Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology

Two out of the seven specially selected photos are from Create

The Danish National Research Foundation has selected the winners of the Foundation’s Photo Competition 2020. They highlighted seven special photos where two of them are from Create.

Last modified: 04.05.2020

Tekst by Sarah Guldhammer

For the third year in a row, the Danish National Research Foundation has launched a photo competition with the purpose to show how photos can be uses as documentation and communication of research.
At Create we have two young, very skilled, investigators special selected by the Danish National Research Foundation to show their photos.
Stine Maria Louring Nielsen with her picture “In the Blue” and Cecilie Breinholm Christensen with her picture “People in the Metro”  
The criteria of being selected was that the photo must evoke emotions in the observer, work as visual entry point to the story behind the specific research result and lastly the photo must have aesthetic quality.

We a very proud of our two PhD students and we congratulate them with their honourable mention.


Stine Maria Louring Nielsen tells about her photo:


The photo shows a woman sitting blindfolded in the Light Lab on the Copenhagen Campus of Aalborg University. She is participating in a light experiment, which investigates sensory affects of coloured illumination on the human body with and without the influence of visual perception. The experiment is part of my PhD study 'The Touch of Light’, which seeks to inform the increasing development and use of coloured illumination in man-made spaces and at the same time challenge the dominant belief that light is only perceived by the eye.

I have always been intrigued by the fields which span across art and science and carrying out the experiment it struck me several times, how aesthetically appealing the whole set-up was. Body – Space – Coloured light. As an Anthropologist normally studying complex environments, I perceived this strictness of the experiment like an art piece. Thus, when I discovered DNRF’s photo competition I knew that I had to try to get “the beauty” and my research out there! Moreover, with one of the selection criteria being “the degree to which the photo evokes emotions in the observer”, I knew that I had a good case. I mean, based on our common belief that we only perceive light via vision, a person sitting bathed in light while blindfolded instinctively intrigues us.

Cecilie Breinholm Christensen tells about her photo:


The image shows a ’door situation’ at the front of the platform at Nørreport Metro station where passengers exit the train, while other passengers are queued at the platform waiting to board the train. The greyscale image is taken with a thermal camera that record temperatures instead of colours, hence it can be used in the public space of the Metro since it preserves the anonymity of passengers. The thermal cameras were placed on the Metro platform as part of my PhD study on how architecture and design ‘stages’ passengers’ movements and experience on their journey with the Metro. This was studied in a multi-method set-up, where the thermal cameras made up one out of four methods, studying ‘mobile situations’ from an ‘outside-in’ perspective as a ‘new technology’.

The image highlights one of the main findings of the PhD: that what we understand as ‘the Metro’ is made up by complex relations between the Metro as a transport system, as a ‘lived space’ inhabited by its passengers, and as a specific architecture and design. As such, the door situation is ‘staged’ by the steady rhythms of the coming and going of trains and passengers, but at the same time by the passengers creative ways of managing the often hectic and crowded Metro, sometimes by bending the social rules to their own advantage. The architecture and design of the Metro plays a part in this situation e.g. through the escalators which limits the space around the door and create a sort of bottleneck at the front of the platform.

You can read more about the Danish National Research Foundation photo competition here