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Tom Vavik




I am professor at Institute of Design at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design. For over 35 years I have been teaching Ergonomics and  now Universal Design to design students. I have experience in lecturing these topics at many universities and organizations in addition to conferences.

The last years I have published books and articles and have for four years been leader of the Design for All category in the annual Design Award program organized by the Norwegian Design Council. Since 2012 I have been a member of Management Committee (MC) in EUs COST Action no. TU1204 – People Friendly Cities in a Data Rich World.

My research interest is how to teach user centred design, social sustainability and inclusive design processes.



COST Action TU1204: People Friendly Cities in a Data Rich World|DDDE (Designerly Designed Design Education)|Design for Diversity

Publications (11)


Conference paper

Facilitating the concept of universal design among design students – changes in the teaching the last decade

Abstract. This short paper describes and reflects on how the teaching of the concept of Universal Design (UD) has developed in the last decade at the Institute of Design at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). Four main changes are described. Firstly, the curriculum has evolved from teaching guidelines and principles to focusing on design processes... Read »


Conference paper

Strategies for teaching Universal design

This paper presents a framework for teaching the complexity of Universal Design (UD). At the Institute of Design at Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) the theme ‘Universal Design’ is introduced in the second year in a five-week module within the course ‘User Oriented Design’... Read »


Learning Lab/Do Tank

LUDINNO a hands-on user-driven innovation-project, has provided new concepts, ideas and knowledge for business, and a platform for Nordic research cooperation in the field of merging design and user-driven innovation (UDI) processes.  In the project students supported by academics and trained professionals cooperated with business to carry out real and user driven business projects... Read »


Exploring Relationships Between Universal Design and Social Sustainable Development: Some Methodological Aspects to the Debate on the Sciences of Sustainability

Universal design (UD) is a rising global trend and can be related to social sustainable development (SSD), which has gained increasing recognition in the political arena and in the corporate world. UD targets needs, social participation and access to goods and services by the widest possible range of users... Read »