Maria Göransdotter

BW Maria Göransdotter

Lecturer in design history, PhD student.
Vice rector.
Phone: +46 90 786 70 36
Mobile: +46 70 336 7036


We are not many at UID who are actually from Umeå, but I am one of them. I was born here, grew up in Saudi Arabia, and have since then mostly lived in Umeå (with stints in Gothenburg and Italy). My educational background is in the History of Science and Ideas at Umeå University, and I have also studied semiotics and aesthetics at the University of Bologna, Italy. I have been a PhD student and teacher in the field of history of ideas, and started teaching as an external teacher at UID in 1995. I work here full time since 2008, and was appointed Head of Department in 2013.

What I do at UID

As Vice rector, I am part of the leadership and management of the school. My areas of work are mainly operational and administrative: Issues of staff, economy, safety, equal access, work environment and study environment are within my area of responsibility. I am also stand in as substitute for the Rector, when needed. These tasks consist the main part of my work, but I also occasionaly teach and conduct research as well, as one of UID's PhD students. 


My main areas of teaching are design history and theory. My focus is on ideas and practices in 19th and 20th (and 21st) century design. I have taught design history and theory on the BFA programme and in single subject courses, and have also taught academic writing on our BFA and MFA programmes. I have worked with UPL at Umeå University in working with gender perspective in courses for university teachers, and have also lectured on PhD courses at the Faculty of Arts at Umeå University. Currently, I mainly teach design history for Industrial Design Intensive, here at UID.


The theme for my ongoing dissertation work is the idea of good taste in relation to ideas and practices around creating "the ideal home", as a basis for radically transforming and modernizing Swedish society - and Swedish citizens - during the first half of the 20th century.  The attempt of my dissertation is to show how ideas of taste, home, furniture and modernity were manifest in politics, practice, education and public ideals of citizenship and collective ideas of "the good home". Read more about my PhD-project: A Taste for Modern Life: Interior decoration as a societal issue in Sweden 1930-1955

Talk to me about:

How history matters for how we see and do things today and in the future:
- design history
- history of technology
- history of ideas

How different perspectives allow us to see and understand things in different ways:
- gender perspectives
- design theory
- cultural and visual studies

Writing in relation to the design process
- reflective writing
- writing reports
- different ways of writing

Then, you can of course talk to me about anything and everything that has to do with life and work at UID: How and what we educate, how we use our facilities, staff issues, things you think we do well, or that we would need to improve, or that we could try doing in a different way


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