Billede af Thomas Leerberg

Thomas Leerberg

Arkitekt Ph.d


Publikationer pr. år

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Personlig profil

Curriculum vitae


Thomas Leerberg is Urban Strategist and Manager of Urban Design at Birk Nielsen/Skaarup & Jespersen/Sweco.

He is also Associate Professor of Design at Aarhus School of Architecture.

Thomas has since graduation from Aarhus School of Architecture in 1996, completed more than 150 projects of graphic and industrial design, architecture, together with urban and landscape planning. He has especially focused on physical and strategic planning, involving the process and the user.

Further, he has conducted a two year research project on suburbs and earned the Ph.D. degree in architecture. Recently he has been Pro-rector, Head of Research and Associate Professor at Kolding School of Design for a period of four years. He has received two AIA-awards for buildings in Los Angeles, earned six Danish 1. prices and has been published in Denmark and abroad.


Jan 09 -  
Urban Strategist and Manager of Urban Design at Birk Nielsen/Skaarup & Jespersen/Sweco

Jan 09 -                        
Associate Professor of Design at Aarhus School of Architecture

Jun 08 - Dec 08             
Pro-rector, Designskolen Kolding

Sep 07 - Dec 08             
Head of Research, Designskolen Kolding

May 05 - Dec 08             
Associate professor in design theory and methodology, Designskolen Kolding

May 04 - May 05             
Senior consultant and project manager, Birk Nielsens Tegnestue

Sep 02 - May 03        
Visiting Ph.D. candidate at Institute of Computer Science, Aarhus University

Jan 00 - May 04             
Ph.D. candidate at Center for Integreret Design, Aarhus School of Architecture

Aug 98 - Dec 98             
Urban Strategist at Saee Studio, Los Angeles

Sep 97 - Dec 99             
Research fellow on ‘Northern American Suburb' at Aarhus School of Architecture

Sep 96 - Dec 00             
Graphic Designer at Hertzwal Herold

Sep 96 - Jun 99             
Architect and Urban Strategist at Jan W. Hansen Arkitekter

Jan 95 - Aug 95             
Visiting student at Southern California Institute of Architecture, LA

Sep 89 - Jun 96             
Architectural student at Aarhus School of Architecture


Research Projects:

The URban Design Experience APR 08 -

The project has the urban dynamic between object, space and human as its point of departure - the field of tension, where design is a personal experience as well as a form of communication. The experience of the object is investigated in a context where spatial spectacle becomes a deep human response to the function, form and narration embedded within the object.  

The project is in its initial phase, and is expected to be carried out in collaboration with Creative Encounters at Copenhagen Business School.

immaterial Materials sep 06 - sep 07 Concluded

Immersive media is often seen as a technology without a materiality of its own. As spatial projections immersive media create new realities, which can surround the body and provide a stimuli to an extent, that mimics the physical reality we are so familiar with.

Since immersive media produce such strong effect, they must have an existence. It is this existence the research project seeks to explore and qualify.

Carried out in collaboration with CAVI at AU and funded by The Danish Ministry of Culture (KUM) in the amount of 321.000 DKK.

Virtual Platform May 05 - sep 07 Concluded

The project develops tools for ‘co-creation' in network based design teams. This is done from to methodological views: a) a ‘substituted process path, where the degree of separation is replaced by networked tools and functions and b) a ‘supplemented process path', where designers - often close to each other - gain new possibilities. The same tool has in this way two horizons of use.

Carried out in collaboration with The American University Beirut in Lebanon, The American University Sharjah in the United Arabic Emirates and State University St. Petersburg in Russia with funding from Center for Designforskning (CDF) in the amount of 265.000 DKK.

Embedded Spaces Jan 00 - maY 04 Concluded Phd projeCt

The Ph.D. thesis ‘Embedded Spaces' sets out to investigate the potential of space as a tool for the design method and not just a pale replica of the initial idea. I argued that space could be seen as a dynamic construction of discrete elements in a constellation resembling the potential of what Donald Schön denotes the repertoire of the designer. The novelty of the project was that a spatial constellation could serve as a bridge between cognitive, digital and real space.

The project was affiliated with Center for Integreret Design (CID) as a collaboration between Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU), AAA and Aalborg Universitet (AAU)


North american Suburb sep 97 - dec 99 Concluded

The project ‘The North American Suburb' was a study of human behavior in suburban environments in a range of new urban areas in the American west. The scientific method was based on case studies, empirical census material, cultural studies and architectural analyses.

The project was a part of ‘Den Moderne By' (The Modern City), a research supported with funds from the initiative for welfare research.


Publications (selected):

  • "Framing Dialogue in Virtual Domains", in Virtual Platform - Dialogue Across Space, Designskolen Kolding, 2008 (in press)
  • Contribution of articles, in Den Danske Arkitektur by Anne-Louise Sommer (ed.), Gyldendal, 2008 (in press)
  • "A Virtual Setting for Design Dialogue", in Virtual Platform - Dialogue Across Space, Designskolen Kolding, 2008 (in press)
  • "A Platform for Communication and Collaboration", in Design Research DK:07 by Thomas Leerberg and Lene Wul (Eds.), Designskolen Kolding, 2007
  • "A Spatial Environment For Design Dialogue" in Higher creativity for virtual teams: Developing platforms for co-creation by S. P. MacGregor and T. Torres-Coronas (Eds.), Information Science Reference, 2007
  • "DK: Virtual Platform, Afrapportering for Pilotfase Januar 2006 - Oktober 2006" (research report) Designskolen Kolding, 2006
  • "DK: Scenarier for Forskning - Interaktive Medier og Visuel Kommunikation" (research report) in collaboation with Trine Brun Petersen, Designskolen Kolding, 2005
  • "Embedded Spaces - embedding spatial parameters and properties in new products of architecture through an integrated design process," PhD disseration, Arkitektskolen Aarhus, 2004
  • "Arkitektonisk økologi, Økologisk Arkitektur," in Dansk Arkitektur Årgang 2000, Statens Kunstfond, 2002
  • "How to Construct a Space for Space," in Nordisk Arkitekturforskning, no. 2/2002
  • "Ny arkitektonisk praksis" (editorial), in, 2001, vol. 06
  • "En Visionær Pragmatisme," in, 2000, vol. 12
  • "Grænsedragning i den nordamerikanske forstad," in Byplan 2000, vol. 02
  • "Den Nordamerikanske Forstad" (research report), Arkitektskolen Aarhus, 2000


Initiatives as head of research Sep 07 - Dec 08

Agreement on 2 industrial PhD fellowships with DONG Energy

Bilateral collaboration agreement with FH Joanneum, Austria

Bilateral collaboration agreement with Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

Bilateral collaboration agreement with Tongji University, Shanghai

Formel research collaboration with Textil Högskolan i Borås, Sweden

Formel research collaboration with Central Saint Martin, University of the Arts London

Formel research collaboration with Kunsthøgskolan i Olso, Norway

Formel research collaboration with HKU Utrecht, Holland

Joint education in light design in collaboration with AAA and Dansk Center for Lys (DCL)

Joint Master in design management with Sydansk Universitet (SDU)

Network with Japanese Universities

Procedure for IPR handling in collaboration with SDU

Education in jewelry design

Formulating a research plan for DK 08-10

Joint research registration and reporting for DK, AAA, Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole (KA) og Danmarks Designskole (DKDS)

Journalizing and bookkeeping plan for research activities at DK

Mapping of collective network of teaching and research

Foundation of PRE Design Forum Subnetwork of Cumulus on practice, research and education

Foundation of pre-doc program for recruitment to the research department

Publication of the first yearbook on research at DK



As Primary Applicant

Immaterial Materials - The Danish Ministry of Culture (KUM): 321.000 DDK

Virtual Platform - CDF 265.000: DKK

‘Kunstlys i hospitalsmiljøer' - CDF: 229.994 DKK

‘New Narrative Forms' - CDF 240.000 DKK


As Head of Research Sep 07-Dec 08

‘Brugerdreven innovation i tekstilbranchen' - The Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority (EBST): 900.000 DKK

Industrial PhD in Strategic design - The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (FIST)/EBST: 525.000 DKK

‘Erindringstematik i hos Georg Jensen og Alessi' - CDF: 199.500 DKK

‘Erindringstematik i smykkedesign', joint financed PhD - KUM: 600.000 DKK

Visiting professor Galen Crantz, UC Berkeley - CDF: 101.012 DKK

‘Medieret rum som udtryksfuldt interaktionsfelt' - CDF: 144.000 DKK

‘Modeforskning som mulig ressource i designuddannelse' - CDF: 288.407 DKK

‘Regulering af dagslys i offentlige miljøer' - KUM: 487.000 DKK

‘Regulering af dagslys' - CDF 253.500 DKK

‘Retorisk kvalificering af værdibaseret ledelse' - CDF: 303.000 DKK

New Danish education in light - Sophusfonden: 2.500.000 DKK

NordCode Conference - DKAD: 117.500 DKK

NordCode Conference - CDF 57.500 DKK

‘Current theories in design research', publication - CDF: 75.000 DKK

Guest professor Ike Rust from Royal Adacemy of Arts - CDF: 85.900 DKK

Mediated space as field of interaction - CDF: 127.200 DKK

Scientific activities (selected)

08 Visiting lecturer Royal Academy of Arts, School of Architecture, Copenhagen

08 Peer-reviewer for Journal of Design Research

08 Project supervisor for PhD candidate Else Skjold: ‘Udviklingen i det maskuline modeforbrug gennem de sidste 50 år'

08 Nominated by the Danish Ministry of Culture to become member of  the Danish Research Council for Humanities (Forskningsrådet for Kultur og Kommunikation)

08 External examiner at University of Copenhagen

08 Member of the committee to define bibliometric research indicators for architecture and design

07 Member of the design delegation for the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to Shanghai

07 Primary supervisor for industrial PhD candidate Kirsten Bonde Sørensen: ‘Strategisk design - fra kompleks retorisk strategi til persuasiv kommunikations- og oplevelsesdesign med fokus på værdier og værdifællesskaber'

07 Primary supervisor for PhD candidate Trine Brun Pedersen: ‘Rum til forbedring? En diskussion af design som socialiserende faktor med udgangspunkt i Statsfængslet Østjylland'

07 Head of Research, Designskolen Kolding

07 Chair for ‘Real-life, Not politics!', Seminar, Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd

07 Member of the scientific committee, Cumulus Conference, Kyoto

07 Keynote speaker, Art & Science of Visual Communication Design', Cumulus seminar, University of Lapland, Finland

07 Chair for ‘The New Future of Master of Arts (MA) Education', Kunsthøgskolen, Oslo

06 Chair for the session 'PRE Design Forum', Cumulus Conference, Warszawa

06 Research Grant from the Danish Ministry of Culturefor the project 'Immateriel Materials'

06 Chair for the session 'PRE Design Forum', Cumulus Conference, Nantes

06 Visiting lecturer St Petersburg State University, Rusland

06 Visiting lecturer University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland

06 Visiting lecturer, American University Sharjah, the United Arabic Emirates

06 Manager of the research project Virtual Platform

06 Editor of PRE Design Forum - network for practice based research and curriculum

06 Member of the body of external  examiners at Københavns Universitet

06 Project supervisor for PhD candidate Thomas Lagoni: ‘Naturvidenskabelig mediering via rumlig digitale imitationer'

05 Visiting lecturer, American University Beirut, Lebanon

05 Scientific reviewer for the periodical Nordisk Arkitekturforskning

05 Primary supervisor for PhD candidate Kirsten Nissen: ‘Mønsterudvikling i tekstildesign, specielt vævede tekstiler'

05 Chair for the session 'Theory in Practice', Cumulus Conference, København

05 Associate professor in design theory and methodology at DK

04 Research fellow for 2 months at DK

04 Awarded doctorate in architecture at AAA

02 Research collaboration with 'WorkSpace', Center for Pervasive Computing, AU, specifically participation in design of the application Topos

02 Research collaboration with CAVI, AU, on producing video prototypes

02 International conference 'ArchiLab Orleans 2002', theme 'Écomomie de la Terre'

02 'New Tectonic Concepts in Building', International CID seminar in Skagen

01 ‘The Virtual Architect', presentation of video prototype for E-design, AAA

01 Resarch collaboration with 'WorkSpace', Center for Pervasive Computing, AU

01 'Arkitekturforskning og IT', Nordic Architectural Research Conference in Aarhus; member  (medlem of the scientific committee

01 Research exchange at the Architectural Drawing Collection, University of California Santa Barbara

01 Research exchange at Getty Research Institute, Santa Monica


  • Proces og metode
  • Forskningsmetodik
  • Teori og filosofi
  • Designfilosofi
  • Teknologi og digital design
  • Kreative netværk