UmArts is the Research Centre for Architecture, Design and the Arts at Umeå University in Northern Sweden. The centre is creating an exciting interdisciplinary research environment in the visual arts, architecture, design, and creative educational studies, in partnership with Bildmuseet. We work within the regional context of Northern Sweden as well as nationally and internationally.

UmArts aims to develop critical knowledge in the arts by supporting interdisciplinary research between artistic and other fields, with high quality public dissemination and engagement. UmArts works directly with four departments: Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå School of Architecture (UMA), Umeå Institute of Design (UID), Department of Creative Studies in Education, and the Bildmuseet contemporary art museum.

UmArts Research partnerships across Umeå University include: HumLab, Institutionen för Informatik, Institutionen för Molekylärbiologi, Institutionen Spåkstudier, Engelska, TAIGA Centrum för Transdisciplinär AI, WASP-HS Wallenberg AI. Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society.

In December 2024 UmArts is working with Vetenskapsrådet to host the Hurricanes and Scaffolding Artistic Research Conference.

Towards a Research Strategy

UmArts is committed to developing interdisciplinary practice-based research in Art, Architecture, Design, Sloyd and Music with CoARA compliant research assessment process. CoARA’s vision is that “the assessment of research, researchers and research organisations recognises the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research. This requires basing assessment primarily on qualitative judgement, for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators.”

Central to research assessment in the arts is the recognition of diverse forms of peer review practices, curatorial knowledge and respecting existing professional structures within each artistic discipline which lie outside of the traditions of academia. We also prefer to use the term ‘research’ to describe ‘research’ which includes all kinds of artistic and scientific practices, rather than using the word ‘science’ to describe artistic research, which is confusing. Research in the arts adheres to the good principles of research including: establishing research questions, articulating methods, identifying new knowledge, situating the work within the field through relevant forms of writing, exhibition and dissemination, which involve peer review.


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Ele Carpenter UmArts Director

Ylva Fernaeus UmArts Deputy Director

Sarah Cook WASP-HS Guest Professor in Art and AI

Emelie El-Habta Research Co-ordinator

Clara West Research Co-ordinator

Maria Bylund Finance Co-ordinator


Student Research Assistants

Lina Degerth Research Assistant (Architecture)

Laura Bisbe Armengol Research Assistant (Design)

Amalia Wänman Research Assistant (Art)

Raphael Vargas Research Assistant (Art)



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