Design is about future opportunities! Our design research covers many different activities, from scientific studies to experiments, often in innovative combinations guided by the desire for in-depth knowledge about the essence of design and how it may develop in the future.

Doctoral studies in Design - Student in VR lab

Society faces major challenges: climate change, urbanisation, migration, and a shrinking availability of non-renewable resources. Design is a broad, interdisciplinary subject that seeks new solutions to these problems through systematic, experimental, human-centred, aesthetic and critical exploration.

The Design subject area encompasses technology and materials, form and experience, engineering and craftsmanship, and utility and ethics. It mixes a wide range of competences, stakeholders, values and goals to deepen the understanding of what design is and how it can be developed in the future. You work with concepts, theories and methods to design artefacts and shape products, services and systems, and put their relationship to humans in context.

Within the framework of the programme there are some departmental duties, such as participation in basic education. This prepares you for a professional life in academia. Thanks to close collaboration with other actors outside academia, you are also prepared for a non-academic career and can start building external networks during your studies.

Linköping University is conducting research in interaction and service design, industrial design, design for sustainability, and information and media design. The Design PhD subject area is organised by following departments:

  • Department of Management and Engineering (IEI)
  • Department of Computer and Information Science (IDA)
  • Department of Engineering and Natural Sciences (ITN)

Teaching takes the form of lectures, seminars, group studies, and research and thesis work. PhD students are also actively participating in seminars, guest lectures and conferences. You will meet students from many different backgrounds in a multidisciplinary environment.

Study syllabus



Recent theses


Doctoral studies at Linköping University