On Design and Changes in Publishing

Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Design

Shapeshifting is a collaborative research project undertaken by the entire Graphic Design and Illustration department faculty at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Khio). It examines the ongoing transformations in the publishing field from the point of view of the producers of graphic form. Publishing was traditionally associated with printed matter, a centralized editorial authority, and a societal function. This has radically changed, significantly impacting culture, society, and communication — and, as such, the professional fields of graphic design and illustration. Although these transformations are part of public discourse, few have explored the visual challenges and possibilities. This project aims to do so.


Project organization

Structured as a collection of individual sub-projects within a research group, each participant explores aspects of publishing through their practice. The group will address questions related to credibility, power, education, and forms of expression through graphic design and illustration. The project’s organizational model also aims to investigate how an interdisciplinary artistic research project can be carried out within the design fields.


The presentation

All seven participants will present their contributions and how they will inform the overall research topic. In addition, the project’s organization and methodological approach will be set forth. The talk will be given in Norwegian.




Martin Lundell

Project title: The Book as a Place / The Place as a Book

Lundell is a professor and head of graphic design and illustration at Khio and

project leader for Shapeshifter. His project examines how books relate to places and what this can teach us about the potential of physical books.


Andreas Berg

Project title: Teaching Illustration in the Age of Algorithms

Berg is a Swedish illustrator, writer, and teacher. He became the first professor of illustration in Sweden and later the first in Norway. In this project, he investigates how the development of complex algorithms affects illustration and, ultimately, the demands on teaching.


Ane Thon Knutsen

Project title: Parallax. Translation through the Printing Press

Thon Knutsen holds a Ph.D. in graphic design and is an associate professor at Khio. Her project examines how design impacts on literature have largely been overlooked by studying Parallax, a poem by Nancy Cunard.


Rune Helgesen

Project title: My Days as an Anonymous Shape Cutter

Helgesen is a university lecturer at Khio. He was educated at the Norwegian Academy of Fine Arts and has worked in printing and video. His projects explore Kistebrev, a historical type of woodcut depicting current events, and will look at how they can resonate with today's image-saturated culture.


Lotte Grønneberg

Project title: The Digital Artist's book

Grønneberg is associate professor at Khio. In her practice as a graphic designer, artistic publishing has been a prime focus for several years, and she has designed, created, and published numerous publications. Starting from the physical book's impact on the medium, her project explores the possibilities of a digital artist's book.


Siri Dokken

Project title: Relocation

Dokken is a professor of illustration at Khio and one of the country's leading editorial cartoonists. Her project examines how shifts in publishing and public discourse affect the way editorial illustrations are interpreted and, in turn, how this limits the parameters for visual satire and editorial illustration.


Stefan Ellmer

Project title: Against Typography!

Ellmer is a university lecturer at Khio and an award-winning type designer running the Oslo-based type foundry, The Pyte Foundry. His project examines custom lettering on book covers in relation to technological, aesthetic, and commercial developments.

The presentation will be held in Norwegian.