PhD position: Interaction Design

Deadline: 27.02.2022

Oslo School of Architecture and Design

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is an internationally leading, specialized university within the disciplines design, architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism. AHO offers a unique research-based education of international standing. Established in 1945, today it has built a solid national funding base and is prominently ranked internationally. AHO awards three Master’s degrees in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design, as well as a PhD programme. The school has approximately 800 students and 155 employees.

The Institute of Design (IDE) at AHO is one of the leading Nordic design-institutions. The institute takes a broad, holistic approach to design that emphasizes the relevance and importance of design within contemporary society. Our perspective is that good design creates aesthetic and functional products, services and experiences that delight and improve the lives of people and contribute to a sustainable future.

The Institute of Design develops research and teaching within and across the fields of industrial design, interaction design, service design, and systems oriented design. IDE collaborates closely with industry, public sector and governance, and is an important actor in research- and innovation-projects. The institute has an extensive international and national network across industry and academia, covering both the growing digital sector, as well as established areas such as healthcare, maritime industry, future-studies and innovation, and service development in the public and private sector. AHO’s design alumni are found in leading design studios and consultancies, in tech-companies, in industry, in research and innovation projects, as well as in policy and governance. The Institute of Design is internationally recognized and highly ranked; projects from the institute are frequently represented in national and international design awards.

Annual PhD Call 2022

About the position

Designing for next generation rich interaction design systems.

The Institute of Design, AHO offers a practice-based PhD in interaction design. Interaction design systems are today an essential part of interaction design practice that allow efficient and consistent design across large organisation or communities by defining reusable design components and patterns. Current design systems practice is expanding as diverse interaction technologies such as 3D audio, multiscreen, gestures, eye-tracking, mixed reality and haptics that are embedded in people’s social and physical contexts. As this trend continues it is important that we learn how to integrate such embodied and multimodal expressions into usable design systems for design practitioners. As such there is a need to experiment with and investigate frameworks allowing the definition of extended modalities and distributed interaction into design systems in interaction design practice.

The doctorate will explore the integration of post-screen interaction technologies into design systems, to realise user-friendly and aesthetically rich user experiences. The PhD should be positioned within interaction design practice with an emphasis on doing design experiments and analysis of design cases as part of the work. The project will use OpenBridge design system (www.openbridge.no) and connected resources as a case in the research with the purpose of improving the system as well as developing state of the art knowledge of interaction design systems practice.

The cases in this doctorate will be done in collaboration with the researchers, student assistants and designers in Ocean Industries Concept Lab, a leading design research group in Norway. The group has dedicated lab and workshop spaces. The PhD will also draw from several ongoing research projects connected to the OpenBridge design System that is dealing with advanced design systems, design in virtual and augmented reality interfaces. OpenBridge is the world’s only open-source design system for safety critical maritime workplaces. It is currently expanded to address multiscreen, gestural, voice, eye-tracking and haptic interaction. The system is in use all over the world and is currently disrupting maritime design. The research group has wide access to leading industry actors and potential field study sites. This PhD position will be supported by our experience and offer a space for inquiry where design practice is paramount in generating actual impact for this major and changing sector of global transport and communication.

For more information on this research program, please visit www.ahophdlive.com.

OpenBridge Design System

The video shows work from the augmented reality part of OpenBridge Design System.

  • Read more about the lab here
  • See more work from the lab here

About the candidate

Formal requirements

  • The candidate should have a master’s degree in interaction design. Similar areas such as industrial design and graphic design may be considered if the candidate can show expertise as an interaction designer.
  • The candidate should have design practice skills. Programming or implementation skills are not required, and it is sufficient to know creative production tools like Figma and other media tools.

Personal characteristics

  • Ambitious, curious and highly motivated.
  • The ability to understand user-centred interaction design from a professional perspective.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • The ability to work systematically and complete tasks within given deadlines.
  • The ability to work independently as well as in teams.
  • A strong motivation to contributing to a good working and social environment.

The Application must include

  • An application letter describing relevant background, motivation, research experience and network. (Two A4 pages maximum).
  • A tentative project outline of maximum 5 pages, formulating and discussing research tasks, types of problems and methodology.
  • A design portfolio demonstrating interaction design excellence.
  • CV
  • Certified copies of educational certificates, transcript of records, diplomas and letters of recommendation.
  • A list of publications and/or academic work if available.
  • 2 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail address and telephone number).

Please note that all documentation must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Applications that do not comply with the formal requirements will not be considered. Attachments beyond the required documents will not be taken into consideration.

The material for the PhD application will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • The quality of the project outline.
  • The design portfolio demonstrating expertise in interaction design.
  • The applicant's suitability for the research tasks, based on previous practical and/or academicwork.
  • Previous academic experience is a bonus but not the main criteria of evaluation.

We offer

  • The PhD scholarship is fully funded and there is no tuition fee.
  • The position (SKO1017) has a pay grade of 54 with salary NOK 491 200 per year for a full position; extensive relevant experience can give a higher start salary. From the salary, there will be a mandatory deduction of 2 % as a contribution to the State Pension fund (SPK). Standard employment conditions for state employees in Norway apply for the position.
  • The PhD is a full-time 3-year position, with the possibility for negotiating a 4-year position with 25% teaching.
  • An annual sum of 20 000 NOK for literature and other necessary academic activities.
  • Attractive welfare benefits and generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

Formal regulations

The educational component in the AHO PhD Programme is mandatory and requires fulltime attendance. Residency in Oslo for the employment period is mandatory. Research stay at a relevant international academic institution is encouraged. The PhD fellowship will start September 1st 2022.

Information meeting

The PhD Programme at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) will arrange an online information meeting about the AHO PhD Programme on Friday, February 4th 2022 at 14:00 CET. See www.ahophdlive.com for more information.

Contact Information:

Questions about this PhD position can be directed to the main supervisor:

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