Theodorus Jozef Sikkes

Associate Professor

USN School of Business
Department of Business, Strategy and Political Sciences
Campus Drammen (6406)
Some of my topics in teaching include dramaturgy, storytelling and associative indirect communication as strategic tools in graphic design, from the overall goal to design at a detailed level. I teach in research-based principles that lie behind what we design. I try to create an understanding of why we act and react on the basis of good design and dramaturgy/storytelling. Dramaturgy and storytelling are part of the evolutionary theory, something we can read from brain research. The brain releases, for example, dopamine when it experiences emotional events, such as when we feel joy, are being shocked or being presented for art, pictures and other visually appealing presentations. Increased activity in the reward system that releases dopamine does not occur when we look at things that are intricate and are not visually appealing. In design, we create visual excitement and dynamics through the use of designing tools, such as contrasts, shapes, colors, positive and negative spaces, directions, images, illustrations and associative representations; humorous or dramatic and so on. When dopamine is released, it becomes easier to remember the message and we remember it with greater accuracy. Therefore, it is important to know its target audience when translating information for visual communication. It is important to know what the target group is responding to and what mechanisms trigger and release this dopamine. What is experienced as excitement and visually appealing to one is not perceived by another. This again, has to do with their experience and reference background. I also use the “art" of communicating through dramaturgy and storytelling in my own teaching. I try to communicate with my students (my target audience) through dramaturgy and storytelling as a way to promote learning. I use this method in both my lectures and while tutoring my students. The actual pedagogy I use in teaching is based on the Learning-by-doing principle. Learning by doing is an experienced based pedagogy that came as a counter reaction to traditional pedagogy where direct transfer in the form of one-way communication is more typical. We acquire and establish personal knowledge and knowledge structures in our own way. The Learning-by-doing approach emphasizes students building knowledge through their own experiences. This is achieved through practical projects that engage and motivate. This is in contrast to many forms of traditional pedagogy. Essential for experience education is that experience is a two-way relationship where the student, on the one hand, is active in relation to his or her world but, on the other hand, the student must take the consequences that follow from his own priorities, decisions and actions.


Main courses:

  • Design Studio 1. First class
  • Design Studio 2. Third class
  • Portfolio & Personal Branding
  • Business and Industry knowledge


University pedagogy
2012 - 2013​

Master’s degree graphic design
1990 – 1996​

Marketing School Økern 
1989- 1991​​​

Courses  at Westerdal
1989- 1991


1. lektor Associate professor Graphic designer AMG
HSN University South-East Norway
2005 -

SR designer
Itera Gazette Oslo Norway
1995 - 2005

Board Member
Grafill (organisation for visual communicators)
1996 - 2005

Teaching HIVolda
Courses in graphic design. Teaching and guidance.
2003 - 2004 (Volda/ Anadolu Tyrkia)