Open PhD-position in Universal Design

We hereby invite proposals for PhD research projects within industrial design/product design. It is a prerequisite that the project is based upon approaches and methods of artistic design research and contributes to the field of Universal Design (UD) or its cognates, Inclusive Design and Design for All. It is important that the proposal focus on people with physical disabilities.

The PhD student will be part of one of the three laboratories at Design School Kolding, the Lab for Social Design to which theme the work is ultimately related. The PhD project is part of Design School Kolding’s development of Universal Design in its research and teaching, partly funded by the Bevica Foundation.

The proposed PhD project must follow the general rules for the doctoral program (see, but proposals specifically pursuing artistic research and leading to ‘A dissertation based on a body of work’ (“Works to be understood as creative productions, design objects, experiments with fabrication, etc”) will be prioritized. 

In the preliminary research plan submitted with the application, applicants are encouraged to motivate and outline a practice-based approach that takes advantage of the opportunity to aim at a dissertation based on a body of work reflecting aesthetics, form, materials and materiality.

We would like to see in the application demonstration of understanding of the field of UD generally, an indication of the specific area of interest, a plausible and clearly expressed research question, followed by a suggestion of the process by which it might be answered. Applications will be assessed, among other factors, according to how rich the subject seems and how clear is the explanation of how it might be explored, and its relation to design research and practice. 

The Facts

The position is a full-time position and salary is according to the current collective agreement that regulates the Danish labour market. For the application to be considered, all three points listed below must be addressed with all mentioned materials enclosed:

  • PhD research project description of 4-6 pages. The project description should contain a letter of motivation including thoughts on the kind of artistic research to be pursued, an account of the empirical material/data which the applicant expects to generate, research questions, a theoretical base, research methodology and a brief overview of existing knowledge, and finally a preliminary research plan.
  • CV of maximum 1 page. In addition, it is also possible to send a 5 pages portfolio.
  • Diploma or alternatively a complete transcript of records (for BA and MA degrees).

In order to be considered for the position, the applicant must have, as a minimum, a two-year MA degree or have earned 120 ECTS points achieving a similar degree prior to the date of appointment.

The applicant must further have:

  • A relevant MA level degree preferably from a design program.
  • Fluent, fault-free oral and written English communication skills.
  • Familiarity with design research literature (this includes design methodology, Universal Design and its cognates, theory of planning research (“research design”) or methods of research.
  • Familiarity with contemporary design practices.

The application and materials must be in English or Danish.

After the application deadline, a shortlist of the most promising applications will be made, which will then be assessed. When the committee has finished its review procedure, each shortlisted applicant will receive an assessment of his or her application. 

We welcome both national and international applications. Design School Kolding wishes to reflect its surrounding community and encourages anyone to apply for the position, irrespective of personal background. Our school has the policy that if we employ a person unfamiliar with the Danish language, then the person is obliged to develop skills to communicate in Danish society within three years.

The application deadline is May 10th 2021, and the assessment will happen shortly thereafter.

The position is to be filled by August or September 1st 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

For further information, please contact secretary of research and development
Christina Stind Rosendahl, phone +45 91 33 30 04 or mail: .
or professor in social design Eva Brandt,

Also, please read the Design School Kolding Research Strategy:
or pay a visit to the school website:

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