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Andrew Morrison




Andrew Morrison is Director of the Centre for Design Research at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) in Norway and Professor of Interdisciplinary Design at the Institute of Design (IDE). As co-ordinator of research, Andrew takes part in and leads a range of design research projects. These cover Communication Design, dynamic interfaces and social media; RFID, mediation and activity; Service Design and innovation in leadership; electronic arts installation; narrative and mobile media; practice-based research/research by design; online research mediation and design research methods. Andrew also focuses on design writing, fiction and criticism.

He has been central to the ongoing redesign and teaching of the PhD school at AHO. He has supervised a dozen PhD students at AHO and others at the University of Oslo in design, media and education. Andrew is a member of the Research Committee and the Board of AHO. He was paper co-chair for Nordes 09, Engaging Artifacts, 3rd Nordic Design Research Conference (www.nordes.org) and been a board member of the Design research Society. He has published widely in journals, books and online and has a special research interest in online research mediation. He has edited and co-edited several collections of papers and chapters related to design and new media.

Formerly Andrew was an Associate Professor at the University of Oslo at the interdisciplinary research centre InterMedia where he led the Communication Design Group


3D Search|Additive Designing|Additive Manufacturing|Between the Tag and the Screen|C-SAN Futures|Communicating Movement|CONTACT|CSI (Centre for Service Innovation)|delTA|DesDoc (Design Doctoral Education)|Design Research Mediation|Designing for additive manufacturing: The AICE approach|Future North|Immersion and Interaction in Mixed Reality Spaces|INREMO|KICK|Learning for the future knowing now: investigating design pedagogy in transition|Making Visible|METODA|NarraHand|NORDES 2017|Ocean Industries Concept Lab|Ocean of Light|Pockets and Cities|Products of the Networked City|QUALITY FOR IMPACT|Radical Innovation in Maritime R&D|RECORD|Service Design Leadership|Service Desirability|Systems Oriented Design|Touch|Ulstein Bridge Concept|Ulstein Bridge Visions|Vega: An Academic Publishing Platform|YOUrban

Publications (89)


Conference paper


This paper seeks to draw together a broader transdisciplinary view on Anticipation than that influentially proferred by Poli (e.g. 2010). Central is elaboration of the potential for closer intersection between two key approaches to future-oriented inquiry: Design and Futures (Celi & Morrison, 2017 in press)... Read »

Conference paper

Making and unmaking a frontier territory

Longyearbyen, the main town in Svalbard, presents historical, contemporary and projected relations between environment and design. First sighted by the Dutch Barentsz in 1596, this pristine, seemingly sublime landscape has a history of the arrival and application of technologies with destructive impact on its delicate arctic ecology... Read »

Conference paper

Design fiction, culture and climate change: weaving together personas, collaboration and fabulous futures

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges to contemporary lifestyles and future living. In this paper we offer a design and cultural alternative centred in the humanities on shaping personas as a means to addressing relations between perspective, narrative and voice through two artifacts, one a tiger fish and the other a nuclear powered narwhal... Read »


Learning spaces for sustainable futures

Through a spatial and journey-based interface, this webtext embodies a multimodal, qualitative inquiry into ways to support dynamic learning for undergraduate students of design and their emergent roles as critically engaged and resilient designers able to transition towards sustainable design practice... Read »


Conference paper

The Seeds of Design Fiction

This invited Keynote to the joint Conference hosted by ISPRA and Arizona State University and hosted by the project A Year Without a Winter engages with a number of connected questions: What is it that design fiction as a conceptual design enterprise can do to inform our senses and sensibilities of techno-cultural imagination and co-design production? How might conceptual, design fiction positione.. Read »


Designing calm technology and peripheral interaction for offshore service vessels

Ship bridge systems are increasingly collected into Integrated Bridge Systems in modern offshore vessels. By integrating previously separate equipment, there is possible to create more user-friendly interfaces leading to safer and more efficient operations. A consequence of Integrated Bridge Systems is that it is now possible to rethink the make-up of ship bridge interfaces in its entirety... Read »


Fashion film and genre ecology

We analyse the challenges and changing character, production and consumption of the emerging genre fashion film through a genre as ecology approach. This approach accounts for the complexity of various rhetorical practices used within the creative industries, such as fashion. We find that digital mediation compels genre innovation in networked cultures in the mediation of fashion... Read »


Fea and 3D Printing, the Perfect Match?

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and 3D printing have developed in parallel over the last three decades, much thanks to improved Computer Aided Design Systems (CAD). This article draws on two case studies to discuss challenges and opportunities when combining these two technologies. Some of the major challenges with 3D printing are anisotropy and lack of trustworthy mechanical values... Read »



Mapping the city archive – urban data and public participation in planning

The city is continuously being reshaped and rebuilt through political and administrative decisions as well as through the actions of individuals and private businesses. This activity leaves traces that constitute an archive of the city – both of its physical form, but also of the processes and negotiations and controversies that preceded it... Read »


Design Issues and Orientations in Additive Manufacturing

Journal articles, conferences, TV programs and books are now flooding the academic and popular market about Additive Manufacturing, commonly labelled 3D printing. In the context of Product Design, as distinct from engineering, this article focuses on design issues when considering using Additive Manufacturing technology in new product development or improving existing products... Read »

Conference paper

Personas and projections. A lyrical essay on facing climate change via design fiction

We identify two challenges concerning conceptualisations of communication design, design fiction and future views on the arctic. The first refers to the difficulty of mediating information and perspectives on the complexity of climate change to a wide public bombarded with conflicting perspectives and alienated from engagement with the central issues... Read »

Book chapter

Visualization of climate change in situ

As the critical challenges of climate change escalate, the need to disseminate essential information about the situation increases. Climate change discourse, however, tends to be general and global, as well as scientific and abstract. Arguments are growing for localized and affective communicational solutions... Read »

Conference paper

Co-narrating a Future North

Through the persona of Narratta as a ‘thing that speaks ‘I investigate what might be shaped on site in the arctic but also online in the cast of design fiction. This situates the work within comunication design and digital narrative... Read »

Conference paper

Design Prospects: Investigating Design Fiction via a Rogue Urban Drone

Design fiction is garnering attention as a mode of inquiry on the prospective in design practice and inquiry. This paper addresses design fiction as a potential area for design research to explore communicatively. The paper does so through a performative essayistic research text. Presented are extracts from an online visual-verbal hypernarrative and expository research writing... Read »


Design notes on a lonely drone

Design fictions present us with spaces for construction and reflection, potentially mixing various modes of the emergent and the speculative with the shaping and communication of near future imaginaries. In this article we adopt a blend of rhetorical devices to present and discuss design fictions. We do this by referring to current discourses around drone technologies... Read »

Conference paper

Making the mobile and networked city visible by design

We address how to make apparent a number of design initiated articulations to do with accessing, assembling, and mediating the data of the networked city and their visual renderings in publicly accessible formats. These ‘designed moves’ heighten the significance of both design knowledge and research interpretations in an exploratory and dynamic inquiry... Read »


Social media, design and civic engagement by youth: A cultural view

This argumentative essay at the intersection of media studies, Cultural Studies, and literacy research, frames of PD in the emerging territory of social media and civic engagement. We refer to core principles of PD and to recent reflections on social technologies and participation in design. These are linked to research on designing for participative cultural expression via social media... Read »

Conference paper

Reflections of a wireless ruminant

‘Design matters’ is interpreted in this exploratory paper via a narrative pastiche that concerns recent developments in ubiquitous computing and their implications for emerging techno-material culture... Read »


Visualizations of digital interaction in daily life

We inquire into how visual signage may make aspects of ubiquitous computing technologies visible and how digital tools and platforms impact that visual design and semiosis. We explore how visual interfaces have been designed and mediated within a design-research project that looked at technologies for mediating between digital media and the physical environment... Read »


African clouds over the Oslo opera

Expressive mobile narratives are in the early stages of design and participative formation. We ask what relations and articulations can be brought to play in the design and enactment of a mobile fictional space in which identity is a core motivation and design feature... Read »


Investigating an “Internet of Hybrid Products”: Assembling Products, Interactions, Services, and Networks through Design

This article takes up the relations between products, people, and the Internet. Our investigation is set in the context of the emergence of networked and service-driven physical products. The article builds upon the curation and design of an exhibition that pulls together recent hybrids composed of physical objects as well as digital things and networked services... Read »


Designing tangible interaction using short-range RFID

Short-range Radio Frequency IDentification (SR-RFID) technology embedded in mobile phones offers interaction design practitioners the potential to design new forms of mobile experiences. The article presents a design oriented research study that seeks to develop affordances specifically in support of such practice. To do so the authors draw on Activity Theory... Read »


”Getting Going” – Research by Design

Research by Design is the theme of this first special guest edited issue of FORMakademisk. In this issue we look into a growing domain of design research that takes up relations between practice and theory that are pertinent for inquiry in the interdisciplinary approaches and frameworks that are often central to research in design (Rust et al. 2005)... Read »


Designing performativity for mixed reality installations.

This article takes up the concept of performativity prevalent in the humanities and applies it to the design of installation arts in mixed reality mode. Based on the design, development and public access to two specific works, the concept is related to a form of research by design... Read »


Navimation. A sociocultural exploration of kinetic interface design

Digital artefacts pervade culture and social life in work, play and leisure. Many of these activities are carried out through screen-based interfaces, which therefore take on an important role in enabling and engaging people in their daily life. Screen-based visual movement is increasingly a key characteristic of mobile phones, gaming platforms, operating systems and websites... Read »



Dynamic visualisation in three physical dimensions

Recent developments in light emitting diode (LED) production technology mean that high numbers of LEDs can now be used at costs that are no longer prohibitive. This paper looks at various creative and artistic applications of three-dimensional grids of LEDs, when used to produce imagery and volumetric visualisations in three physical dimensions... Read »

Conference paper

Waterfront development with Web mediation

The term ‘unreal estate’ is coined to refer to online mediations of projected and planned urban developments, especially luxury domestic residency. A related website is studied as a mediation of co-ordinated artifacts and assembled persuasion. The site is also examined as a mediating artifact through which multiple representations are co-articulated... Read »


Navimation: Exploring Time, Space & Motion in the Design of Screen-based Interface

Screen-based user interfaces now include dynamic and moving elements that transform the screen space and relations of mediated content.  These changes place new demands on design as well as on our reading and use of such multimodal texts. Assuming a socio-cultural perspective on design, we discuss in this article the use of animation and visual motion in interface navigation as navimation... Read »

Posts written by Andrew (10)

  • Practice Based Design Research book is out

    Practice-Based Design Research provides a companion to masters and PhD programs in design research through practice. The contributors address a range of models and approaches to practice-based research, consider relationships between industry and academia, researchers and designers, discuss initiatives to support students and faculty during the research process, and explore how students’ experiences of undertaking practice-based research has impacted their future design and research practice. The text is illustrated throughout with case study examples by authors who have set up, taught or undertaken practice-based design research, in a range of national and institutional contexts.” Vaughan, L. (2017). (Ed.) Practice Based Design Research. London: Bloomsbury.

    Read »

    Design + Power. Nordes 2017 Conference at AHO, 15-17 June

    This 7th Nordic Design Research Conference comes at a time when earlier social, political and economic conditions, expectations and frameworks are under pressure, and indeed change, globally. Relations between design and power are today perhaps more present that before and them are seemingly strongly polarised. What then are design practitioners, educators, researchers, policy makers and activists, among others, to make of these changes and how are they to engage in effecting informed, ethical, participative and meaningful change?

    Read »

    The Fabulous Seminar

    What’s real anyway? We live in a world with wars, mass migrations and strategic ploys for influence and occupation. This summer VR boomed, and drones flew military sorties and interrupted commercial carriers. AI and robotics were topical on the BBC. Chinese stocks plummeted. The words Volkswagen and emissions now have a different sense.  

    Read »

    Design and climate change

    The underpinning rationale of the C-SAN Futures project is that we believe that social, political, economic and global concerns today tend to be more of a real bottleneck than pure individual and technical solutions.

    Read »

  • Reconfiguring the Design PhD

    This post contains the contribution by Andrew Morrison to the conversationally framed symposium on Critiquing the North American Design PhD hosted by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) this fall. Led by Cameron Tonkinwise and Laurene Vaughan, the symposium offered a unique platform for discussing the legacies and current initiatives in doctoral education in design as well as its potential futures.

    Read »

    Conversations on the Design PhD

    The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University hosted this international symposium ‘Critiquing the North American Design PhD‘ to discuss the character and direction of the PhD in design specifically in the North American context. This event is part of their initiative to reshape the leading work of this institution in design education and research, and especially doctoral design education. International and regional presenters discussed their experience in working with PhD education and research and its relevance to wider design communities and professionals.  

    Read »

    Ears not eyes

    Today our guest Alessandra Ponte gave an enlivened talk on her work on the extreme conditions of the Atacama desert in northen Chile as part of the Future North project seminar series. She chose to shift between Google Earth and Powerpoint. Alessandra zoomed in to show us the rifts and expanses of the Atacama. She flipped over to screens including student works on site, and their projections and installations that lit up the immense night landscape.

    Read »

  • Scholarly publishing and design

    A seminar hosted by the Centre for Design Research    Date: Wednesday 14 November Centre for Design Research (in conjunction with AHO’s PhD School) Venue: AHO Conference Centre (entrance on Maridalsveien) You’re very welcome to attend this half day event as part of the Centre for Design Research at AHO. This is a design based research seminar that takes up key matters in the development and futher direction of digital scholarly publishing and design. This is strategic research domain for the Centre. It’s also a likely part of the continuing changes in 21st century scholarship that researchers and doctoral students will encounter.

    Read »

    Augmented Reality and the City

    Date: Friday 9 November 2012. By invitation: project group and invited guests, max c. 20 participants. Venue: AHO Conference Centre (entrance on Maridalsveien). You’re very welcome to attend this one day event as part of the YOUrban project at AHO into social media, the city and performativity. This is a design based research seminar that centers on the development and role of augmented reality tools and mediation in urban settings.

    Read »