Photo of Stefan Holmlid

Stefan Holmlid

Professor, Head of Unit

My research focus on what happens to design when it meets new theoretical or practice areas, and seeks to integrate with these, such as the practices of service design, design for policy, and public sector.

"Design is what makes service more interesting than design" paraphrases Robert Filliou, and captures a mutuality in how areas develop in the meeting between them. Focus is put on, in this case, that design is a knowledge field of its own. And at the same time depending on service.

 The idea that design objects and design materials can be both dynamic, active and that the design is co-created "in use", drive my research of relevant theoretical grounding for design, inspire my design research on materials, and challenges the way we understand how to prototype and do stakeholder involvement.

Design as part of transformation processes, where systemic perspectives, policy and institutions play a central role, where ideas about welfare and the individual come into conflict, are part of the changing practice of design. This change is partly driven by design for service.

The road to these projects has led through a critical stance towards the institutionalized arena of user-centered design, through projects on the role of learning for usability, and the importance of interaction design and usability in business development and IT-procurement processes, over a dedication in developing and maintaining high quality design courses for a wide range of programmes at the university.



Lars Ahrenberg, Daniel Holmer, Stefan Holmlid, Arne Jönsson (2023) Analysing changes in official use of the design concept using SweCLARIN resources Selected papers from the CLARIN Annual Conference 2022 Continue to DOI


Fiona Lambe, Anne Nyambane, Stefan Holmlid (2022) Backcasting as a design device to support grassroots system change: Insights from a case study on future energy pathways in rural Kenya DRS2022: Bilbao Continue to DOI
Stefan Holmlid (2022) Transformativt lärande kring en labbande praktik Den (ut)forskande staden: en FoU-innovation i offentlig sektor, p. 31-56
Lars Ahrenberg, Daniel Holmer, Stefan Holmlid, Arne Jönsson (2022) Analysing Changes in Official Use of the Design Concept Using SweCLARIN Resources Proceedings of the CLARIN Annual meeting
Fiona Lambe, Matthew Osborne, Ylva Ran, Naira Dehmel, Stefan Holmlid (2022) Design Devices for Human Development: A Capabilities Approach in Kenya and Uganda She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, Vol. 8, p. 217-243 Continue to DOI

Research Activities

Graduate School

Student Projects

Research Area


Deforestation in the shape of a human fingerprint

SEK 39 million for graduate school on just climate transition

The Just Transitions graduate school, which focuses on management and organisation for a just climate transition, has been granted SEK 39 millions over five years by Formas, the government research council for sustainable development.

an old newspaper article

All roads lead here – A hundred years of design and democracy

“All roads lead here” was the first seminar in the series “A hundred years of design and democracy”. The members of the panel viewed the meeting between design and democracy during the past hundred years from a historical perspective.

LiU becomes partner in New European Bauhaus

Linköping University has become a partner in an EU initiative working with the design of our future forms of living. LiU is a leading academic centre in Sweden for education and research in design.

About the Division for Human-Centered Systems (HCS)

Colleagues at HCS

About the Department of Computer and Information Science (IDA)