Un/making Matters – maintenance, repair and composting

The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) has granted Kristina Lindström, senior lecturer in Product Design), and Åsa Ståhl, Linnéuniveristy fund for the research project Un/making Matters – maintenance, repair and composting. 

The purpose with Un/making Matters is to explore and develop an emerging design space that offers alternatives to the productivist and anthropocentric thinking and making that has been and still is strong within design and design research. 

Åsa Ståhl and Kristina Lindström will carry out a variety of design experiments where human and non-human actors are invited to engage with practices such as maintenance, repair, composting and other ways of caring for that which has already been made, rather than making the new. Our interest here lies not only in what these practices make or sustain, but also what they can unmake, in terms of matters, entanglements, practices, imaginaries and aesthetics. 

Based on these events we will in the final phase of the project craft speculative scenarios, manuals, fabulations and prototypes that offer fantastical as well as mundane proposals for how to care for that which is already made. These speculations will be circulated to a wider public through exhibitions, media and other public fora. 

Through crafting events and speculations we will explore and contribute with inventive couplings between methods and theories from participatory design, speculative design, repair and maintenance studies and feminist technoscience. Insights from the experiments and speculative articulations will be circulated to the design research communities through articles and presentations at conferences and symposia. It will also be brought into educational settings.

More about the project. 


Engaging with The Bridge: Cultural citizenship, cross-border identities and audiences as ‘regionauts’

New article by Tina Askanius, senior lecturer in Media and Communication Studies, in the upcoming issue of European Journal of Cultural Studies.

Engaging with The Bridge: Cultural citizenship, cross-border identities and audiences as ‘regionauts’  

This article explores civic engagement with the Danish/Swedish crime series The Bridge (Danmarks Radio/Sveriges Television 2011–) based on qualitative interviews with 113 audience members, and drawing on the notion of cultural citizenship. The perspective of cultural citizenship, as understood and operationalized mainly by Hermes, is married with critical perspectives on the crime drama genre and its audiences, along with cultural analysis of the construction of and engagement with the cross-border region in which the drama is set. The analysis shows that civic engagement with the crime series is prompted through the construction of community and allegiances through which audiences feel connected. This argument unfolds in three main analytical sections, detailing how audiences’ articulations of community are focused around distinct yet overlapping dimensions of community as (1) a national social ritual, (2) a sense of Nordic community, and finally (3) community as regional identity and sense of belonging to a borderless Öresund utopia – the integrated region between Denmark and Sweden. In so doing, the article offers rich insights into how audiences shape civic identities as members of nation states, of historical and cultural regions and as border-crossers between these geo-cultural entities – in dialogue with popular culture and around the boundary-work of the different communities offered by such texts.

New Article in Architecture and Culture

New article by professor Maria Hellström Reimer in the latest issue of Architecture and Culture. 

Playing the Green Card – The Commodifying Fiction of a Derivative Jardin-Forêt

With the point of departure in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) – site François Mitterand (Dominique Perrault, 1989–95) and more specifically its central but inaccessible jardin-forêt, this essay problematizes what has been described as the neoliberal shift in architecture and urbanism. The BnF and its garden-forest has been interpreted as a last breath of modernist urbanism and welfare ideas. Yet, rather than dismissing this Grand opération as a tardy spasm of modernism, it is perhaps more productive to consider the ensemble an exponent of the derivative, or spin-off, spatial logic currently sustaining the fiction of urban fertility and growth.

Read full article here.

Co-Design in Co-Production Processes

New article by Anna Seravalli, Mette Agger Ericsen and Per-Anders Hillgren have been publiched in CoDesign- International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts.

Co-Design in co-production processes: jointly articulating and appropriating infrastructuring and commoning with civil servants

Anna, Mette and Per-Anders have been part of the research project URB@exp during the last years.

About URB@exp
European cities face complex economic, social and environmental challenges. To address these challenges, cities seek new approaches. A currently popular approach is urban labs (Living Labs and City Labs), in which local governments engage in solving problems together with other stakeholders in urban development. However, clear guidelines are needed concerning types of problems for which urban labs are most suited and how urban labs can best be organized and integrated into formal local government organisations.

The URB@Exp project aims to develop such guidelines by reviewing experiences of urban labs, and conducting action research in urban labs in five European cities.



Malmo University DESIS Lab

Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Lab at Malmö University is hosted by K3. The Lab focuses on how design can be used to explore and raise discussions about societal challenges and it does so both through research projects and teaching activities.

The Lab is part of the international DESIS network that includes design schools from all over the world engaging with questions of social and environmental sustainability in their research and teaching activities.

From this week on, K3 blog will feature students’ projects and researchers’ activities focusing on design, sustainability and social innovation.

Contact: Anna Seravalli

Designing for Service


New book Designing for Service: Key Issues and New Directions with chapter by Anna Seravalli and Mette Agger Eriksen. 

Beyond collaborative services: Service design for sharing and collaboration as a matter of commons and infrastructuring

The notion of collaborative service was firstly used by Jegou and Manzini in 2008 to discuss how services based on a tight collaboration between providers and users and based on the sharing of material resources, knowledge and competences, could support the transition towards more environmental and social sustainable ways of living. Since then the attention towards services characterized by sharing and collaboration has been growing quite quickly in the (service) design field. Yet, they entail a number of questions in relation to how to design for them, as well as in relation to the collaboration between the designer and various other stakeholders. To navigate this rich complexity we propose the two notions of commons and infrastructuring, and we do that by reflecting on the case of designing a makerspace, Fabriken, a sharing-based collaborative service. We use the notion of commons as a framework to articulate the organizational forms and decision-making structures of these services as well as highlight some of the challenges they entail. Particularly, we focus on the challenge of openness, and how this might be addressed through the presence of a “partner”- a mediator that supports sharing and collaboration when participation is transient and participants have diverse interests. With infrastructuring, we want to provide instead a particular understanding of how these services may be designed highlighting how they require the alignment of both human and non-human actors, and an long-term effort that goes beyond the “design-time”, in the “use-time”. Infrastructuring is not solely driven by the designer but yet, the nature of these services require to carefully consider designer’s agenda.


The New Human publication is out

Metal Memos by Martin Farran-Lee
Metal Memos by Martin Farran-Lee

In late August last year, together with Moderna Museet Malmö, Medea and K3 organized the symposium The New Human. Temi Odumosu moderated and Susan Kozel was one of the presenters.

Now Medea has published The New Human collection on Medium.com. From K3 not only Susan, but also Martin Farran-Lee participates. You can find the whole publication, including a short introduction by Bo Reimer here: https://medium.com/the-new-human.

Medea Vox: Restoring Lost Voices of History

The voices that are represented in history are the voices of the elites. How can we restore lost voices and open up new perspectives on history? This Medea Vox episode is a conversation between Carolyn Steedman, professor of history at University of Warwick, and Magnus Nilsson, professor at K3.

Magnus Nilsson is also a guest in the first episode of the new podcast Arbetarlitteratur.