Doctoral student in Industrial Design: Reflexivity in Design 

Lund University


September 25, 2022


Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Department of Design


Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world's top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description

Industrial design aspires to the creation and production of meaningful and relevant experiences and interactions with tangible and intangible objects with significance for society and the environment.

Therefore, the research subject of industrial design deals with both basic and applied knowledge generation in industrial design as a phenomenon, aiming to increase the understanding of the field of design from the perspectives of epistemology and practice. The research methods and approaches of the subject span a wide field, enabling a fusion of scientific and artistic approaches to generate knowledge and explore new formats of communication.

The specific PhD-candidate position in Industrial Design is being offered in the research area of Reflexivity in Design, which seeks a deeper understanding of how knowledge flows between various practices and communities within the field. Presently, there is limited meaningful integration of design scholarship and design practice, and the resulting divide between the perceived roles of design ‘theory' and ‘practice', presents an obstacle to mutual knowledge transfer, effective learning, and collective reflection in the field.

The aim of this doctoral position is to explore how the field of design and its various forms of organisation and knowledge are reproduced, and through the experimental medium of a design project, to create and implement new epistemological, social, and material resources to further integrate the field.

Work duties

The PhD candidate will be an integral part of a small team of PhD candidates and the teaching staff of the division of Industrial Design and will kickstart the exploration of the PhD project. Therefore, it is important to contribute to a collaborative approach: to supplement and support the other PhD candidates' work and create a research environment that does not only produce relevant knowledge, but also find new and effective ways of communicating such knowledge within and beyond the field of design.

This PhD position requires a research approach that combines analytical and empirical study modules with experimental and practical modules. The dissertation credits are allocated in a balanced combination of practical design/ artistic research and scholarly research, and are achieved through artistic development work, academic publications, courses, etc., and by exceeding academia and entering the public domain for implementation and reflection. Therefore, it is necessary that the candidate is both a published academic and a practicing design professional.

The main duties of the doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses, and it involves undertaking teaching and/or departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
  • A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Industrial Design if the applicant has:

  • at least 30 credits in subjects of relevance to the field, including at least 15 second-cycle credits, or
  • a second-cycle degree project of at least 20 credits of relevance to the field, or
  • an artistic university degree, MSc in Engineering, or a Master's degree of relevance to the field of Design
  • Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

    Additional requirements for Reflexivity in Design:
  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Professional experience as an industrial design practitioner.
  • A minimum of 5 credits in research methodology or an equivalent course in Industrial Design.
  • Published academic work within design journals or conferences.
  • An analytical and empirical research mindset in combination with artistic modes of exploration.
  • Previous experience of collaborative work processes on an international and transdisciplinary level.
  • Study experience at university level in more than one country.
  • Assessment criteria

    Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the candidate's potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily based on an artistic/professional portfolio and academic results from the first and second cycle relevant to the field. Special attention is paid to the following:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of the ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g., professional experience.
  • Other assessment criteria for Reflexivity in design:
  • Evidence of experimental approaches to design practice.
  • Interest and adequate proficiency in the focus area.
  • Ability to manage and finalise complex projects indepently and effectively.
  • Experience in design research.
  • Experience with communication and knowledge sharing based projects.
  • Experience and skills in collaborative work in academic research.
  • Professional experience from practice-based projects within a transdisciplinary collaborative working environment.
  • Ability to establish and maintain contacts and networks with research partners in academia, industry, or other organisations.
  • Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

    Terms of employment

    Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

    Instructions on how to apply

    Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

    LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

    We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

    Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months

    First day of employment As soon as possible according to agreement Salary Monthly salary Number of positions 1 Working hours 100% City Lund County Skåne län Country Sweden Reference number PA2022/2233 Contact

  • Claus-Christian Eckhardt, Professor, claus-
  • Union representative

  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-2229364
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
  • Published 15.Aug.2022 Last application date 25.Sep.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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