Guest Presenters and Workshop Teachers PhD Summer School

Michael Spencer
I currently lead the MA Performance Design & Practice course at Central Saint Martins in London. Over the past decades I have taken the discipline of Stage Design into an expanded field embracing the idea of designer as auteur. My own practice, like my teaching, reflects this shift. I provoke questions surrounding the definition of performance in works such as perform 241115, where people passing through a public space were prompted to perform through the intervention of 500 chairs suggesting a silent auditorium. I have presented at USITT conferences, represented the UK at the OISTAT symposiums and attended the last five Prague Quadrennials, co-curating the UK schools exhibit on three occasions. I am interested in connecting the theory of postdramatic performance to the creation of objects in everyday life.
In the summer school I will make a presentation together with Peter Sloth Madsen about the shift towards postdramatic forms of theatre. I’m also joining the track I: “Object theatre in Interaction Design”.


Peter Sloth Madsen
I’m a “hybrid” between actor, BA, dramaturge, BA, Innovation consultant, M.Sc. in technology design. I have over 15 years of experience working with applied theatre through Forum Theatre, improv, and playback theatre. Currently I am working as a freelancer / selfemployed in collaboration with other consultants and artists through my platform “Innoactor”. My target groups have been ranging from international managers in organizations to working with devising forum with actors in Mozambique. My background is from NTA in Norway, where the focus is on postdramatic theatre, and the use of space and objects as opposed to pure psychological-realistic acting. As M.Sc. my thesis focused on how to involve users in design processes through theory U and theatre based activities. At SDU I have previously been doing workshops – with an emphasis on working with objects and designers with a more phenomenological / embodied approach and way of perceiving the object.
At the summer school I will make a presentation together with Michael Spencer about the shift towards postdramatic forms of theatre. I’m joining the track I: “Object theatre in Interaction Design”.


Anne Pässilä
I am senior researcher at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland. I am also Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Chester and a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts in the UK. My research plays a significant role in creating both practical and conceptual understanding on how to increase human potential with arts-based methods in organizational contexts. My doctoral thesis (2012) on research-based theatre reflects on this topic. I publish on interpretative approaches to organisational research and workplace learning. My current work in ArtsEqual Research Initiative focuses on social systems, mechanisms of inequality and art-based social engagement in Ohjaamo, a public one-stop, low-threshold guidance service for young people in Finland.
During the summer school I will join the track II: “Improvised Theatre in Social Design” and will also give a presentation based on my work with theatre as research.



Salu Ylirisku
I am associate professor of Interaction Design at University of Southern Denmark, SDU Design Research in Kolding. I joined academia after working as an interaction designer in a large IT company in Finland. I have background in computer science (with focus on interaction design), industrial design (focus on concept design and interaction design), and video-based analysis of designing. I worked several years as leader of the Embodied Design Group at Aalto University design research focusing on novel interaction design concepts. My relationship with theatre has always involved video in some way, whether as a tool to document professional theatre plays, a movie-making tool for creating and capturing enactments on video, as a means to learn about what happens, and as a way to present what is being learnt.
In the summer school I will hold a presentation together with Jacob Buur to provide an overview of the different kinds of theatre methods applied in design processes. I will also tell about the methods for doing video analysis.


Danielle Wilde
I am associate professor of research at SDU Design, Kolding. I have a background in circus and performing arts, a PhD in Fine Art and Materials Science and Engineering, and an MA in Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art, London. My research is focused on embodied engagement, future wearables, post-disciplinary and disruptive research strategies. It leverages thinking-through-making, and thinking-through-doing to access the rich possibilities afforded by engaging the body through the imagination, and the imagination through the moving, sensing, thinking body. For more information see
I will run a workshop “Point, line, plane, mass | synaesthetic mapping on track I, where participants get to experience embodied design ideation based on Jacques Lecoq and Krikor Belekian’s work.




Chris Heape
Originally educated as a fine arts painter, cabinet maker and industrial designer, I am currently a design research consultant at SDU Design, University of Southern Denmark. My research focus is on design process, design education and design anthropology. My current work at SDU Design aims to explore ways in which one can introduce design processes, methods, tools and interventions to educations other than design. To do this I have developed the concept of Participatory Inquiry, which is described in the summer school literature.
I will demonstrate my work on track I in a workshop “From Flow to Object: materialising perception as a process of participatory inquiry”, whereby you will collaboratively generate Tinkered Objects.




Raquel Benmergui
I am graphic facilitator, freelancer, and art-based researching lecturer at Tampere University in Finland. By combining my skills as a participatory theatre and applied arts practitioner, a university lecturer, and a kinaesthetic-visual thinker, I provide handmade lo-fi & hi-fi arts-based graphic facilitation and conceptual mapping. I work in co-operation with businesses, organizations and institutions to capture ideas ranging from meaningful conversations to concrete actions maps. I engage in action research on using participatory arts for university teaching in intercultural communication, presenting my research at many international conferences.
In the summer school I will be documenting theatre workshops graphically.