A Design Management Happening*

November 3, 2015
Gothenburg, Sweden

Register now! Play video

DESMA Vibes is an unusual conference featuring live discussions, interactive participation and the latest in design management research!

The event will present the research outcomes of all DESMA researchers. A publication summarising the DESMA research experience will be available for all registered participants. But the real focus of the event will be on where to go next; the future of the field and how the DESMA network could become a constructive force in directing that future.

Departing from issues that have emerged from the DESMA research and network, we will ask experts from academia and practice to share their take on these issues and lead “jams” to figure out new ways to tackle them together with the participants. Drawing on the high level expertise of our knowledgeable network, we want participants to experience, question, and reshape these ideas in realtime, through interactive participation, collaborative improvising and remixing of knowledge. Participants are also invited to pitch contribution ideas relating to the future of DESMA and become an active network member leading DESMA into its next phase.

*And by happening we mean a constructive gathering of academics and practitioners who want to shape the future of design and management.

Do you like DESMA Vibes?
Register now!

Confirmed Jammers

Do you like DESMA Vibes?
Register now!

What to expect

1. Connect

Meet other people from academia and industry interested in design, management, research, innovation, and creativity and create lasting connections.

2. Build

Join the interactive DESMA Vibes sessions; share and create new, relevant and applicable knowledge together.

3. Experience

Get in touch with the DESMA researchers and all their activities and initiatives started during the last 3 years.

4. Contribute

Pitch your own ideas for the future of DESMA and become an active member of this growing network.

Welcome drinks

November 2, 19.00, Barsac Wine Bar, Viktoriagatan 8
Get into the mood for DESMA Vibes, meet the participants and the DESMA network and join us for a relaxing drink!


November 3, University of Gothenburg, Universitetsplatsen
The Design Management Happening

08.30 Registration

Welcome and coffee.

09.00 Intro

Welcome by Patrik Ström, Associate Professor, Centre for International Business Studies/Economic Geography Management & Organisation and Anna Rylander Eklund, DESMA coordinator.

09.30 Jams

DESMA Jams are live discussion sessions. They focus on given areas derived from the 13 DESMA research projects presented in the DESMA Book (exclusively available for all Vibes participants) but open for interpretation. They are hosted by DESMA research fellows together with special guests offering different perspectives and attitudes. All Jams are build around involving the audience in a constructive and creative way.

The Jams will be a part of the DESMA Movie produced by Photoagency. DESMA Sounds will be created by Mira Joo.

09.30 Jam #1 "Meanings"

Product meaning yesterday, today and tomorrow – how the purpose of product changes over time.
Åsa Öberg, Politecnico di Milano
Erik Bohemia, Design Education facilitator at The Design Society
Roberto Verganti, Professor at Politecnico di Milano

10.30 Jam #2 "Processes"

ABOUT: We aim to provide participants with the chance to experience and reflect on the clash between different creative processes.
Veronica Bluguermann, Living Labs GLobal
Sara Jane Gonzalez, Future Concept Lab
Andrew Whitcomb, Veryday
Lucia Chrometzka, Trends Research and Consumer Insights Specialist at Future Concept Lab
Mikko Koria, Professor at Aalto University

11.30 Jam #3 "Matters"

If we start from the physical and sensorial qualities of experience, how do we perceive dualistic categories like design and management (and products/brands, material/immaterial) or are they still relevant? Can the metaphor of music help us with this experiment?
Fernando Pinto Santos, Aalto University
Ariana Amacker, University of Gothenburg
Kaja Tooming Buchanan, Professor at Tongji University
Bosse Westerlund, Professor in Industrial Design at Konstfack

12.30 Lunch

Lunch will be served at the venue.

13.30 Jam #4 "Tensions"

Exploring how to navigate effectively between social and economic objectives, existing organisational context and changing environment, business and design.
Marzia Aricó, LiveWork
Eva Kirchberger, Engine
Christian Bason, Chief Executive at Danish Design Centre
Richard Buchanan, Professor at Case Western Reserve University

14.30 Jam #5 "Transitions"

ABOUT: Reflections on the changing role and practices of design in business organizations.
Andreas Benker, Philips
Ulises Navarro Aguiar, Volvo
Giulia Calabretta, Assistant Professor at TU Delft
Bettina Maisch, Portfolio Manager industrial Design Thinking, Siemens

15.30 Outro

Vibes summary followed by mingle and drinks.

On-going activities

At Vibes we will revisit our initiative to map the shifting landscapes of design + management that we started in 2014. Turning the map into a 3D sculpture, we invite all Vibes participants to build new avenues for action by connecting design, management, research, practice, academia, and industry.
A sound installation presenting all DESMA initiatives that invites feedback and extension.
At Vibes we strive to create meaningful conversations, so participants can freely engage with our friendly and seemingly autonomous video camera and leave a trace during the event. Share your thoughts and ideas!

Do you like DESMA Vibes?
Register now!

How to get there


Getting to Gothenburg

  • The Airport in Gothenburg is called Göteborg Landvetter Airport. It takes ca. 30 minutes to travel by Flygbuss between the airport and Gothenburg centre. At the airport, the buses are located directly outside the check-in hall. The bus stop closest ot the venue is called Park Aveny.
Gothenburg Airport


Where to stay

More hotels


Check out the location

  • DESMA Vibes is hosted by the University of Gothenburg, centrally located in a beautiful building at Universitetsplatsen.
Google Maps

  • Welcome drinks are served close to the Vibes venue at Barsac Wine Bar, Viktoriagatan 8, on November 2, 19.00.
Google Maps


Explore more

  • Gothenburg is Sweden's second largest city as has a lot to offer (besides smart people and creative minds)!
Explore Gothenburg

Do you like DESMA Vibes?
Register now!

Off-venue happenings

DESMA Annual Meeting

The DESMA Annual Meeting, followed by the DESMA Dinner for the DESMA core network, is held on November 2, 14.00 - 17.00 at the School of Business, Vasagatan 1, Malmstenssalen.

Google Maps

Söderberg Design Prize

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize is awarded annually to an active Nordic designer or craftsman at a ceremony on 4th November, Torsten Söderberg’s birthday. The prize is administered by the Röhsska Museum and is worth 1 million SEK. From 5th November 2015, the Röhsska Museum will host an exhibition by and featuring this year’s winner Ilkka Suppanen.

Söderberg Design Prize

PARSE Conference

The first biennial PARSE conference at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, University of Gothenburg, Sweden November 4-6, 2015 takes as its point of departure the question of TIME.

PARSE Conference

Other events

Everything that is happening in and around Gothenburg can be found here.

Explore Gothenburg

Do you like DESMA Vibes?
Register now!


DESMA, which is short for Design as Driver of Innovation and Competitiveness, is an Initial Training Network in the area of design management funded by the European Commission’s Marie Curie Actions (FP7).

DESMA combines 13 international researchers with 4 leading universities within the area of design management, along with 4 European design consultancies and 4 complementary product and service organisations. Its research hubs are spread across 4 major European cities including London, Helsinki, Gothenburg, and Milan.

DESMA is the “+” in design + management, because within DESMA we want to find new ways for how design and management might overlap and pollinate each other. Our mission is to engage academia and practice in rethinking this “how” of the combination of design + management practices, to drive innovation, competitiveness and social progress in unforeseen directions. This requires a different perspective on design management that takes the best of both disciplines to create something meaningful. Our ambition is to build a vibrant and sustainable platform of high quality research in the intersections of not only design and management but also academia and practice by expanding the methods of communicating, applying and validating the impact of research.


Do you like DESMA Vibes?
Register now!


Let's get in touch

Want to discus your ideas for a new project or just want to say hi? It's all good, we'd love to connect with you. Just fill out the form aside or contact us via the details below.

Contact details