forms a basis for examining how heritage practitioners can contribute to these aims, the central role of community in that process and the value of collaboration between these parties.

1. Zagato, L. (2015). The notion of “Heritage Community” in the Council of Europe’s Faro Convention. Its impact on the European legal framework. Markus Tauschek (eds.) Between Imagined Communities and Communities of Practice, pp. 141.

2. Historic England (2015). Conservation principles, policies and guidance. London: English Heritage, pp. 31

3. Garcia-Ruibal, A. (2008) Time to destroy An Archaeology of Supermodernity. Current Anthropology, Vol. 49, No. 2 (April 2008), pp. 247-279


Anna Ulak – The Urban and Built Environment: Through the Lens of a Systems Theorist

This paper will illuminate how an epistemic mode of thought- systems theory permeated various disciplines such as economics, urbanism and architecture during late 1960´s- 70´s. The paper will primarily focus on the consequences this epistemic mode of thought of systems theory bared on architecture and urbanism. Although much has already been expressed about systems theory influencing architecture this paper will reveal the far ranging implications it had on many disciplines and architecture. The paper will also bring to light some characters that were left unknown to its history in terms of how it influenced urbanism and architecture. Finally the paper will expose how the impact of systems theory´s influence on ecology, urbanism and architecture still resonates today in unsuspecting ways.


Bjørnar Nørstebø  - A new role of knowledge dissemination in the building industry

The ongoing changes in terms of digitalisation, industrialisation, internationalisation and customisation require a new perspective on communication in the building industry regarding timing, format and adaption of the knowledge needed. Preproduction, customisation and industrial manufacturing enforce adapted, holistic and diverse information early in the project to encounter the further consequences of the chosen building design. This development demands an open accessible system of flexible legislation and information throughout the lifetime of the project.

The importance of accessible building knowledge increases as the climate crises of more varied and wet weather develops. To choose updated and valid solution regarding water treatment, and to ensure proper implementation of this solution, is crucial to prevent unnecessary health risk and further additional expenses. The human consequences of building errors are further potentially increasing through urbanisation and densely populated cities. Finally, the construction industry, due to its big impact on the environment and its large share of energy consumption, sewage and emissions, carries a big responsibility on behalf of the society to achieve sustainable climate goals

Such enormous challenges place high demands on the industry, the solutions and the constructions. How is the dissemination of the information needed to accomplish this going to happen? The digitalisation of the communication, the digital flow and linkage between databases, planning tools, construction tools and the production machines seem to be a possible solution, as well as the amount and diversity of information questioning the availability, durability and adaptability of the information as well as the navigation in it. One key factor of this appears to booth strengthen the efficacy and safety aspects of automatization and digitalisation meanwhile clarify the human role of input, monitoring and evaluating the information in the process of constructing. What is the human role and where is the benefit of human input and assessments? Where and in which form is building knowledge needed in the digital reality of construction and communication. What is the role of communication in the changing construction industry?