Department of Design

NODUS – Sustainable design research group

TRANSDISCIPLINARY DESIGN RESEARCH FOR SUSTAINABLE FUTURES

Sustainability challenges require a restructuring of institutions and organizations in the local, regional and global scale. The NODUS group studies design solutions, business models, bottom up initiatives and governance innovations which hold potential to contribute to sustainability. NODUS utilises and promotes transdisciplinary research and co-creative approaches in knowledge generation. Socio-ecological-technological system transformations, sustainability science, practice theory, self-organizing systems, participatory and collaborative design, and futures studies are the central concepts for the group. 

NODUS Research Group Activities
NODUS Research Group Activities
NODUS research group activities

NODUS researchers focus on a diversity of empirical contexts including self-organised communities, urban, business, provisional systems such as energy, water, food and transport, and collaborate with a variety of stakeholders such as businesses, non-governmental organisations, policy makers, activists, and local and international academics from other research groups and organisations.

NODUS research group supports sustainability education through the interdisciplinary Creative Sustainability Masters’ programme at Aalto University.

The NODUS research group holds monthly NODUSTalks at the Helsinki Design Museum. These bring together researchers and practitioners on topics relevant to design and sustainability with the aim of contributing to public debate on how human societies can mitigate further environmental and societal damage and adapt to the already locked-in impacts of the damage that has been caused. Transformation, resilience and justice are the underlying three foundation stones for the discussions facilitated during these talks. You can keep up to date with NODUSTalks program by following our Facebook page

We are also on twitter: @NODUSAalto

 

Researchers

Meet the members of NODUS Sustainable Design Research Group and learn about their research interests.

PROFESSORS

Idil Gaziulusoy

NODUS Leader

Dr. İdil GAZİULUSOY

Assistant Professor, Sustainable Design
idil.gaziulusoy[at]aalto.fi

İdil Gaziulusoy is a design researcher with a PhD in sustainability science from University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research is situated within the emerging area of design for sustainability transitions. She is interested in the new ways of designing and the agencies enabled, enacted and embodied by design that emerge in transformations/transitions contexts. In her work she develops theories, tools and methods to link the day to day activities and strategic decisions of design and innovation teams to the longer-term, systemic and radical transformations which need to take place at the societal level to achieve sustainability. 

You can find İdil’s publications here.

Dr. Eeva BERGLUND, Adjunct Professor, Sustainability Policy

Dr. Eeva BERGLUND

Adjunct Professor, Sustainability Policy
eeva.berglund[at]aalto.fi

Eeva Berglund received her doctorate in anthropology from the UK in 1995 and has worked with and taught about environmental and urban change ever since. She writes for diverse audiences, primarily to help make issues around social organization and environmental change together issues for intellectual reflection and practical action. These are also the key themes of her teaching, which is concentrated in Aalto’s Creative Sustainability program. She is also working to develop design anthropological tools for making sense of politics and collective action in times of particularly consequential environmental change. 

You can read more about her various activities on her personal blog here

 

Dr. Mikko JALAS, Professor of Practice, Sustainable Consumption

Dr. Mikko JALAS

Professor of Practice, Sustainable Consumption
mikko.jalas[at]aalto.fi

Mikko Jalas holds a PhD in Organization and Management from the Aalto University School of Business. He has worked on sustainable consumption, time use, energy consumption and on time use rebound-effects. More recently he has worked on renewable energy investments, the local embedding of energy technologies, self-building activities as well as everyday practices related to energy. His contributions to the study of social practices include theorizing the temporalities of everyday life, developing methodological approaches to use diaries as a method, and empirical studies of everyday practice including bicycling, heat provision and wooden boating. Mikko is the Leader of Creative Sustainability masters program. 

You can find Mikko’s publications here.

 

Guy Julier

Dr. Guy JULIER

Professor, Design Leadership
guy.julier[at]aalto.fi

Guy Julier is a writer, academic and practitioner with over 30 years of professional experience observing and researching global changes in design, economics and society. He is credited with having established Design Culture as a field of study and research. Previously he was Professor of Design at Leeds Metropolitan University (2001-10) where founded and directed DesignLeeds, a cross-disciplinary research and consultancy unit specializing in social design. He was also a co-director of LeedsLoveItShareIt, a company formed to develop and prototype new approaches to urban regeneration. In 2011 he was appointed as the Victoria & Albert Museum/University of Brighton Principal Research Fellow in Contemporary Design and Professor of Design Culture. At the V&A he developed new approaches to curatorship while also directing the museum's Design Culture Salon.

You can find Guy’s publications here.

POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

Dr. Elise HODSON

Dr. Elise HODSON

elise.hodson[at]aalto.fi  

Elise Hodson has a PhD in Communication & Culture (York University) and masters degrees in museum studies (University of Toronto) and design history (Bard Graduate Center). Her doctoral work focused on distributed authorship in contemporary design practice and global production. Elise’s research interests include global design history and commodity studies; design economies and the value of design; design and social innovation; and design museums and museology. Prior to coming to Aalto University, Elise was Chair of the School of Design at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada.

You can find Elise’s publications here

Dr. Eeva HOUTBECKERS

Dr. Eeva HOUTBECKERS

eeva.houtbeckers[at]aalto.fi

Eeva Houtbeckers’ postdoctoral research project is funded by Nessling Foundation and Kone Foundation. Her research is an ethnography on post-growth economy, work and livelihoods in the global North inspired by ecofeminist thinking. She focuses on forest, land and self-sufficiency debates. 

You can find Eeva’s publications here.

 

Dr. Cindy KOHTALA

Dr. Cindy KOHTALA

cindy.kohtala[at]aalto.fi

Cindy Kohtala studies peer production: materialist activists exploring peer-to-peer ways to design and produce locally and more sustainably. Her research focuses especially on fab labs and makerspaces, using Science & Technology Studies frameworks. 

Michael Lettenmeier

Dr. Michael LETTENMEIER

michael.lettenmeier[at]aalto.fi

Michael Lettenmeier is interested in the implications of one-planet lifestyles for households, business and society, and for the transition to an eco-welfare state. He has developed the 8 tonnes resource cap for sustainable lifestyles, the 1.5-degree lifestyles concepts and several footprint calculators for lifestyles.

You can find Michael’s publications here.

 

DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

Elif ERDOĞAN ÖZTEKİN

Elif ERDOĞAN ÖZTEKİN

elif.oztekin[at]aalto.fi

Elif Erdoğan Öztekin focuses on the multidimensional learning processes of transitions in her PhD research across four cases of eco-settlements in Europe. Her research relates to design for sustainability transitions, transdisciplinary research, and participatory methods of knowledge production.

You can find Elif’s publications here.

 

Maria FERREIRA LITOWTSCHENKO

Maria FERREIRA LITOWTSCHENKO

maria.ferreiralitowtschenko[at]aalto.fi

Maria Ferreira's research focuses on design in the public sector, especially in experimental institutional forms like public innovation labs. The aim is to understand the interactions and collaborations between various actors seeking to influence governance, particularly in the Latin American context.

You can find Maria’s publications here.

 

Kata Fodor

Kata FODOR

kata.fodor[at]aalto.fi

Kata Fodor’s PhD research is entitled ‘Kitchen Think-over: The Hybridisation of Food Spaces & Their Potential to Facilitate Sustainable Diets’ and focuses on collaborative urban food spaces across European cities. Kata is also a co-founder of the multidisciplinary design studio Atelier Kite. 

You can find Kata’s publications here.

Philip HECTOR

Philip HECTOR

philip.hector[at]aalto.fi

Philip Hector’s doctoral research is at the intersection of participatory design, social movement studies, STS and sustainable consumption. The objective of his project is to better understand how repair and DIY grassroots initiatives create alternative production and consumption infrastructures and who gets to participate in these processes. 

You can find Philip’s publications here.

Hella Hemberg

Hella HEMBERG

hella.hemberg[at]aalto.fi  

Hella Hernberg is an architect, whose practice-based research explores temporary reuse of vacant space in the context of sustainable urban development. Her doctoral research is funded partly by Kone Foundation and partly by Aalto. Since 2014 she is also a founding member and teacher at Design for Government course under Aalto Creative Sustainability. Before her doctoral studies, Hella has run her own company Urban Dream Management and worked at the Ministry of the Environment as strategic designer. 

You can find Hella’s publications here.

Satu LÄHTEENOJA

Satu LÄHTEENOJA

satu.lahteenoja[at]aalto.fi

Satu Lähteenoja’s research interests include sustainable development at different policy levels and the role of design in accelerating sustainability transformations. Satu has 15 years of experience in facilitation, consultancy, research and activism on sustainability related topics. In parallel with her studies, she works as a senior expert at the think tank Demos Helsinki.

Emilija VESELOVA

Emilija VESELOVA

emilija.veselova[at]aalto.fi

Emilija Veselova is developing a theoretical and methodological framework for involving nonhuman stakeholders in collaborative and participatory design processes. She has proposed a bioinclusive approach to co-design and, currently, she researches about which nonhuman entities and structural elements are relevant in a project. 

You can find Emilija’s publications here.

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