Material Matters Conference - 2-3 April 2012, London

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Profile: Anna Valtonen

Anna Valtonen, Professor, is the Rector of UMEÅ INSTITUTE OF DESIGN, Umeå University, since 2009. Before this position she worked 12 years for Nokia, lately as Head of Design Research & Foresight.

Anna Valtonen’s research interests are in design&society, its history, and on the role of designers within. Her PhD, from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Finland (currently Aalto University) was on the professional development of industrial design practice. She has previously been active as a researcher at the Department of Strategic and Industrial Design at the same university and as visiting professor in the Department of Management at ESSEC Business School Paris, France. Valtonen also holds many positions of trust within universities, organisations and corporations.

Plenary: Materialising future aspects of Design

Design, its role in society and how it is used, has changed over time. How could we then envision what design could be in the future?

In the area of materials and innovation design can be used in many ways. Some of these might be new developments of previously known knowledge, others entirely new openings. What all of these have in common is that it is more challenging to envision or to discuss abstract concepts, than it is to talk about something with a tangible form.

Maybe we can find a way to materialize future aspects of design?