PhD in Social Design

PhD in Social Design at Design School Kolding Design School Kolding is looking for a PhD student to strengthen the design research environment in the field of Social Design.



Design for People Design School Kolding has worked with social design, social innovation and social inclusion in research, education and development projects for more than 20 years. We believe that a social strategy must be part of the efforts in solving challenges in relation to for example welfare, healthcare and democracy.

The PhD student will be situated in the Lab for Social Design at Design School Kolding which serves as a catalyst for cultural and social change. The lab contributes to creating an open school where design students and lab members design and facilitate change processes in close collaborate with various external actors. The overall aim is to designing better, more sustainable and inclusive futures by engaging with complex social and societal matters of concern through participatory design and co-design practices.

In September 2018, Design School Kolding launched the new MA program Design for People educating highly specialized designers with social design as a fundamental mindset. Design for People is aimed at educating designers capable of designing more socially sustainable futures through participation. We focus on developing more equitable and dignified societies for people to live in.



PhD in Social Design We hereby invite proposals for PhD projects focusing on Social Design.

We expect this PhD project to explore new roles and practices of design through design research relating to the overall focus of the Lab for Social Design, for example by addressing one or more of the following research themes:

  • Agency and Citizenship – participation, democracy, welfare, healthcare
  • Togetherness – communities, integration, social mobility
  • Ongoingness – transitions in life e.g. pension, illness, ageing,
  • Relations between humans and non-humans – e.g. artefacts, technologies, rituals, cultural heritage.


About us Design School Kolding is an independent institution under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. We offer high quality BA, MA and PhD Degree Programs with teaching based on innovative practice and research in close collaboration with the community. We also offer postgraduate courses and consultancy services. Our BA program comprises four study programs, Communication Design, Industrial Design, Fashion & Textile Design, and Accessory Design, including interdisciplinary courses within critical thinking, design methods, aesthetics, design history, the history of science as well as form studies. Our MA program is an international, cross-disciplinary program that supports and challenges the above-mentioned design fields and allows students to specialize in one of three areas: Design for Play, Design for Planet and Design for People to which we also dedicate our research and development activities.

Design School Kolding has approximately 100 fulltime employees. The school offers a dynamic work environment with dedicated colleagues from many different backgrounds. The atmosphere enriches daily work and brings life to the old factory building, which is constantly changing to suit the school’s needs. With the three strategic areas of social design, sustainability design, design for play, Design School Kolding dedicated to improving the world through design. This also means that Design School Kolding has a strong focus on creating an education that is relevant and aimed towards future employability.
Another way of strengthening the education is by having research aimed towards the four directions of the BA-programs, as well as towards the overall strategic areas. The research thus supports and develops the teaching while ensuring that there is cross-pollination between research and teaching with the researchers often using the student projects as data for their research. We offer a dynamic, internationally oriented education and research environment with close collaborations with external actors and research environments.



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

  • Research project description of 4-6 pages. The project description should contain a letter of motivation, an account of the empirical knowledge/data which the applicant expects to generate, research questions, a theoretical base, methodical aspects and a brief overview of existing knowledge, and finally a preliminary research plan.
  • CV of maximum 1 page.
  • 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
  • Outstanding oral and written English communication skills
  • Familiarity with design research literature
  • Familiarity with contemporary design practices


The application and materials must be in English.

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.

The application deadline is August 15th 2020, and the assessment will happen shortly thereafter.

The position is to be filled by November 1st 2020 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: csr@dskd.dk or professor Eva Brandt, mail brandt@dskd.dk



Also, please read Design School Kolding's Research Strategy https://www.designskolenkolding.dk/sites/default/files/download/videnstrategi_61.pdf or pay a visit to the school website www.designskolenkolding.dk


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