Designing Human Technologies 5.0 Call for participation in The fifth doctoral course on the design of human technologies



Organised by:

David Lamas, Professor, Tallin University

Jesper Simonsen, Professor, Roskilde University

Vincenzo D’Andrea, Professor, University of Trento

Aleksander Valjamäe, Associate Professor, Tallinn University

Helena Karasti, Professor, Luleå University of Technology

The topic

Designing Human Technologies is a broad (participatory) design-oriented research approach with a central human principle of participation and ethical concerns. Common goals of research activities in this field include being constructive and solution-oriented in close dialogue with citizens and users. Deep analysis of how designs are used and enter the daily life of their users as well as innovative design solutions are the core of this course. The human principle includes involving users and main interest groups in the design and evaluation of the ability of design artefacts to meet the goals. Technology is understood in a broad sense including information and communication technologies, sustainable environmental technologies, energy technologies, and technologies for design in urban, nature, or other spatial settings.


We meet to discuss our experiences in relation to doctoral work in the rich and diverse field of designing human technologies. In addition, the course provides opportunities for networking with other doctoral students and senior faculty in the field of designing human technologies, thereby enriching relations among those who also attended last year’s course and providing an entry point for those who did not.


The course is a blend of lectures and discussions in small groups.

Invited lectures by senior academic staff present key theories and/or novel approaches within the field of designing human technologies.

Discussion take place within groups of five doctoral students and two faculty members. They build on position papers submitted by participating students. Group Discussions devote one full hour to each paper, roughly divided into (max) 10 minutes of presentation and 50 minutes of discussion. You will be presenting each other’s papers not your own paper. That is, the paper of the first student in the group list is presented by the second student and so forth until the last student’s paper has been presented by the first student.

Preparatory activities

There will be readings for the talks by faculty and for the group work. With respect to the material for the talks by faculty members, you are expected to read this material and reflect on its potential use in your work. With respect to the group work, you are expected to read and present an assigned paper while preparing comments for all the papers in your group, except your own.


“Villa Andropoff” is located near the historical Baltic seaside resort of Pärnu. Built in the 70ies, the area was strictly reserved for the top Soviet leadership and their guests until the Estonian independence. The stately main building has since been thoroughly renovated and is opened to the public since midsummer 1998.

Transportation from Tallinn Airport is provided and so are all meals and shared rooms for up to 20 PhD students.

Important dates


March 10, 2017

Applications are to be submitted online through


March 17, 2017

Notifications are sent by email and, and, if accepted, you’ll be given the full programme and further instructions.


April 21, 2017

You submit a position paper elaborating on your research problem, research questions, theories, methods and a selection of achieved and/or expected outcomes. You are also welcome to include a list of questions you are particularly interested in getting feedback on during the group work

The paper should be formatted as an ACM SIGCHI Extended Abstract, not exceed 6 pages and submitted in pdf format


May 7 to 9, 2017 the course takes place


Registration, accommodation and meals are covered by Tallinn University but participants must arrange and pay for their own travel.

Credits: 3 ECTS points awarded by Roskilde University.

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