current position

I am a full professor in Design for Sustainability at Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University, Northern Sweden; and in Sustainability Transitions in the Department of Business and Sustainability at The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) Kolding, in the MERE research group, where I undertake food system transformation research. In my research, I seek to understand how critical, collaborative, embodied engagement with the challenges of sustainability transition might assist us in finding new ways of living that are intimately situated, as well as personally, locally, regionally and globally sustainable and sustaining.

I work with sustainability transitions, from the foundation of design research, collaborating with diverse societal stakeholders including public authorities, industry actors, citizens (understood in the sense of planetary citizenship) and other critters, using food living labs as a mechanism for developing roadmaps for sustainable transition through situated action; engaging citizens in radically open co-creative citizen science processes; using embodied approaches to participatory research-through-design to disrupt norms in more-than-only-human health; and support the development of hands-on environmental citizenship. From a research perspective, I collaborate with STS researchers, human geographers, governance researchers, health systems researchers, food researchers, molecular biologists, and environmental and business economists.

My current research investigates:

  • food as a starting point for thinking
  • biology as materiality
  • critical, embodied, participatory research-through-design
  • radically open, co-creative citizen science
  • enriched science society interfaces
  • design+diversity | ethics+aesthetics (writ large) across materials, bodies, contexts, and perspectives.
  • situated sustainability transitions
  • more-than-only-human health
  • multispecies flourishing

To support this research, I lead the Sympoietic Collaboratory in Umeå, and FoodLab, in Kolding, a space for co-creation and experimentation around food system transformation, developed for the FUSILLI project.

In parallel to my work in Sweden and Denmark, I sit on the Academic Council at the Estonian Academy of Art Doctoral School; I represent Denmark on the committee of the European Network for Environmental Citizenship COST Action 16229; and am an associate editor on She-Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics and Innovation.

research concerns

My work spans systems research, situated practices, design & policy; post-disciplinary collaboration; more-than-only-human health and wellbeing; and transformative change-making. Key concerns include:

  • building resilient and regenerative futures
  • situated and systemic food system transformation
  • participatory research through designing
  • co-creation and collaborative imagining
  • magical thinking and making strange
  • emergent performativity
  • convergence
  • poetics and
  • play

broad aims:

To prompt a reappraisal of human-nature relationships; from material, technological and biological perspectives; towards multispecies flourishing; across socially, ecologically and environmentally evolving landscapes; at personal, local and global scales of action. In particular:

  • using food to develop future imaginaries
  • exploring divergent thinking, abilities, bodies, values and expressions
  • divergent personal, social, political, ethical and ecological concerns
  • the roles that creativity, art, design, performance and DIY-practices might play when engaging with material, technological and biological processes
  • how designing and living might evolve to be personally, locally and globally sustainable for all

other activities:

For (occasionally updated) research activities, see: wilde news

From a personal perspective, I moved to northern Sweden in March 2022. It has been a revelation. As an Australian in Europe, I have always missed large skies and omnipresent nature. Umeå has these things and more. Lovely people, a vibrant restaurant scene, stunning nature, a world-class academic environment, and a relaxed pace of life. I am excited to build my research group here.

I moved to Kolding, Denmark (from Australia) in December 2014, to work at SDU. For seven years, I was situated in a cross-faculty research group, working from Engineering, initially, then from the Humanities. In 2021, I joined the MERE research group , in Social Sciences, to engage with Environmental Economics and food systems transitions.

Before moving to Denmark I donated my electronics to Media Lab Melbourne, my circus equipment (via Anni Davey of Circus Oz) to Sosina Wogayehu’s GAMO Circus School of Ethiopia, and my Japanese fabrics and sewing bits and pieces to the fabulous Tania Spława-Neyman, to glean or give away. I then rode my (at the time) brand-new BMW G650GS motorbike around and up the centre of Australia (2,000km/7days around Tasmania learning how to ride, then 26,000km/83 days around the mainland). I finished the trip having had my bike and licence for less than a year, fundamentally changed by the process. A patchy blog account is here: The pink lines on the map show the journey:


In Europe, I’ve done eigth motorbike tours so far, on a F700GS: a Kolding-Weimar-Pottsdam loop in 2015; a Nordic-Baltic loop in 2016; the Alps, via Germany: 6 countries and 30 Alpine passes, in 2017; Scotland, the Pennines, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales (via Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium), in 2018; the Spanish Pyrenees and some Alpine passes in Switzerland, in 2019; in 2020, we did the Harz Mountains, Luxumbourg and the Ardennes, Belgium, which led us to discover the joys of Luxemourg. We returned to Luxumbourg and the Mosel Valley in Summer 2021. In 2022, I had a broken foot, so my motorbike touring took a pause. Summer, 2023, we returned to Luxembourg again. For 2024, we are planning a trip to Wales