Interaction design and empowerment

I am Nicolai Brodersen Hansen, Postdoctoral researcher at Eindhoven University of Technology. I explore citizen empowerment through design. The focal areas of my research are Participatory Design, Design Methods and Digital Civics.

As a postdoctoral researcher I am one of the driving forces in the four year 1.2 million euros research project Smart Technologies, Empowered Citizens (STEC) which is headed by professor Ben Schouten. My role there is developing and overseeing the work packages with a series of industrial research partners, aggregating knowledge from individual design projects, and participating in on the ground research.

My work combines theoretical and practical components: on the theoretical side, I explore how processes of empowerment unfold in different domains, and critically examine how digital systems might play a role in empowerment. On the practical side of things, I explore how we can use these insights to develop new interactive systems or design methods that support and augment citizen participation, often in collaboration with external partners in industry and the public sector.

I am also very active in academic organizing: I have been part of planning and executing the conferences Aarhus2015, PDC2016, PDC2018 and now DIS2019 as well as student volunteered when I was a PhD student (wish I could still do that).

My dissertation was completed and accepted for the PhD degree at Aarhus University in 2016. It is titled ‘Materials in Participatory Design Processes’, and it was supervised by Professor Kim Halskov. You can find a version of it here: