NORDES Summer School 2010 in Pukeberg

2010 August 31

Last week I participated in the NORDES Summer School along with 35 or so PhD students from other Nordic countries. The venue was in Pukeberg in south-east Sweden, an old glass blowing factory recently converted to an artistic campus and museum.

The week was packed with workshops, seminars and visits. Numerous faculty members from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland ran activities and made sure we had lively discussion throughout the week. Most of the work and discussions were related to a soon-to-be-published manuscript titled Design Things. The text, a collaborative and shared text from six authors aims at exploring, exposing and conceptualizing the practice of designing as an unique and legitimate mode of inquiry from a research perspective. It is much more than this of course (the text spans over 300 pages), but that is how I could frame it in a short sentence. We were extremely lucky to have three of the authors on-site to explain, dissect and expose the text and its underlying ideas. To have a longer introduction to the text, you can check this page.

We ate and worked in the very facilities of the Design School and the glass factory. The open space there was a bit cold but super inspiring and please to have group presentations. Early during the week, we splitted in groups of shared interest. My group was tentatively called Exploring Materiality and five of us got together to explore the topic further. We had to come up with a project for the end-of-the-week assignment, and we made a series of 12 cubes made out of different materials. We asked the participants to identity a few ones according to some criteria or qualities. We knew there would be no clear patterns, but we were mostly interested on why and how they choose a particular one instead of another.

Here are some pictures taken during the week. I hope to write a longer report soon. And keep your eyes open for the Design Things book from MIT Press.

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