Mathilda Tham

Mathilda Tham

Department of Design Faculty of Arts and Humanities
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I am Professor of Design. At the Department of Design, I work as subject representative for design and research director. At the level of the university, I am scientific leader for The Bridge Collaboration Arena, and lead the project Forest Meetings, hosted by Linnaeus Knowledge Environment Green Sustainable Development.

My field of research is called metadesign, and is about adopting uncompromisingly systemic approaches to sustainability issues, with design proposals at integrated product, system and paradigm levels. My work is informed by feminist, decolonial, postgrowth perspectives, systems thinking and action research. I am co-author of the Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan which, since its launch in February 2020, has reached more than one million people globally and has been translated into three languages. I am co-founder of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, an organisation that drives systems change in the global fashion sector. I was a board member of Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental research, and a programme board member of Mistra Future Fashion.


The core of my teaching practice is to facilitate brave, safe and shared learning experiences which enable different kinds of knowing to come into play, and which honours different kinds of knowledge holders. I have been part of driving the development of our three visionary programmes with a focus on design as change making: BFA and MFA Design + Change and BFA Visual Communication + Change. My contribution to the programmes is the uncompromisingly systemic and holistic approaches to change that students encounter through metadesign frameworks. I teach metadesign, and supervise doctoral students and postdocs through The Bridge, Linnaeus University's strategic collaboration with IKEA and Södra.


My research uses scientifically and artistically informed co-creation processes to create and spread new legends and languages, governance, and ways of learning for how we as humans and other species can create good lives together within Earth's boundaries. I have worked with systemic answers to complex questions in several areas: such as housing issues in the intersection of migrants, older persons, students and climate emergency - BOOST meta-design (Tillväxtverket), new understandings of life with many species - Reimaging Living with Other Species (Nordforsk), and intergenerational responses to an aging society - Transnational Living Lab for Active Aging (Vinnova), concrete steps for municipalities and SMEs to bring together environmental and social sustainability - CRKKL (ERUF).

Sine 2019, together with Kate Fletcher, I lead the Earth Logic project which is about investigating the potential of working from a logic that is explicitly based on the survival and health of planet Earth and all species, including humans, instead of the logic of economic growth. The project has led to policy initiatives for the global fashion sector (European Environment Bureau), new media platforms, and a series of dialogues with industry and governance. Read more about the project here

From 2023 I will lead the project Cultural Entrepreneurship - Earth Logic design, which will systematically evaluate the values ​​that design based on a new logic can create. The project is part of the larger project InKuis, PI Anders Högberg (Kamprad Foundation) with the aim of exploring and strengthening the opportunities for cultural entrepreneurship in Småland. I am active in the projects Holding Surplus House, PI Åsa Ståhl (Formas) and Trollperception in heartlands, PI Katarina Bonnevier (VR).


I am the scientific leader of The Bridge Collaboration Arena. The Bridge is Linnaeus University's strategic collaboration with IKEA and Södra. I lead the project Forest Meetings hosted by Linnaeus Knowledge Environment Green Sustainable Development, on which steering committee I sit. Forest Meetings will create an open, safe, knowledge-based and creative place for discussions and transdisciplinary collaboration on one of the major present and future issues - the forest. 


Article in journal (Refereed)

Conference paper (Refereed)

Chapter in book (Refereed)

Collection (editor) (Refereed)

Book (Other academic)

Chapter in book (Other academic)

Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)

Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))

Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))