Erling Björgvinsson


Enheten för
Kristinelundsgatan 6-8
41137 Göteborg
Box 131
40530 Göteborg

Om Erling Björgvinsson

Erling Björgvinsson is PARSE Professor of Design at the School of Design and Craft, Faculty of Fine Arts, Gothenburg University. Together with professors from Academy Valand and Academy of Music and Drama he runs the art-based research platform Parse, which is a publishing initiative and a biannual conference. He is also steering group member in the Centre on Global Migration at Gothenburg university.

A Central topic of research is participatory politics in design and art, in particular in relation to urban spaces and the interaction between public institutions and citizens. My research focuses thus on the dynamics of power and change and how collective life can be enriched and challenged. It engages in design and art that challenge how behaviour and processes are regulated and made regular and irregular – and thus politically charged - by how they are materially apportioned. As such I’m interested in how designed materials are used to enable, direct, restrict, manipulate humans as well as non-human materials.

Methodological topics include how socio-material configurations and orientations are negotiated when the aim is critiquing and changing present situations. Specifically, how power figures in the initial framing and subsequent reframing - as participants are orientated and giving centre – periphery positions - and how it affects what is “voiced” and materialises. Furthermore, it studies how agency is constituted in change processes, how political judgments are made when predefined rules are not in place and how new collectives emerge and are constituted through design processes.

In City Fables he researched together with the poet Ida Börjel the relationship between the political economies of urban space, narratives and counter narratives. In The Living Archives he probed, together with feminist organisations, archives and heritage institutions, the politics of making public memory. He has also researched how small literary publics can participate in shaping the future of literary publishing and the literary public sphere. Earlier research includes organizational learning and patient learning within health care.

He supervises five PhD candidates studying at HDK, Valand Academy, and Chalmers who research on children play in migration camps, Crip design, mapping and counter mapping visual and material manifestations of gentrifications, the political imaginaries of post-nationalism, and critique in dialogical urban development collaborations.