CREATE Department Brochure

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Section of Architecture and Urban Design


Section of Industrial Design


Section of Media Technology, Copenhagen


Section of Media Technology, Aalborg




The Educations


Bachelor's Educations


Master's Educations


The administrative technical staff


Key figures 2020




On the front page a photo of the art installation ”Color Spaces Spring” made by Christina Augustesen, 2016. Lent to Create by Statens Kunstfond.



The Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology is located in Aalborg and Copenhagen. We are approx 150 employees and Ph.D. students. We are a part of the Technical Faculty of IT and Design at Aalborg University and we are organized in four sections covering a broad range of research areas all concerning technology and ways of developing sustainable and attractive ways of living. The department is unique in the Danish context, as it comprises disciplines within architecture, design, media and technology under one roof providing the foundation for a powerful new field of research and development of competence within the field of technology and design with a human focus.

VISION The department’s vision is to utilize and investigate the interplay between creativity and technology for development of new growth areas in research and education directed towards the user or participants. The new architecture, urban design, products, and media solutions with the user or participants in focus that we develop address future societal challenges regarding development of sustainable and attractive ways of living. The impact on the physical environment and user interaction will be subjects for investigation, paving the way for new technologies and solutions that take the user experience fully into account. The ambition is to deliver excellent human design centered technology research.

The department provides teaching to about 1200 students and we take pride in educating the future Engineers and Masters of Science supported by state of the art facilities, laboratories and equipment. The Department is home to the two study boards affiliated with the educations of Architecture & Design and Media Technology. They ensure that our students are educated to face the challenges of the future labour market and are able to address the challenges of the future within our common goals of sustainable development.



T H E D E PA R T M E N T O F A R C H I T E C T U R E , DESIGN AND MEDIA TECHNOLOGY The department’s research concentrates on Architecture, Urban Design, Industrial Design and Media technology within areas such as sustainability, robotics, sound and music analysis & processing, light design, game technology, interaction design etc. We conduct our research in close collaboration with a wide range of companies, universities and local authorities, and our researchers participate in both national and international projects. The common focus points of our research are to investigate the interplay between creativity and technology, and to use this interplay to fulfill our ambition of delivering excellent human design centered technology research.

SECTIONS & RESEARCH GROUPS To meet this vision the department is organised in four sections Architecture and Urban Design, Industrial Design and Media Technology, which is situated in Aalborg as well as in Copenhagen. The four sections are further split into thirteen research groups – each consisting of researcher who across sectors and fields of studies cover common ground in terms of their research. All research group’s affiliate to a section but the members do not necessarily come from the same - the important thing with a membership is the common research interest. The sections and research groups are presented in the following diagram.






Urban Design Transformation & Mobilities

Designed to Last

Human Machine Interaction

Media Cognition & Interactive System

Integrated Architecture

Audio Analysis Laboratory

Multi-Sensory Experience Laboratory

Situated Mobilities & Sensing Bodies

Computer Graphic Group

The Service System Design Laboratory

Visual Analysis and Perception

The Lighting Design Research Group Media Innovation & Game Research



SECTION OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN The section of Architecture and Urban Design has the built environment in all its facets as the field of attention - from the construction of a building detail to the megastructures of the urban landscape; occupied with how we can influence the built environment and its development. Our aim is to produce new research-based knowledge on the built environment through integrated and cross-disciplinary design research and teaching within the two overall fields of Architectural Engineering and Urban Design. These two areas are at the forefront in their respective fields, being respectively the only Urban Design research and teaching environment and the only integrated Architectural Engineering research and teaching environment in Denmark. Thus, through an integrated and holistic approach, we conduct research and teaching that combine design-based, technological and social science competencies, and we collaborate with the surrounding society to come up with new solutions to the built environment within both research and teaching.

The staff affiliated to the section is composed of internationally experienced scholars and practitioners coming from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, such as architecture, urban design, engineering and social science. These researchers conduct research on the built environment that has a user-oriented, a technological, a sustainability and a methodological perspective. From a user-oriented perspective we are interested in how e.g architecture influences our body (and vice versa) as well as seeing architecture and urban design as a collaborative practice; doing research on user involvement and co-creation. Our perspective on sustainability covers both social and environmental sustainability and is concerned with vernacular architecture, zero energy, social inclusion, climate change among others. Through technological perspectives, we test and develop e.g. new building components and new methods using e.g. computational architecture as well as use various tracking technologies to understand urban behaviors. Finally, our methodological perspective concerns a mixed method approach as well as using the methods inherent in the professions of architecture and urban design (drawing, visualization etc.) as research methods that enable us to gain knowledge on the built environment through e.g. scenario building and experiments. Through these various perspectives, the section conducts research on, in and with the built environment.



RESEARCH GROUPS Urban Design - Transformation and Mobilities The research group is the only urban design research group in Denmark and we customize interdisciplinary and critical-creative research methods to the specificities of people and places, to inquiry into critical agendas for cities and territories. The group seeks to create knowledge that can influence the creation of sustainable urban futures. The research undertaken critically investigates how these futures, are and for whom. Our dynamic research in the field of urban design is grounded by two key components. Firstly, how can we reimagine our built, lived and experienced environment to create new futures, and secondly, to situate our findings and results through action, in the form of practical design solutions, policies, curatorial experiments and strategies.

C-MUS Data Visualization Lab Transformation and Mobilities has its own lab. The lab is about taking data and display them graphically via maps, tables, dashboards, heat maps, timelines and word clouds etc. In our lab we have a wide range of visualization software as well as a large touch screen where complex data is transformed into the simple to gain new perspectives and insights. The C-MUS lab is home to the newly developed decision-support tool AirMind. Using data visualization, AirMind combines a variety of quantitative, qualitative and visual data from various disciplines to improve the decision-making power of the aviation sector.

The research covers the rapid change of our cities in the post millennium period, focusing on the investigation of different methods and approaches in order to create tools that can support a more sustainable and long-term proof urban development. Our research pays particular attention to the entanglement of the physical and built environment with social, cultural and political aspects of urban life. How commuting, everyday life transport, digital media, new production and consumption patterns have effects beyond mere displacement of people, information and goods. Thus, the networked patterns of contemporary urbanity are sites of social, spatial, cultural, and technological transformation, which is explored in the interdisciplinary research agenda of transforming and mobile cities. WEB: 7

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Virtual reality

Augmented reality



Building operation


Human Experience

Personal Control



Indoor Environment

Social Sustainability

Human-centered approach

Create Integrated Architecture


Integrated Design Thinking


Design Method





Design Tools

Architectural Theory


Design Processes LCA

Economic Sustainability




Passive Strategies

Architectural History

Design for Disassembly



Energy consumption

Tectonics in Architecture










The group applies a human-centered approach to architecture with the aim of enhancing health and quality of life in built environments, researching how people perceive and interact with architectural environments. It researches climate mitigation and adaptation, architecture as a passive means of comfortable indoor environments, sustainable human activity, fossil free building operation and circular materiality. The group researches tectonics in architecture through experiments and developments related to specific materials, craft-based, industrial- and digital technologies to develop the tactile, acoustic and visual qualities of architecture.



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Create Integrated Architecture Create Integrated Architecture regards integrated design as a cornerstone in research, education and practice. The group is critical towards the division of technical and aesthetical mindsets in the building practice and researches to support the integration of all relevant aspects of building also in early design phases. The group works inter-disciplinary often with mixed methods addressing health and well-being, sustainability and tectonics in architecture.


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Situated Mobilities and Sensing Bodies SitMoB consists of researchers working with inspiration from architecture, neuroscience, urban design, urban mobilities, and sociology in order to explore the basic question: How does the mobile human being experience and sense the contemporary city? The research group explores how cities and architecture can integrate the built environment with the mobile human being in a socially and mentally sustainable manner. We aim to advance our understanding of how movement within the built environment affects human experience, sensation, health and everyday wellbeing.

We believe that relating to the built environment is fundamental to human beings and therefore expressed in both the body, brain, and behaviour. By exploring neuroscientific theory and interdisciplinary methods, we want to highlight how psychobiological and sociocultural approaches to urban mobilities can advance the design sciences. Our approach to the interaction between mobile human beings and cities aims to develop new knowledge for the design of future cities and architecture. WEB:


P R O J E C T, A R C H I T E C T U R E A N D U R B A N D E S I G N

C ATA LY S T ARCHITECTURE AS CATALYST FOR SOCIAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC VALUE CREATION The project explores architecture’s potential to create social and socio-economic value, through the investigation of how it impacts users’ everyday life and practice and thereby translates to value based on users’ preferences. The project’s research value lies in the development and extension of the existing knowledge pool on tectonic theory in architecture by exploring and investigating its potential as an interdisciplinary framework and systematic method for acquiring knowledge on architectural quality and its value for different stakeholders, across the disciplines of architecture, anthropology, and economics.


PROJECT PERIOD: February 2020 – February 2023. PARTICIPANTS: AART Architects A/S / AAU-CREATE / KU-IFRO FUNDING: Innovation Fund Denmark, Industrial PhD: DKK 1.1 Mio AART Architects A/S: DKK 0.8 Mio CONTACT PERSON: PhD student Eszter Sántha e-mail: Associate Professor Marie Frier Hvejsel e-mail:

P R O J E C T, A R C H I T E C T U R E A N D U R B A N D E S I G N

DARK DESIGN DARK DESIGN – SOCIAL EXCLUSION IN PUBLIC SPACES The research project explores how homeless and socially vulnerable people are being excluded from public spaces in the city via design of leaning benches, spikes, and other design interventions preventing them from occupying and staying in public spaces. The project also investigates how the exclusion by design connects to new legislation that criminalizes particular behavioral patterns in the city. The project will use ethnographic approaches and design interventions, and the final goal is the creation of a ‘dialogue platform’ making the problem of exclusion by design visible to citizens, politicians, and urban stakeholders. PROJECT PERIOD: January 2021 - December 2024 PROJECT PARTICIPANTS: Aalborg University, Create / Copenhagen Municipality / Projekt Udenfor / Kompasset / SAND / Foreningen MINORITET FUNDING: 5.3 Mill DKR, the Velux Foundation, HUMAN Praxis


SECTION OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN The main research focus of the Industrial Design Section is on the early phases of innovation using a systematic, methodological and integrated design process to create new products and solutions. Integrated design is the integration of design, engineering and business aspects into a synthesised proposal. This includes research in design theories, models and methods for creating a shared point of departure and development process for work of cross-disciplinary teams. The process from the search phase until synthesis of a conceptual proposal, with an outset in wicked, ill-defined problems, challenges and opportunities within product and service development is the emphasis of our research and teaching. The Design Driven approach is used to attack a variety of challenges; ranging from concrete idea and product development, process and project management to strategy and business development.

Both research and teaching activities are conducted in collaboration with companies and external organisations to ensure the relevance and validity of projects and knowledge creation. Our perspective on design is holistic with a focus on design as being a meaning making activity. Products and solutions are perceived and made sense of by the users and customer and are part of the business strategy and brand of companies. Thus, we apply a user and context-oriented approach to both research and teaching.



RESEARCH GROUP Designed to last In the ‘Designed to last’ research group we use design thinking as driver for sustainable transition. We approach the present challenges of the unsustainable production and consumption patterns with new ground-breaking ideas and approaches. Transition towards a more sustainable use of products and circular economy begins in the design process. It is not enough to upcycle or recycle products once they have been discarded. In the ‘Designed to last’ group, we do research on how to create products that will solve long-term problems and that people will use, cherish and love. We do research on how to create products, that are not prematurely discarded, because they have become obsolete either functionally, aesthetically or technically. And we test concepts, methods and new systemic approaches to sustainable design, development, materials and production, that can extend products’ value and lower their environmental impact. WEB:


P R O J E C T, I N D U S T R I A L D E S I G N

DESIGNED TO LAST DESIGNED TO LAST: EXTENDING THE PRODUCT LIFETIME IN SMALL- AND MEDIUM SIZED COMPANIES Today many products are designed to have a lifespan of just 1-3 years. This means that each day we throw products away thatcost precious materials and resources to produce. This way of developing and throwing away products is not compatible with the 12th UN global of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. The aim of the project is to give small and medium sized companies insight into what it would mean for their company, if they were to extend the lifetime of their products. Both for the design of the products and its position on the market, the company’s ability to compete and its business model etc.


PROJECT PERIOD: January 2020 – December 2022. PARTICIPANTS: Louise Møller Haase / Linda Nhu Laursen / Peter Byrial Jensen FUNDING: Sparnord Fonden, 1.9 Mio DKK CONTACT PERSON: Associate Professor Louise Møller Haase e-mail:


S E C T I O N O F M E D I A T E C H N O L O G Y, COPENHAGEN The Media Technology section in Copenhagen (with its five research groups) spans across the many facets of interactions between humans and digitality – ranging from direct interactions between humans and technology, to implicit reactive interactions, and to broader perspectives of how technology can influence and enhance society as a whole. The key in both approaches is to have the end user in mind, i.e., human-centered design. The section’s staff has diverse backgrounds both in terms of expertise as well as cultural, which allows us to explore highly interdisciplinary areas in detail. Direct and Indirect Interactions between Humans and Computers We design, develop, and study interactive prototypes including both software and hardware to investigate how we can improve our direct interactions with technology. By direct, we mean an explicit and dedicated interaction with a technology. We study how virtual realities help in the context of rehabilitation, and how specialized computer games can help train-

ing people for real-world problems. Here, we follow a rigorous design-oriented process, where we identify the need, design for that need, build the soft- or hardware, evaluate it with end-users and iterate until the best solution is found. In addition to these direct interactions, we also look at indirect interactions, where humans are not directly aware of such yet, brain and muscle activity can be detected. This area of research feeds into the direct interaction as well, thus closing the loop of interactions between humans and technologies. Designing for Society as a Whole Besides looking at individual and direct interactions, we are also looking at how technology affects society as a whole. We are involved in designing services for the broader population and managing those services. In particular, we are interested in how service design as approach can facilitate exploration, co-creation and empowerment to address broad societal issues. Furthermore, we are also involved in designing lighting solutions that meet the need of end-users through contextual analysis, concept design, prototyping, and evaluation. In this field, we bridge knowledge from architecture, engineering, and computing technology.

MICHAEL MULLINS Deputy Head of Department


RESEARCH GROUPS Media Cognition and Interactive Systems The Media Cognition and Interactive Systems research group focuses on the development of theoretical and empirical frameworks for the integration of cognition, performance, and technology in order to enhance and understand human experience in interactive and immersive systems. Through international transdisciplinary work in basic and applied research, we bridge qualitative and quantitative methods, improve methodologies, and prospect innovative applications in many different socio-cultural and commercial domains. The group has two laboratory facilities in Copenhagen the Augmented Cognition Laboratory and the Augmented Performance Laboratory.



Multi-sensory experience Laboratory The research group work on virtual reality, augmented reality, and multisensory experiences, exploring the combination of different input and output modalities in interactive applications. We are interested in both development of novel hardware and software technologies as well as evaluation of users’ experiences. We apply our technologies to health, rehabilitation, training, learning and entertainment. We are particularly interested in researching topics related to sonic interaction design for multimodal environments, simulating walking experiences, sound rendering and spatialization, haptic interfaces, cinematic VR and evaluation of user experience in multimodal environments.

The Service System Design Laboratory The Service Design Laboratory is dedicated to studying and applying service design, as an exploratory co-creative and empowering approach to address broad issues of societal concern. The laboratories key areas of research are service design management and strategy, civic service design and data driven service design. The three different areas are explored from a methodological perspective, defining methods and tools that can be used in the process of value co-creation and from an infrastructuring perspective, considering the socio-technical ecosystems and interactions that would support the generation of value in services.




The Lighting Design Research Group The research group has as its mission to contribute to new and improved ways to use and perceive light in our daily lives. Current research activities include projects spanning from coloured light in health care, circadian rhythm lighting in old-age homes, public lighting installations for municipalities and schools, smart city applications of dynamic lighting as a scenographic tool, to combining daylight and dynamic artificial lighting to improved motivation, engagement and sustainability in work environments. LiD_RG combines architecture, engineering and technology in a human centric approach to lighting solutions that seek to improve our built environment with applied knowledge of lighting design. Researchers, private business partners, municipalities and graduate students in Lighting Design team up to solve relevant societal problems. In this trans-disciplinary approach, the learning process of analyzing, making, implementing and testing is created in real-life scenarios. WEB:


Media Innovation & Game Research At the Samsung Media Innovation Laboratory for Education, we research engaging user-, learner- and player experiences by developing and evaluating interactive adaptive narratives, transformational and serious games, storyworlds and motivational learning environments. We develop tools for film-, TV- and animation productions and collaborate with various external stakeholders to utilize state-of-the-art real-time game- and media technologies for development on multiple platforms such as smartphones, tablets, panorama screens, mixed reality displays and video walls. We host the Center for Applied Game Research’s Game Laboratory (SMILE) te, which aims to promote interdisciplinary applied game research across a variety of research fields by connecting AAU researchers working with the development, use and evaluation of games and gamification.

One of the purposes of the SMILE Laboratory is to engage learners to become technical solution makers who utilize and develop innovative real-time game- and media technologies to address the challenges of a sustainable future. The laboratory is supported by Samsung. WEB:


P R O J E C T, M E D I A T E C H N O L O G Y, C O P E N H A G E N

NORDIC SOUND AND MUSIC COMPUTING The Nordic Sound and Music Computing Network brings together a group of internationally leading sound and music computing researchers from all five Nordic countries. The constellation is unique since the network covers the field of sound and music from the “soft” to the “hard,” including the arts and humanities, the social and natural sciences, and with a high level of technological competency. Sound and music computing is a research field that studies the whole sound and music communication

chain from a multidisciplinary point of view. By combining scientific, technological and artistic methodologies it aims at understanding, modeling and generating sound and music through computational approaches. PROJECT PERIOD: January 2018 – December 2024. PARTICIPANTS: KTH Stockholm / Aalto University / University of Island / University of Oslo FUNDING: NordForsk 27 Mio NKK Department share 5 Mio NKK CONTACT PERSON: Professor Stefania Serafin e-mail: WEB:


P R O J E C T, M E D I A T E C H N O L O G Y, C O P E N H A G E N

RHUMBO MODELLING AND PREDICTING HUMAN DECISIONMAKING USING MEASURES OF SUBCONSCIOUS BRAIN PROCESSES THROUGH MIXED REALITY INTERFACES AND BIOMETRIC SIGNALS RHUMBO is an innovative multinational, multi-sectorial and interdisciplinary excellence doctoral training network program. The project is hosting 11 Early Stage Researchers in the intersections between cognitive neuroscience, mixed reality technologies, biometric signals and artificial intelligence, integrating a multimodal-sensing platform to examine consumer behavioural patterns during dynamic, complex and realistic situations for a deeper understanding of internal human psychological states and decision-making processes. PROJECT PERIOD: January 2018 – October 2022. PARTICIPANTS: Universitat Politecnica De Valencia / Universitaersklinikum Bonn / Universita Di Pisa / Universitat De Valencia / Artinis Medical Systems BV / G.TEC Medical Engineering GMBH / Neurons Inc Aps, Stichting Katholieke Universiteit / Universitat Linz FUNDING: Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN: 22 mio DKK Department share: 2,4 Mio DKK

CONTACT PERSON: Associate Professor Luis Emilio Bruni (PhD) e-mail:


P R O J E C T, S E R V I C E S Y S T E M S D E S I G N , C O P E N H A G E N

WENET EMPOWERING MACHINE MEDIATED DIVERSITY-AWARE PEOPLE INTERACTIONS Diversity is part of our everyday life. Technology, despite its evolution, still cannot develop and maintain social relationships that transcend geographical and cultural backgrounds. WeNet wants to change that. WeNet explores how machine learning and AI can be used to leverage diversity and burst the social bubbles most of us live in. In the project, a chatbot application has been developed that can make it easy for students to get help from other students in their area - people they may have never met otherwise. WeNet is built on a model of diversity based on social practices. Through machine learning, it can connect people with different competences, skills and interests. The goal is connecting people who can help each other, and the key is leveraging their diversity. The WeNet platform will be the basis of a series of studies within universities across the world with diverse student populations. The studies will look at how the platform can improve students’ quality of life inside and outside the academic environment.


PROJECT PERIOD: January 2018 – December 2022 PARTICIPANTS: UNITN (Italy), AAU (Denmark), OUC (Cyprus), BGU (Israel), Martel (Switzerland), U-Hopper (Italy), CSIC (Spain),IDIAP (Switzerland), LSE (United Kingdom), EKUT (Germany), UC (Paraguay), NUM (Mongolia), AMRITA (India), IPICYT (Mexico), JLU (China). FUNDING: Total budget: 6.5 M€ of which 1.500.000kr for AAU. Funded by the EU’s Horizon2020: Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) CONTACT PERSON: Amalia de Götzen, e-mail:


S E C T I O N O F M E D I A T E C H N O L O G Y, AALBORG The Section for Media Technology, Aalborg focuses on research within advanced technologies and the interplay between such technologies and end-users. The research activities cover both basic research as well as applied research centered around real world problems. We address a variety of problems in different domains, with a special focus on healthcare, robotics and analytics. The research activities are grouped into the four main areas: Audio Processing & Music Informatics, Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, and Human Machine Interaction. It all starts with technology At the core of our welfare society stands technology and its interplay with all aspects of life ranging from the production industry, over the public sector to entertainment. We conduct research into existing as well as novel algorithms and paradigms related to technology in general, but in particular within some of the core media technology components, namely audio analysis, computer vision and computer graphics. The two former are rooted in the key competences of humans; the ability to hear and the ability to see. Our

work here has a starting point in signal processing, math and algorithms. The different research avenues have traditionally been centered on model-based approaches, but in recent years, data-driven approaches have been equally important. This trend follows a general trend in computer science and engineering where massive amounts of data and the rise of modern AI have affected many aspects of science. Computer graphics, on the other hand, has its origin in synthesis of visual data and our research in this exiting domain ranges from new display technologies, especially head-mounted displays, over photorealistic rendering of shadows to real-time data visualization. The interplay between technology and end-users A large portion of technology is developed for direct use by end-users and it is therefore critical that technologies and the services they offer are useable by end-users. Moreover, for future technologies and services – for example social robots – the end-users require the technology to operate as expected, which often means similar to how a human would act/respond. One of the important research frontiers within media technology is therefore to understand and develop intuitive and social acceptable solutions for human-machine interaction. Our research in this direction is rooted in both traditional interactions via tables and smart phones to more advanced platforms like drones and mobile robots.

THOMAS MOESLUND Head of section


RESEARCH GROUPS Human Machine Interaction The research group at Create consists of dedicated researchers that investigate challenges regarding cognitive abilities, physical abilities, social rules and practices, as well as environmental parameters that affect or determine human machine interactions. In accordance with AAU’s strategy, the team specializes in applied research with relevant regional and national stakeholders in the areas health, robotics, smart learning and spatial interaction. Over the last years, the group has built up a strong research expertise in interaction with special needs groups like citizens with traumatic or congenital brain damage, dementia, dyslexia, as well as indigenous groups and kindergarten and school children (primary level). The group explores different technologies like mobile platforms, robots, wearables, eye-tracking, etc. To this end we work closely together with external partners focusing on real world challenges. Our research is related to three specific themes (health, learning, space) but often transcends two or all of these themes for a concrete challenge. WEB:


Audio Analysis Laboratory The research group conducts research in audio and acoustic signal processing for good health and well-being. The research focuses on how audio processing can be used to solve problems of importance to the health and well-being of people in their daily lives. These include reducing the influence of noise on our lives and extracting useful information from degraded acoustic signals for biomedical purposes. The laboratory thus works on a wide range of research topics, such as noise reduction, active noise cancellation, sound zones, voice analysis, and spectral analysis. The laboratories activities are funded by grants from the Villum Foundation, Independent Research Fund Denmark, and Innovation Fund Denmark. The various research projects are carried out in close collaboration with leading industrial partners and universities around the world. WEB:


Computer Graphics Group Computer graphics is a wide research field which includes not only the generation of all kinds of graphics with all kinds of computers but also user interfaces to interact with computer-generated graphics, image processing, display technologies, and even camera technologies. The computer graphics research group focuses on photorealistic and interactive augmented reality as well as input and output interfaces for virtual reality. We also explore other directions of computer graphics research, for example, architectural visualization, physics-based animation, computer graphics for video games, etc. WEB:


Visual Analysis and Perception The interest of the research group centers around computer vision. Computer vision is the digital version of human vision, where a camera replaces the eyes and algorithms implemented in software replace the brain. The research field of computer vision is about developing and implementing such algorithms. The ambition is not only to replicate the abilities of human visual perception, but also going beyond human capabilities for example by seeing in the dark or measuring the actual distance to an object. We are working on many different computer vision topics, but most of them are focused on automatic camera-based analysis of people and their whereabouts. These activities are collected in the Visual Analysis and Perception laboratory.


P R O J E C T, M E D I A T E C H N O L O G Y, A A L B O R G

DECOCHROM DECORATIVE APPLICATIONS FOR SELF-ORGANIZED MOLECULAR ELECTROCHROMIC SYSTEMS The DecoChrom project elevates printed graphic products to the age of interactivity and empowers the creative industries with the tools and innovative advanced material sets to design and build aesthetically pleasing, practical human interfaces to smart consumer goods and environments. The DecoChrom consortium develops printable electrochromic inks – inks that change their color when electricity is applied - as mass producible, print industry compatible, ultra-low-power interactive graphics solution for ambient intelligence. DecoChrom will introduce electrochromics to designers, makers and the printing industry through Toolkits and Workshops, as well as develop several creative industry-lead end-user prototypes and pilots for architecture, interior design, lifestyle and sports.

FUNDING: Horizon2020 53mio DKK Department share : 3.7mio DKK CONTACT PERSON: Associate Professor Markus Löchtefeld e-mail: WEB:

PROJECT PERIOD: January 2018 – December 2021. PARTICIPANTS: University of Lapland / YD Ynvisible S.A. / Sonae Indústria de Revestimentos S.A. / Cardiff University / NOVA ID FCT / Centrum Organicke Chemie Sro / Vertech, Lighting Design Collective SL / VTT Ltd / University of Strasbourg / ThingK / WeProductise / Fraunhofer ISC




Charlotte Sørensen: Signal Processing for Detecting the Cocktail Party Problem and Methods for Enhancing Listening in Noisy Situations

Liming Shi: Speech Modeling and Robust Estimation for Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

Line Sand Knudsen: Design Rationale – An explorative study on design teams’ reasoning process

Ali Zakaria: Expecting space: An enactive inference approach to transistions in architecture

Elias Melvin Christiansen: Tectonics and the City – In search of a critical perspective on assembling the city

Cecilie Brienholm Christensen: Moving Underground – Understanding Mobile Situations in the Copenhagen Metro

Mark Philip Philipsen: Applications of Vision and Robotics in Meat Production

Aske Rasch Lejbølle: Vision-Based Person Re-indentification in a Queue

Ivan Adrianov Nikolov: Applied SfM – Capturing and Analysing 3D Surface Data

PHD The Department GENEREL INFORMATION of Architecture, Design and Media The Department Technology is responsible of Architecture, for theDesign doctoral and program Media of Technology Media, Architecture, is responsible and Design. for theBesides doctoralthis program pro- of Media,some gram Architecture, PhD students and Design. are enrolled Besides in program this pro- for gram someScience Computer PhD students and Engineering are enrolled andinElectrical program and for ComputerEngineering. Eletronic Science and Engineering and Electrical and Eletronic Engineering. THE PHD PROGRAM IN MEDIA, THE PHD PROGRAM ARCHITECTURE ANDIN DESIGN MEDIA, ARCHITECTURE The PhD ProgramAND in Media, DESIGN Architecture and Design is a The PhD broad, inter-disciplinary Program in Media, program Architecture that focuses and Design on design is a broad, inter-disciplinary where the end-user and program stakeholders that have focuses a central on design where role in the research end-user perspectives. and stakeholders Emphasis have aiscentral placed on role in the research architecture, design perspectives. & media focusing Emphasis on theistechnical, placed on architecture, social, and aesthetic design &dimensions. media focusing Construction on the technical, and form of social, andurban buildings, aesthetic landscapes dimensions. and spaces Construction as welland as form design of buildings, of artefacts, urban interactive landscapes mediaand andspaces art installations as well as are design of of artefacts, central concern. interactive Further,media emphasis and art is also installations on design are and of central concern. technology in theFurther, fields ofemphasis environmental is alsoand on design social susand technologyaesthetics tainability, in the fields and of experiences, environmental interaction and social design sustainability, and designaesthetics media andand architecture experiences, as tools interaction for local design and and design media international development and architecture – and foras ’a tools betterfor world’. local and international development – and for ’a better world’. Research within the program is wide-ranging and Research within the inter-disciplinary andprogram concerns: is wide-ranging and inter-disciplinary • Architecture, sustainable and concerns: architecture, performative • Architecture, sustainable architecture, performative architecture architecture • Urban design, urban transformation, urban space, • urban Urban culture design, /life urban transformation, urban space, Mobility, • urban culture mobilities /life design, and infrastructures • Interaction Mobility, mobilities design, responsive design, andenvironment, infrastructures experience • design, Interaction service design, design responsive environment, experience design, service design

• Media art, performative art and technology • Industrial design, design of artefacts, design processes • Research through design As the focus is on design as a constructing praxis, there is an interest in developing new research approaches such as practice-based research, research by design and participatory design processes. Several research projects under the program are working with experiments in a scale of 1:1– or have the goal to develop new designs, architecture or prototypes that can facilitate trials and experiments with participation of the goal end-users and stakeholders. Often, research, development and experimentation is carried out in collaboration with external private or public partners. The goal is to strengthen and develop theories and methods for research by or through design. In addition, we aim to strengthen the relationship and invoke collaboration between research and praxis, and develop research tools to enable these developments. THE RESEARCH ENVIRONMENT IS INTERDISCIPLINARY AND PROBLEM-ORIENTED The research draws on perspectives from engineering research, as well as from relevant design, architecture, media technology, human centered computing, and social research disciplines. As an interdisciplinary and problem-oriented approach, we seek alternatives for solving particular problems within productions, social and public services, buildings, local neighborhoods, cultural enterprises and the urban fabric as such.


T H E E D U C AT I O N S The Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology offers a range of Bachelor and Master’s educations at Aalborg University in the cities of Aalborg and Copenhagen. On bachelor level, the two educations in Architecture & Design and Medialogy each provide students with broad competence profiles that allow them to work together with a wide range of industries and professional fields. Having finished one of these two 3-year bachelor’s educations, graduates have the option to continue studying on a master’s education at the department or elsewhere.

The department’s portfolio of master’s educations builds naturally on top the two bachelor educations, spanning in disciplines from Sound and Music Computing over Architecture, to Urban Design and Lighting Design. All master educations are grounded in a solid research environment at the department and aim at educating world-class graduates to Danish and the international industries. Furthermore the department are involved in several educations like: “Robotics”, “Vision, Graphics and Interactive Systems” and “Art & Technology”. WEB:

CREATE Department of Architecture, Design & Media Technology

Nis Ovesen Head of Studies


Thomas Arvid Jaeger Chairman

Study Board of Architecture & Design Study Programmes Bsc. in Architecture & Design Msc. in Industrial Design Msc. in Architecture Msc. in Urban Design

Hans Jørgen Andersen Head of Department

Study Board of Media Technology

Claus Brøndgaard Madsen Chairman

Study Programmes Bsc. in Medialogy Msc. in Medialogy Msc. in Lighting Design Msc. in Service Systems Design Msc. in Sound and Music Computing

STUDY ADMINISTRATION Semester administration Study board administration

Anne Christoffersen Area Manager

Figure: The portfolio of educations at the department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology is organised in two main groups – each of them maintained by its own Study Board consisting of faculty representatives and student representatives.



B AC H E L O R ’ S E D U C AT I O N S MEDIALOGY The Medialogy bachelor’s education is based on, among others, the studies of human and computer relations, audio-visual effects, human perception, immersive computer systems and new interfaces. During the span of the education, the students are given a strong technical foundation both in theory and in practice via teaching in for example math, programming and sensor technology. The teaching is applied in the semester projects where the students work together in groups to solve real-life problems. Besides technical courses such as programming and experimental design, students study areas within perception, interaction design, sound, graphics, games and film – and how computer science plays a part in the media productions both now and in the future.


ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN The Architecture and Design bachelor’s education combines engineering, design, architecture and creativity in a holistic approach that allows students to work across several fields and disciplines. The education is rooted in the Scandinavian tradition and it offers students to choose a specialisation after one year. The specialisation in Architecture and Urban Design offers students a broad professional set of competences that prepares them to work on projects from family housing to large and complex solutions for urban areas. The specialisation in Industrial Design focuses on the design, construction and production of products to both private and professional users. Emphasis is on designing the right solutions – both in regards to the user and to the use of resources.


M A S T E R ’ S E D U C AT I O N S MEDIALOGY In the Medialogy master’s education, students learn about the science and technology behind groundbreaking interactive digital systems, and they learn to develop computer games, computer-generated 3D-graphics and interactive media products.

programming new, interactive media products and tools, for example, computer games, advanced digital user interfaces, or virtual reality experiences.. Evaluating complex media systems on the basis of tests as well as evaluating technology in relation to user-oriented aspects are also competences that students gain from the Master’s education in Medialogy.

Students gain a professional profile directed at both the Danish and international job market, and graduates from the education are known for their skills in designing and

Project Example Studying Hand Gestures with Indigenous People in the Bush of Namibia Today, it is easier than ever to use new technologies such as virtual reality. But these technologies are largely being developed by and for the Western world. It prevents many people from other cultures from taking full advantage of the technologies. The student went to the Donkerbos settlement in the Namibian desert to include the local San community in developing virtual reality technologies that would be natural and include novice users. In these field studies, the focus was on finding natural hand gestures that would work in a virtual reality set-up of the settlement they live in. This master project was made in cooperation between Aalborg University and Namibia University of Science and Technology. Student: Emilie Arendttorp Supervisors: Kasper Rodil, Heike Winschiers-Theopilus


I find it exciting to work with people, rather than just with technology. I have gained an understanding of technology, but I have gained an even greater understanding of how people use technology. 39

SERVICE SYSTEMS DESIGN At the Service Systems Design Master’s education, students learn how to plan and organise people, infrastructure, communication, media and components of a service, in order to improve its quality, the interaction between service provider and customers, and the customers’ experience. Some of the people who pioneered service design drive the education and it is uniquely connected to vibrant communities of entrepreneurs and social innovators in Denmark and abroad. Graduates from Service Systems Design work for companies such as Danske Bank, Bang & Olufsen, Roche,


Fujitsu, Novo Nordisk and they help public organizations such as the Danish Tax Authority, Copenhagen Police, and Copenhagen Healthtech Cluster to provide better and more impactful services. Project Example A platform for involving citizens in city development How can we make citizens heard when developing a more sustainable, carbon-free and less polluted city? Four students at Service Systems Design collaborated with Gehl Architects on gathering data about pollution in Copenhagen and performing qualitative interviews with mothers of young children.

The purpose of using the platform is to keep engaged with young parents when they can be hard to access directly, or do not feel like actively engaging, especially during COVID-19.

“The end product is a digital platform called The Insights Playground. It is made for multidisciplinary teams working on (re)designing Copenhagen based on Google’s particle-pollution data. The Insights Playground is made to help the teams put the values of parents at the center of their decision making,” Lucy Stuyfzand, who is one of the students of the group, says. “The platform facilitates collaboration between decision makers, designers and urban planners and includes several exercises through which the team retrieves insights about the parents’ feelings, needs and desires. Students: Anna Albuze, Emma Blankwater, Julie Jonsson, Lucy Stuyfzand Supervisor: Amalia de Götzen


SOUND AND MUSIC COMPUTING Graduates from the master’s education in Sound and Music Computing will become important players in the new information society. Through a combination of practice and theory in subjects such as data modelling, signal processing, pattern recognition, sound technology and -perception, cognition and interactive systems, students obtain a solid background in a fast-growing field.

Annually, Denmark exports sound and music products for over €2 billion such as hearing aids, multimedia productions, music equipment, communication technology, hi-fi equipment, games development and measuring equipment, etc. Project Example Hands-on experience for children to play with sound With this interactive and experience-centered installation, the bachelor project made by students of Sound and Music Computing and developed in collaboration with The Danish Music Museum, affords visitors an exploratory and playful sonic experience. A granular synthesizer allows real-time audio recording and manipulation of the sound of one’s own voice, a nearby instrument or the sound of keys rattling to create an immediately playable instrument. The sonic aspects of granular synthesis are communicated through the analogy of rain by LED visuals. “We wanted to spark an interest in children and young people who may not have any knowledge about it. With our installation, they get an experience and new knowledge in just a few minutes,” Anders Bargum, a student of the group, says. It can be seen at The Danish Music Museum in Copenhagen. Students: Anders Riddersholm Bargum, Simon Rostami Mosen, Oddur Ingi Kristjánsson Supervisor: Stefania Serafin


The instrument is designed to specifically target children and novice users and therefore has an intuitive and user-friendly design. 43

LIGHTING DESIGN In recent years, lighting technology has undergone a revolution, including intelligent and interactive control of light in rooms. Moreover, new lighting technologies and use of interactive screens are becoming increasingly visible in the public space. Therefore, professional and highly educated lighting designers are sought after. Companies are

looking for people who understand lighting design, who are able to work with existing technologies and develop new and smart solutions. The Master’s education in Lighting Design is a cross-disciplinary and international program based in a special Danish and Nordic tradition for light perception. Focus is on how the technical qualities of light and materials are applied in order to promote comfort and aesthetics. Project Example Designing well-being with light What is the best way to light an indoor space? How do we take into account the effect that light has on our wellbeing when designing buildings? In her master thesis, Mimi Ravn measured and evaluated the light in three different places in an effort to find out which type of lighting setting was the most optimal in relation to bioeffects; a university study area lit almost exclusively by daylight; a classroom that used hues of artificial light to enhance focus or relaxation; and a specially designed room at the AAU-campus in Copenhagen that has double-dynamic light installed. Double-dynamic light is a combination of daylight and artificial light which changes and adapts throughout the day.


“Relying too much on daylight as the main – or only – source of light may become problematic on grey and dark days; and using blue or red hues to enhance focus or relaxation may be too rigid a way to think of light.” Student: Mimi Ravn, 10th semester Supervisor: Ellen Kathrine Hansen

I came to the conclusion that flexible solutions like double-dynamic light have the most optimal effect in regards to what we know about the bioeffects of light. 45

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN The Master’s programme in Industrial Design focuses on an integrated process of concept design, construction and product development. Aesthetical competencies and creativity in the design development process are combined with knowledge of construction, product development, ergonomics, materials, environment, design management and economy.

With a Master’s degree in Industrial Design, students gain an understanding of product design and business perspectives. Graduates from Industrial Design are capable of combining solutions and products that are innovative as well as functional. Project Example Cool hunt – cooling down prey after a hunt How can the processes of storing prey become easier and more convenient after the hunter has brought it home? Emma Gundersen and Andreas Bendixen from Industrial Design have developed a portable fridge for prey that hunters can use to store the animal for up to 4 days after the hunt. After a long day’s hunt, many hunters are tired and have to clean their equipment. Often, they are too tired to also deal with parting the animal and putting it in the freezer. So they hang it and wait ‘till the next day before they start working on it. “With our fridge, they can take their time and do not have to worry about the hygiene as the bacteria develop much slower in a cool space than an ordinary shed or garage, ” Emma Gundersen says. Students: Emma Gundersen, Andreas Bendixen Supervisor: Nis Ovesen


We have designed the fridge to fit onto some of the gear the hunters already have. They can use the fridge as an add-on, which also fits well with our idea of making the entire process more convenient. 47

ARCHITECTURE At the Master’s education in Architecture, the Nordic context is the point of departure for exploring the intersection of architecture and engineering in a local and a global perspective. Sustainability and tectonics are central and interlinked fields of importance in this regard, as the students challenge and develop the social, environmental and economic role of architecture towards an enhancement of the built environment. In doing so the students integrate a multitude of aesthetic, functional, constructive, contextual, material, and environmental aspects of architectural space while exploring its relation with- and influence upon our health and well-being in a problem

based learning environment. Hence, with a foundation in an intersection of theories, methods and experiments pertaining to architecture and engineering, the Master’s education in Architecture ensures an interdisciplinary and international competence profile. Project Example Duneside In Duneside, the students envision building a center of climate change by the dunes of Blokhus at the west coast of Northern Jutland. It should be built of natural materials that was not chemically processed and that would be a natural part of the dunes and once disposed could return to become a part of natural and ecological resources. They wanted to interfere with nature as little as possible but at the same time build something strong that could handle strong winds and salty environment of the west coast. The center should house exhibitions and a climate lab that provide knowledge about climate change. ‘Duneside’ also takes a societal role, as architecture that motivates in a sustainable direction. Students: Christine Marie Elnegaard, Emilie Jessen Hellerup, Mohamed Jama Isak Supervisor: Michael Lauring


We wanted to build in the dunes of Blokhus with natural materials so that it wouldn’t have a negative impact on the local environment and the climate. Natural materials change over time. They are strong and alive. So, the building becomes a living element in the living nature.


URBAN DESIGN Specialisation in Urban Architecture The Master’s education in Urban Design with specialization in Urban Architecture takes its point of departure in a number of current and future challenges in relation to the design of the built environment and urban spaces. You will get a solid and professional foundation in subjects, methods and theories of urban design, including technologies, modelling and user involvement.





The specialisation in Urban Architecture offers each student a creative combination of problem-based learning (PBL) and realistic projects with “hands-on” challenges that equip the student to address e.g. climate change, temporary urban development projects,urban mobility, projects and strategies of the culture city, the urban landscape and city growth.

Project Example Marginal People in Marginal Spaces The thesis investigates the needs of seniors living in a mass housing district in Vilnius and how communities like this can transform into age-friendly communities. The student visited the housing district to conduct interviews with seniors living there and with administrators of the municipality. Even though, the seniors are ‘experts’ of the setting they live in because they spend a lot of time there, they often don’t have a voice in the public debate about it. More often than not, the spaces are designed by people who will not be using them. The research suggests that small purposeful interventions can take in to account their perspectives. This requires a more democratic approach that invites marginal people to share their opinions. Student: Ramune Maluke Supervisor: Michael Martin

I wanted to explore marginal people living in a marginal space because I grew up in a similar environment. Before I started, I didn’t take the role of the seniors into account. Working with this has also changed my perspective.


URBAN DESIGN Specialisation in Mobilities and Urban Studies The Master’s education in Urban Design with specialisation in Mobilities & Urban Studies approaches mobilities as more than simply movement and it offers a new innovative and cross-disciplinary mobility-profession based on the new mobilities turn. The specialisation in Mobilities & Urban studies integrates the diverse challenges

that are related to an increasing physical mobility (traffic and transportation by car, plane or train alike), increased use of virtual mobility (mobile phones and smart transport systems), increasing social mobility (tourism and migration) and environmentally friendly and sustainable modes of transportation (e.g. bicycle cultures or bike lanes in Copenhagen). Project Example Perception of electric vehicles in Denmark This project focuses on the transition to electric vehicles. The students interviewed owners of electric and conventional cars about their perceptions on electric vehicles. What does it take to make the shift and what hinders people in doing so? They explored how different socio-economic perspectives influences the purchase process. They identified five different groups, from pioneers that already bought an electric car to sceptics that really don’t believe they will buy this type of vehicle. In the middle there is a ‘tipping point group’ that is characterized by having a few reservations. They want to know that it’s financially sustainable, that there’s access to charging stations and that technology won’t be outdated within a few years. Students: Alina Haller, Daniel Buchreitz Hald, Oliver Johannes Mathiasen, Rasmus Bjerrum Christensen, Sarah Groß, Simone Andresen Supervisor: Claus Lassen


It surprised us that people living in the city find his transition more difficult. It’s difficult in the city when you do not have your own garage with a charging station. There, you are dependent on finding a charging station elsewhere.


T H E A D M I N I S T R AT I V E T E C H N I C A L S TA F F ADMINISTRATION The administration at CREATE supports the work of the academic staff and the students. It consists of the technical adminstrative staff, in daily speech TAP. The administration consists of many types of staff: Leaders, HR staff, study secretaries, study board secretaries, financial staff, workshop staff, fundrasing, and communication staff. The tasks are manifold, but the ambition is the same: to deliver the best possible service for students, teachers and external partners.

Here are some examples of what the administration contributes with: • HR staff: Employment of academic staff, PhDs and administrative staff, holiday and sick leave administration • Scheduling and planning of courses and exams • Booking of rooms for teaching and managing group areas • Finances: Budgeting and accounting of daily operating finances and project finances • Workshop: Maintaining and renewing workshop machines so they remain updated and assis tance to researchers and students • Coordination of events at the department, i.e. graduation, conferences and seminars • Fundraising for research projects • Communication of research results and study activities

LENE GRUNDAHL Head of administration





Study Team Aalborg 2 Study Board Secretaries 7 Study Secretaries 1 Office Trainee

Financial Team Aalborg 4 Financial Secretaries

Study Team Copenhagen 1 Study Board Secretary 4 Study Secretaries

Financial Team Copenhagen 1 Financial Secretary

Department Team Aalborg 3 HR Secretaries 1 Fundraiser 2 Communication staff

Workshop Aalborg 3 Workshop Staff

Workshop Copenhagen 2 Workshop Staff Department Team Cph. 1 HR Secretary 1 Fundraiser 1 Communication staff




118 students

32 students

65 students

Medialogy Aalborg


111 students


105 graduates

168 students

99 graduates

Architecture and Design educations (AAL)

Architecture and Design educations (AAL)

Media technology educations (AAL+KBH)

Media technology educations (AAL+KBH)

Medialogy Copenhagen Architecture and Design


STAFF Technical and administrative staff: 34 persons Scientific staff: 127 researchers Total numbers of employees at the Department: 161 persons

TURNOVER Total Turnover: 118 Mio DKK

PUBLICATIONS Peer-reviewed: 244 Publications in total: 277



Danish government



Danish municipalities





Danish private foundations and organisations



Danish private companies



Danish private grants otherwise





Public foreign funds










Danish other public

European projects



PhD student ZAKARIA DJEBBARA received The Brain Products MoBI Award which recognizes excellence in the field of Mobile Brain and Body Imaging research Create welcomed our new adjunct professor: •

SARAH ROBINSON, who is practicing in San Francisco and Pavia, Italy, she holds degrees in both philosophy and architecture and was the founding president of the Frank Lloyd Wright board of trustees. Her books include Mind in Architecture with Juhani Pallasmaa and Architecture is a Verb, she co-founded and edits the journal Intertwining and teaches in the Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design program at IUAV in Venice, Italy.

Teacher of the year 2020 was awarded to: • Scientific Assistant within Industrial Design, MATHIAS LUND from Architecture and Design • Associate Professor within Service Systems Design, LUCA SIMEONE from Media Technology



Aalborg University Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg Phone: +45 9940 7130

Head of Department Hans Jørgen Andersen Phone: +45 9940 8834

Head of administration Lene Grundahl Phone: +45 9940 7130

Head of studies Nis Ovesen Phone: +45 9940 9923

SECTION LEADERS Media Technology Copenhagen Michael Mullins Deputy Head of Department Phone: +45 9940 7164

Architecture and Urban Design Lea Holst Laursen Phone: +45 9940 7174

Industrial Design Christian Tollestrup Phone: +45 9940 9915

Media Technology Aalborg Thomas Moeslund Phone: +45 9940 8787