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Dr Oliver Vodeb

Researcher, Lecturer


Biography *Available for supervision of PhD and Masters

Dr Oliver Vodeb’s research employs diverse strategies from writing and theory to design, photography and publlic interventions to investigate the processes and institutions that determine everyday life and exert influence over social futures. Using critical theory and practice to investigate the complex processes of production, distribution and reception around design, media and communication he seeks to establish principles for responsible social, political, economic and cultural practice. He's work is mostly centered around issues of social and environmental change, decolonisation of knowledge and the public sphere.

Oliver is conceptual and creative director of Memefest, and principal editor and curator of Memefest festival of Socially responsive Communication Design and Art. Memefest is an international collective dedicated to spreading alternative theory and praxis. The Memefest network brings together critical designers, communication/ media experts and activists, academics, artists, educators and researchers in unique extradisciplinary situations to research, design and implement socially responsive public campains and interventions. For the past five years Memefest has been strongly working on what he calls urgent problems in times of radical uncertaintly: issues of Debt as an instrument for social control, Aboriginal decolonisation and food democracy developing groundbreaking collaborations between the university, aboriginal activist groups, the larger international Memefest network and local communities.

Dr Vodeb has published four books with Univeristy of Ljubljana and Intellect Books UK and numerous papers in journals like Design and Culture, Design Philosophy Papers, Journal for Critique of Science and Art, Kepes, has curated twelve Memefest's and was creative director of dozens public communication campaigns/ interventions including the first national anti drug prohibition campaign, a presidential campaign and the largest experimental design human rights campaign in Slovenia. He has lectured around the world, co-directed Poper studio for public communicaiton for eight years and has given Memefest workshops in Slovenia, Colombia, Netherlands, Australia, USA and Cuba;

When asked about design awards, he likes to think of Nick Cave (, and offers this ( reading . 

He's most recent book Food Democracy, Critical Lessons in Food, Communicaiton, Design and Art is published by Intellect Books UK in late 2017. He is currently working on the art/ design project Lipstick and Bread, investigating what he calls pleasure praxis and is preparing two new book projects: one on (un)disciplining documentary photography and one on an extradisciplinary investigation of dialogue and intimacy in relation to design, communication and art. Oliver is also book series editor at Intellect Books UK.

Oliver holds a PhD in Sociology of Design, Media and Communication from University of Ljubjana, Slovenia where he has studied under Mirjana Ule, Rastko Močnik and Aleš Debeljak. He was close friend with Slovenian poster design legend late prof. Zdravko Papič with whom he has collaborated for many years. 

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Advertising: Advertising as a culture, communication approach, technology, ideology; Advertising Design; Advertising and social responsibility; Advertising and social innovation; Advertising critique.

Design Pedagogy: Design Pedagogy: critical pedagogy, socially responsive design pedagogy, radical pedagogy; Design education and social innovation.

Experimental Mapping: Mapping as a design process, research and intervention. Mapping complexity.

Food Design: Designs relation to food: production, distribution, consumption, representation; Food systems and design; Social innovation in Food Design; 

Media Activism: Media Activism as a alternative communication culture, approach, technology. Critique of mainstream media, tactical media, social networks, surveilance, autonomous zones;

Social design: Communication Design which is aiming to effect society in a way which bennefits the life of people and improves the environment

The City and Communication Design: Communication Design's relation to the City as culture, method, intervention and critique.

Fields of Research

  • Design Practice And Management - 120300


Also published as: Vodeb, Oliver; Vodeb, O.
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