Copenhagen: Design for Humanity

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A week in Copenhagen and the key concept seems to be design for humanity.  Landing in the hyper-designed Scandinavian city where you find yourself continuously fascinated by the intelligent and curious way of integrating design in every aspect of life with a special attention to details, in every circumstance- even the carpenters take an extravagant approach to their work (see image below)

During my visit to Copenhagen I got kindly invited to visit a uniquely progressive space called Design Society. A space in the centre of Copenhagen where knowledge gathers and ideas flourish. A space for conferences, exhibitions, workshops, courses, seminars, meetings or just a hot latte in front of the bright windows overviewing the bike-jammed Danish streets.

During my visit I got the honour to have a chat with architect, designer, urban planner and CEO at Design Society Nille Juul-Sorensen, he nicely explained me the redesign that he envisioned for the once called Danish Design Centre. The space is now an active environment that facilitate the meeting of creative, business men, hackers and engineers to discuss thematic of common or public’s interest- conventions that are all rigorously online, live and most importantly open source. Open source being a key point of the whole project believing in the hidden power unravelled by the community. The no profit organization is a place “where the technology at a rough stage meets creative that can imagine an application for a greater good”.



The conversation seemed somehow to always go back to the concept of humanity. Questioning how a designer should implement to his/her practice a more global view taking into consideration the actual needs of the society- continuously challenging current beliefs and ways of applying design to the present stage of society and technology, shaping behaviours around it. Edible packaging is also on their agenda.

The conversation seemed somehow to always go back to the concept of humanity.


My second visit saw me discussing very similar concepts of design with Alie Rose, director of CIID, a “master” course that in only 5 years gained a world reputation as a revolutionary teaching environment where students can freely investigate and work with the latest innovation in technology. The course is an intensive 12 months program where the scholars get a deep hands on overview of different fields of interaction design (arduino, processing, physical computing, UI etc)from professional designers working in the industry.



The students are carefully selected to balance each other one’s skills and previous knowledge combining traditional graphic designers, UI designers, architect, business and management, engineers, developers and creative. Some successful example of works are Mary Huang and her 3D fashion printing, Luke Sturgeon and Shamik Ray with the visualizing magnetic field project that was literally on every design blog as well as the as much interesting and fun Super Angry Birds project by Andrew Spitz and Hideaki Matsui.

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About the author

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This post is written by Mattia, Designer & Writer & Maker trying to make the web a bit more human. Founder of Who Said That, he is responsible for TAH live reportage from design conferences, festivals & exhibitions around the world.

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