Partners and People 

The HAPTICA project will be run from the Design program at Konstfack, University College of arts, crafts and design in Stockholm in close collaboration with Campus Grythyttan, School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Science (RHS) at Örebro University (ÖU). The unique academic, multi-disciplinary profile at Campus Grythyttan ÖU has professional and academically merited culinary artists with long experience in the aesthetic gestalt process as well as researchers from the learning & life sciences. Examples of the different disciplines represented in the RHS program are: culinary arts, sensory science, gastronomy, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, business economy, domestic science, nutrition and public health. 

Supported by the Swedish Research Council's Artistic Program  


Cheryl Akner Koler 

Project leader and artistic leader of HAPTICA -an expert in the attributes of the hand.

Cheryl is a Sculptor, Docent and  Professor in Theoretical and Applied Aesthetics at Konstfack, Stockholm in the design program. She completed her Ph.D. from  Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg in 2007 entitled Form & Formlessness. She has been the main applicant and project lead of three major artistic research projects funded by Swedish Research Council and has led a number of other research projects from Vinnova and Knowledge foundation (KK Stiftelse) etc. Cheryl teaches a sculptural gestalt approach that involves embodied studies, aesthetic abstractions, labs and product semiotic in the Bachelors and Masters program.  She held a 4-year guest professorship at the School of hospitality, culinary arts and meal science on Campus Grythyttan, at Örebro University where she worked with the culinary artist in developing their profile in aesthetics and haptics. 

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Mischa Billing

Co-artistic leader of HAPTICA - an expert in the haptic attributes of nose & mouth

Mischa is an associate professor in culinary arts at RHS Campus Grythyttan ÖU. She is Swedens most renowned taste expert & sommelier who founded one of the world´s first academic program for sommelier professional at Campus Grythyttan ÖU. Mischa has been a jury member for the Swedish program Master chef competition since 2015 with an audience of more than 1, 300,000.  For the past two years, Mischa has commented on the noble prize dinner at the city hall and has been the author of hundrades of articles about wine tasting and food  & drink combinations. She recently published a book about the scent of roses (rosens doft) that summarized 17 years of working of identifying the temporal qualities of roses at Fredrikdals trädgården in Helsingborg Sweden. 



Annika Göran Rodell

Co-artistic leader of HAPTICA - an expert in the haptic attributes of the body.  

Annika is a lecturer at RHS Campus Grythyttan ÖU. She has a background as a performance artist with many years of experience in orchestrating creative events and conferences where she also applies insight from her work as an expressive art therapy. Annika gives courses in aesthetic gestalt process, event, presentation techniques, and sustainable leadership. She is one of the main course leaders in an international masters course supported by Konstfack with John Thackara and Cheryl Akner Koler about ecological Food systems where she is responsible for the social program that is based on Theory U methodology. 


Åsa Öström

Professor in Culinary Arts & Meal Science at RHS Campus Grythyttan ÖU. Her research is about developing and using methods within the field of sensory analysis, both analytical methods and consumer practices in the evaluation of individual foods and combinations of food and beverages. She is an expert in the Sapere method for exploring new flavors using the senses feel, taste, smell, hear and  seeing.   

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Lars Eriksson

Lars Eriksson is post doc at the  School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Science RHS Campus Grythyttan at ÖU.  His research is about investigating methods for understanding the craftsmanship & aesthetics in meal situations. Lars also has years of experience as a creative formgiver of culinary events. 

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Thomas Drejing 

Thomas Drejing is one of Sweden's most experienced chefs that began in the early 1980s using local, organic, raw food, where the taste should be identifiable in the finished dish. 

He is known for his long career as chef and restaurateur, for Petri Pumpa in Lund and Malmö, and has worked with many chefs to inspire innovate culinary concepts through his unofficial cook school. Drejing and Billing worked together for many years in the 80's and 90's pushing the boundaries of what a meal experience could be. 


Cristine Sundbom

- design researcher and service designer at the design firm Usify. Cristine is educated as an industrial designer with a BA and MFA at Konstfack. She has studied gender and political science at Umeå University, Sweden. Cristine has a passion for merging aesthetic experiences with a norm critical approach to gain insight into human experiences. In collaboration with others, she has developed innovative methods to enrich design research and create meaningful design. She was a co-project leader for a gender service design Vinnova project called: Whisper that introduced haptic material and metaphoric reasoning. 

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Corina Akner 

- founder of the sustainable food lab company VÄRT, one of Gothenburg's most sustainable event space. Corina has a background in Industrial Design and form-modeler. She has combined her design background with her unique experience in assisting star chefs in the Swedish national chef's experiment kitchen in Stockholm.  By working with food waste VÄRT creates a  food scene for team building and collaboration in order to discuss a circular economy and learn skills to support a sustainable shift our society needs. 

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Peter Jönsson

-  photographer with a mission is to create a unique portrait that expresses the soul of each person were light, focus and details are essential in shaping the photo. The way the initial meeting is carried out is important in order to develop trust in both directions so the photo session can convey the right atmosphere and expression. website 

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Souzan Youssouf

- design researcher and service designer at the design firm Usify. Souzan has  BA in industrial designer and MFA in design at Konstfack. She has a  passion for ecology and works from an aesthetic perspective where she blends norm critical reasoning with innovative service design methods.  Her work with stress and burn out syndrome offered a new way to engage participants in learning about their situation  Souzan uses crafting materials to encourage a more hands-on service design process that uncovers a deeper understanding for the user. 


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Nina Björnstad 

-  associate professor at Oslo School of Architecture and Design AHO in Noway. She has a masters in industrial design from Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design and is an experienced teacher in the field of aesthetic and semiotics for product and service designers.  Nina has been involved in the HAPTICA project since 2017-19 with focus on prototyping and the making process. Nina is also engaged in supporting a more gender-aware culture at AHO and on the board of the WONDER network for women in design.  

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Elsa Kosmach Vaara 

- interaction designer interested at the RISE, research institute, with interest in user experience. Elsa has a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from the KTH Royal Academy of Technology in Stockholm. Her research interests are within the field of aesthetics with a focus on felt temporal interaction. Her 10 years experience as a classical and baroque violist gives her unique insight into what silence and pause can mean in relation to action and movement.  

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Stina Algotson

- CEO of Swedish Tourism and hospitality sector  (BRUF). Stina has years of experience as a chef and combines her experience in the restaurant world with her educatioin in business to support professional actors in the development of the field. To create a partnership with scientific researchers is a vital part of her role as CEO.