Doctoral Programme in Art, Technology and Design

Art, Technology and Design is the joint doctoral programme of Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.


The programme is founded in relation to contemporary social challenges – climate change, urbanisation processes, migration, in- creased social and economic gaps, the dwindling supply of non-renewable resources etc. – which require new practical approaches and a holistic, process-oriented way of thinking. By challenging conventions in established fields of knowledge, having a trans-disciplinary approach and uniting the practices of making with advanced knowledge theoretical and methodological perspectives, research and education within the program contributes to the radical re-thinking of the individual–society–environment relationship that is required for a more sustainable society.

Doctoral students in the programme have the unique opportunity to work in an inter-cultural research and education environment at two of Sweden's leading higher education institutions. Daily work is conducted at Konstfack with access to KTH's advanced laboratories and research environment.

Art, Technology and Design is an emerging research area shaped by dynamic encounters between different perspectives with a strong focus on interdisciplinary exchange and concrete materialisations. Doctoral research and education within the programme may draw on theories and methods from a wide variety of fields – architecture, the fine arts, crafts, design, planning, technology, engineering, materials science etc. – to advance innovative and critical new approaches towards the many challenges riddling societies in the 21st century.

PhD students in the programme are registered at KTH but conduct their daily practice at Konstfack. Besides fulfilling the educational programme composed of courses, seminars and workshops, students pursue their own individual research projects that draw on the shared resources of KTH and Konstfack. The programme offers great opportunities for interaction with researchers and PhD students in neighbouring knowledge areas, as well as for collaborations with external partners such as from the cultural sphere, industry and trade, and the public sector. The programme is run in association with a joint centre formation between KTH and Konstfack, carrying further opportunities for development and exchange within and beyond the academic sphere.

For announcements of open positions, courses and for following the activities of the program, please follow these programme webpages at Konstfack and KTH.

Programme Description and Study Plan of the Doctoral Programme Art, Technology and Design

Doctoral courses
The doctoral programme contains a mandatory course package of 4 courses totaling 30 university credits. The courses may also be open for applications from doctoral students in other programmes and universities. The courses are held every two years or more frequently if necessary, the two 7.5 credit courses are held on alternate years.

Theory of science and research methods in Art, Technology and Design, 7,5 credits

Concepts, theories and experimental practices in Art, Technologies and Design, 7,5 credits

• Introduction to university teaching: Art and design education, 5 credits

Rethinking research practices in art, technology and design, 10 credits ; This course is also open to be attended on a non-credit basis by other interested researchers, faculty and students. Seminars will be announced on an ongoing basis and preparatory material(s) will be made available.

Applications for Doctoral Positions
The programme launched in 2015 with 5 doctoral students, selected from a record number of applicants. The program will expand through further doctoral positions to be announced in coming years, applicants will be selected competitively through a formal application process.  By Swedish regulations, pursuing PhD studies amounts to an employed position that is fully-funded for 4 years, thus it is not possible to join on a voluntary basis or from the basis of private funding. Policies and procedures for applicants will be updated here.

Requests to be a Guest
There is a possibility for doctoral students registered at other universities to apply to be a guest for some period within the doctoral programme in Art, Technology and Design. Guests are expected to relate and contribute to the programme and research environment, they also get access to the programme activities and unique facilities during their stay. It is a courtesy that the guest acknowledge the programme for research developments during their stay. A typical contribution might be that the guest present/stage a seminar inviting the doctoral students and faculty to discuss her/his research. There are limits to how many and when guests may join, requests are reviewed on an ongoing basis (please note that it may take several week to respond to requests).

Requests are assessed relation to the following:

• The relevance of the doctoral student's research for the subject area and in view of the aims of the PhD programme (see Programme Description)

• The potential of the project and student to contribute to the development of knowledge, methods and forms of presentation in the programme


- 1-2 page motivation according to the above criteria, also specifying the desired dates

- Study plan at home university

- Written approval from the student's supervisor (a signed letter or email including the supervisor's contact details)

The doctoral programme “Art, Technology and Design” is run jointly by Konstfack and The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) since 2014.

Uppdaterad: 11 april 2014