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Doctoral Thesis Defence: Kjetil Nordby

Thursday 20th October Kjetil Nordby will defend his thesis Between the Tag and the Screen. Redesigning Short-Range RFID as Design Material for the PhD degree at AHO.

Trial lecture 10.00: “Opportunities and challenges for SR-RFID as design material”

Disputation 12.00


Between the tag and the screen investigates Short Range Radio Frequency IDentification (SR-RFID) as a material for industrial and interaction design. The author engages in a collaborative process of research by design where SR-RFID is scrutinised through a series of design experiments. The outcomes of these experiments are analysed using activity theory and design theory.The work has resulted in a joint theoretical and practical research contribution where the author both expands upon the concept of materials in industrial and interaction design and offers a new conceptualisation of SR-RFID as design material.The author argues that by analysing and present compu- tational technologies as design materials we may help designers achieve a better understanding of how to use them in design. Such a material perspective on technology can help design practitioners by exposing material quali- ties that might have been otherwise hidden.

The study employs a series of design experiments that are conducted with the purpose of exploring the materiality and affordances of short-range RFID from the perspective of design practice. The design experiments resulted in a series of prototypes, sketches, illustrations and videos that showcases different aspects short-range RFID. To analyze the results the author draws on activity theory, design theory and related research from interaction design.

 The research is part of the Touch project (funded by the Research Council of Norway) that is oriented towards investigating short-range RFID through design experiments.


Kjetil Nordby is an industrial designer with a Master’s in Interaction Design from The University of Umeå. He has been part of several start-ups and has worked for leading Norwegian companies within industrial and interaction design. Kjetil has also lectured, tutored and assessed stu- dents at the Oslo School of Architecture & Design and held master’s courses at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo.

Adjudication committee:

• Professor Liam Bannon, University of Limerick (first opponent)

• Professor Lars Hallnäs, Universitetet i Borås/Chalmers tekniska högskola (second opponent)

• Associate professor Martina Maria Keitsch, NTNU (coordinator)

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