PhD position in play-initiated story-telling and story-making in cultural experiences

Design School Kolding hereby invite proposals for a PhD research project that focus on immersive storytelling and storymaking through play-related interaction in the cultural sector.

Design School Kolding has a series of national projects within the experience industry and cultural sector (Cultural history museums; Cultural festivals/events/conferences; Libraries; Experience centers). The successful applicant will be able to make use of the network and activities within these projects to have strong peer-researcher and practitioner contacts from the beginning as well as opportunities to gather empirical data within these. 

The PhD student will be part of one of the three laboratories at Design School Kolding, the Design-for-Play lab.

It is expected that the applicant has a background within industrial design, textile design, fashion design, interaction design, communication design or another relevant design discipline.

It is expected that applicants can relate their proposal to one or more established directions within design research with examples such as research-through-design; co-design and/or participatory design; design programme/experiment research or design-based action research.

The proposal should illustrate a double concern (A and B below), which are typically part of research-through-design approaches and be positioned in relation to:

A) Understanding and exploration of the why and how of story-telling and story-making can be used to create immersive experiences in these contexts. In this, the applicant will be searching for novel and interesting ways of balancing learning-through-play approaches with the type of dissemination and purpose at hand in these cultural projects. The PhD student will have to focus on User and visitor groups in relation children, youth and/or families.

B) Investigating how and with what intent various forms of prototyping can be used as drivers and interventions for early insights on how the intended dissemination is received by visitors – could be prototyping, provotyping, 3D mock-ups, Video prototyping, or similar.

Applicants are encouraged to positioning their proposal in relation to the above but also clearly indicate the interest the applicant has underneath this double concern and which direction a project could take. It will be an advantage if the applicant can demonstrate strong prototyping competencies, both analogue and digital.

The PhD student will be teaching at the BA/MA educations at Design School Kolding especially in courses related to design of play, experience, and learning. A suggestion and overview of how the PhD student can suggest to do so will be a preparation for the applicant to present if selected for an interview for the PhD position.

The proposed PhD project must follow the general rules for the doctoral program. We will prioritize proposals specifically pursuing an article-based dissertation consisting of a plurality of components or articles that are related in content and/or method, which is unified by a summary of the three general aspects mentioned in section 5.2 in the guidelines.

It is a basic requirement in the application:

  • to demonstrate an understanding of the fields of research within play, experience and learning related to museums, libraries etc.
  • to indicate a specific focus of interest within the double concern.
  • to have a plausible and clearly expressed research question. You are welcome to add a few sub-research questions as well.
  • to have a clear description of the design research process by which the question(s) might be answered (what are you going to do to answer the question(s)?).
  • to include a preliminary research plan.

Applications will be assessed, among other factors, according to the richness and interest of the topic; the clarity of the explanation of how it might be explored; its relation to design research and practice, and especially the fit with the projects and teaching at DSKD.

The application must have the following sections:

  1. Introduction to the PhD project
  2. A positioning according to the fields to show familiarity with the field; indication of theory of research in design for play, experience and learning in the cultural sector.
  3. The research question clearly indicated including how it intends to contribute to the double concern as outlined on the first page.
  4. Proposed design research methodology.
  5. An account of the nature of the empirical data to be generated
  6. Bibliography/references

The Facts

The position is a full-time position and salary is according to the current collective agreement that regulates the Danish labour market. For the application to be considered, all three points listed below must be addressed with all mentioned materials enclosed:

  • PhD research project description of 4-6 pages. The project description should contain a letter of motivation including thoughts on the kind of design research to be pursued, overview of existing knowledge, a theoretical base, research question(s) clearly expressed, suggestive research methodology, an account of the empirical material/data which the applicant expects to generate, and finally a preliminary research plan.
  • A CV indicating educational levels and achievements as well as work experience. It is also possible to send a 5 pages portfolio.
  • Diploma or alternatively a complete transcript of records MA degree. In order to be considered for the position, the applicant must have, as a minimum, a two-year MA degree, preferably from a design program, prior to the date of appointment.

The applicant must further have a fluent oral and written English communication skills.

The application and materials must be in English or Danish.
Our school has the policy that if we employ a person unfamiliar with the Danish language, then the person is obliged to develop skills to communicate in Danish society within two years.

Please apply through Design School Kolding’s recruitment system which you find on the advertisement at the school’s website.

After the application deadline, a shortlist of the most promising applications will be made, which will then be assessed. When the committee has finished its review procedure, each shortlisted applicant will receive an assessment of his or her application.

We welcome both national and international applications. Design School Kolding wishes to reflect its surrounding community and encourages anyone to apply for the position, irrespective of personal background.

The application deadline is October 1, 2022, and the assessment will happen shortly thereafter.

The position is to be filled by February 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

For further information, please contact secretary of research and development Christina Stind Rosendahl, phone +45 91 33 30 04 or mail: or Associate Professor in strategic co-design Sune Gudiksen,

Also, please read the Design School Kolding Research Strategy or pay a visit to the school website:

Read the job description at the schools´s homepage


Design School Kolding is an independent institution under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. We offer high quality BA, MA and PhD Degree programs with teaching based on innovative practice and research in close collaboration with the business community. We also offer continuing education courses and consultancy services. Our BA program comprises four study programs, Communication Design, Industrial Design, Fashion & Textile Design, and Accessory Design, including interdisciplinary courses within methods, aesthetics, design history, the history of science as well as form studies. Our MA program is an international, cross-disciplinary program that supports and challenges the above-mentioned design fields and allows students to specialize in one of three programmes: Design for Play, Design for Planet and Design for People. Areas in which we also dedicate our research and development activities.

Design School Kolding has approximately 100 fulltime employees. The school offers a dynamic work environment with dedicated colleagues from many different backgrounds. The atmosphere enriches daily work and brings life to the old factory building, which is constantly changing to suit the school’s needs. 

With three overall strategic areas of social design, sustainability and design, and design for Play, Design School Kolding is dedicated to improving the world through design. This also means that Design School Kolding has a strong focus on creating an education that is relevant and aimed towards future employability. Another way of strengthening the education is by having research aimed towards the programmes, as well as towards the strategic areas. The research thus supports and develops the teaching while ensuring that there is cross-pollination between research and teaching with the researchers often using the student projects as data for their research. We offer a dynamic, internationally oriented education and research environment with close collaborations with external actors and research environments. 

As a leading design university, Design School Kolding is  in continuous development to be at the forefront of the expectations for future designers, including increased focus on digital competencies. The school is education and research accredited and has a positive institutional accreditation. The latter means that the school officially lives up to the requirements of offering good and relevant education in an environment that promotes openness and dialogue.

Also, please read the Design School Kolding Research Strategy or pay a visit to the school’s website.

Post expires on Saturday October 1st, 2022