PhD Scholarship Engaging Users in Innovation and Communication of Textile Qualities, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet [Denmark]

PhD Scholarship Engaging Users in Innovation and Communication of Textile Qualities, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Denmark
Applicants are invited for a PhD scholarship at the Department of Management Engineering, the Technical University of Denmark for appointment 1 January 2009.
The aim of the project is to develop knowledge and test methods for involving users and their insights in the production of new textile qualities and new types of products. This is expected to create new insights in the conception of and practices concerning textile materials, products, and processes based on user engagement and user oriented knowledge for innovation and design processes.

Description of the project
The research will be based on studies of users and use practices. Also the role of professional users mediating between producers and end users will be included. The outcomes not only aim at designers and product developers, but touch all phases of the product creating process. It is expected to engage users and knowledge of use practices as a resource for a renewal of products, design processes, procedures, and innovation strategies.

The activities will entail:
Identification of places where use practice and use can be made object of observation and dialogue by employing methods inspired by anthropology. These will create a basis for communication between users, designers, architects, engineers and others involved.

Establishing concepts and experience of textile qualities and products, which can support a professional effort when using the flexibility and ambiguity connected to the observation and communication of user practice and needs.

The innovative task in relation to user-driven processes demands new skills and responsibility in management of how product development and design is managed in the companies

One part of the project will be carried out in hospitals. Another part is related to the need for communicating textile qualities within a still more distributed chain of production of especially textiles. The separation of close contacts to users and related product development from the innovation of materials and processes produce challenges to the different units’ competences and the exchange of knowledge between them.

Required skills
Successful candidates must hold an MSc degree in engineering or social sciences with a relevant specialisation.

We are looking for a colleague who possesses the following skills:

  • Knowledge of ethnographic methods in the study of use and work practices, material flows and how institutions, situations and material contexts influence the role of actors. Additional experience with studies of health care institutions and/or textiles and other material technologies will be appreciated.
  • An interest in working scientifically with engaging users in design processes, and translating studies of institutional framing and practices into innovative ideas is valued.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English is needed, but much of the empirical work does require Danish.
  • Experience with interdisciplinary research and project teams is valued.

Conditions and terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The position is available for a period of three years.

The PhD project is linked to the industry related project on ‘User driven innovation and communication of textile qualities’ involving cooperation with the companies Kvadrat and Trevira-Neckelmann as well as Designskolen Kolding and Danmarks Designskole. It is part of the doctoral studies programme in Design and Innovation (www.design-forskerskole.dk) hosted at the Department of Management Engineering, and the candidate will be enrolled at the PhD school at this department.

For further information about the requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please visit: www.dtu.dk/English/education/Phd_Education.aspx

Application
Applications must include curriculum vitae, examination certificate, references (contact details for at least two reference persons that we may contact for further inquires) and a cover letter outlining the motivation for the PhD study and for this particular project as well as a possible starting date.
We need your online application no later than 17 November 2008 at 12.00 noon. Apply online at www.dtu.dk/vacancy - open the link “apply online” fill out the form and attach the above mentioned documents. Material received after the deadline will not be taken into account.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Further information
For further information, please contact Professor Ulrik Jørgensen, phone +45 4525 6075, uj[ at ]ipl.dtu.dk or Associate Professor Hanne Lindegaard, phone +45 4525 6076 hl[ at ]ipl.dtu.dk