The fourth and final seminar in the series Hundred years of design and
democracy takes place on Friday, Dec 17. The seminar will be looking ahead
towards the roles of design in the next hundred years of democracy.




Which are the most important challenges for the interplay between design and democracy in the future? In previous seminars, we have seen how manifestos and initiatives for design and societal development have played significant roles in the first half of the 20th century. What is the design and democracy manifesto for the 21st century, and who is writing it? What is the role of institutions like SVID, Svensk Form and ArkDes? The same question can also be asked of political institutions such as the EU through the New European Bauhaus initiative, and national authorities such as Boverket.

Are there actors other than the large institutions and the establishment that will play a role in the interplay of design and democracy? Local designers, craftspeople and activists may contribute grand and fruitful ideas.

These are some of the themes that will be addressed by the seminar under the guidance of our moderator Dan Hill from Vinnova. The seminar program consists of:

  • Welcome to the seminar by Dan Hill, Vinnova
  • Introduction by Stefan Holmlid, LiU
  • Showreel of speculative design scenarios by design students from LiU
  • Reflections over design scenarios by Ambra Trotto, UmU and Erling Björgvinsson, HDK
  • Panel conversation by Magdalena Malm, ArkDes, Pia McAleenan, SVID and Mats Widbom, Svensk Form
  • Concluding reflections by Pelle Ehn, MaU, Maria Göransdotter, UmU and Anna Seravalli, MaU

Panel members

Erling Björgvinsson is PARSE Professor of Design at the School of Design and Craft, Faculty of Fine Arts, Gothenburg University. His research focuses thus on the dynamics of power and change and how collective life can be enriched and challenged.

Pelle Ehn is professor emeritus from Malmö University with a long career within design as and in democratization, from the workplace to the public.

Maria Göransdotter is teacher of design history and design theory at the Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University. Her work focusses on how a historically based understanding of ideas of design and society can contribute critical perspectives in the development of contemporary (and future) design.

Stefan Holmlid is professor in design at Linköping University, and focuses on the meeting between design and public sector.

Magdalena Malm is temporarily leading and developing the ArkDes ThinkTank and has a long career as director of the national Public Art Agency and from the Ministry of Culture.

Pia McAleenan is the director of Förnyelselabbet at SVID, Stiftelsen Svensk Industridesign, and leads the area public sector and collaboration.

Anna Seravalli is design researcher and lecturer at Malmö University. Her research looks at the role of creativity in the development of sustainable and democratic cities.

Ambra Trotto is a lecturer at Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University. She leads the Digital Ethics initiative at RISE focusing on how to take ethics into account, when designing transformation with technology as a material.

Mats Widbom is CEO of Svensk Form, former head of Svenska Institutet in Paris and Swedish cultural emissary to France.

Moderator: Dan Hill, Vinnova

The seminar series is organized by Linköping University in collaboration with SVID, Svenska designsällskapet and Svensk Form.

Read more about the seminar series Hundred years of design and democracy