DesignCamp2017 centres on sustainable change

DesignCamp2017 centres on sustainable change and the way in which we as humans can transform our individual and collective lives within a city, an institution, a company, indeed the world. It is about changing user habits and identifying possible changes across private and public space.

Focusing on the 4 subthemes of Learning, Living, Moving and Eating and based on current observations and future scenarios we want to create specific projects that activate meaningful sustainable changes. It is becoming increasingly clear that we as designers need to create actions and not just ideas.

This might be specific products, changes of existing habits and mindsets, and new ways of communicating sustainable practices of living, eating, learning and transporting oneself.

We need to become DOers and confront the challenges that face the world in terms of social inclusion, climate/environmental challenges, and economic growth.

The City of Kolding
DesignCamp17’s laboratory is the city of Kolding. A city with 57,000 people, institutions and companies that can be mirrored in cities around the world. Working specifically with one city, we want to create real design solutions that we can scale to meet the world’s collective sustainable challenges. The 2012-2022 vision of Kolding Municipality is ”We Design Life”. This means: ”Together we design the possibility for a better life through entrepreneurship, social growth, education and knowledge.”

Using the city of Kolding as our case, we want to work with sustainable models and experiments within the public and private sectors. We want to test different formats for sustainable development:

  • Companies. Based on companies’ existing sustainable challenges we challenge the current value chains and business models in terms of the potentials and pitfalls of the future. How can we as designers help increase the value creation of a product
  • Schools and institutions. Learning about sustainable actions and their effects. How can designers develop concrete teaching or workshop programmes, which not only describe the complexity of sustainability but provide methods for small and large actions in the lives of individuals?
  • Ways of living. By creating new initiatives, are we able to create durable and meaningful ways of living that are more than just houses? How do we successfully include groups of people who today lead isolated and parallel city lives? How do we include refugees and segregated groups in a sustainable way?
  • Transport systems. Using existing and new ways of optimising city transport and infrastructures. Creating attractive and possible solutions for sharing transport and collective ownership.

Design thinking
In short, design thinking is a holistic and progressive way of thinking that Thomas Lockwood describes clearly in the book Design Thinking from 2010: ”Design thinking is a human centred process that emphasizes observation, collaboration, fast learning, visualisation of ideas, rapid concept prototyping, and concurrent business analysis, which ultimately influences innovation and business strategy.” It is a design philosophy with a development-oriented aim, which positions human beings at the centre. It emphasises the need for a profound understanding of the surrounding world and the context for which you are designing, the need to be creative and experimental when you design new initiatives, and the need to communicate your work, knowledge and results in a manner that is accommodating, accessible and application-oriented.


The Design School Kolding International DesignCamp is an annual, recurring event. For two weeks the Camp joins Danish and international students, companies, designers, researchers and others with an interest in design in addressing a current challenge that relates to sustainable innovation.

The DesignCamp invites you to join a half-day conference. The conference is directed at small and medium-sized companies, design students and designers.

DesignCamp2017 is a two-week camp for invited students from all over the world. They encounter a number of companies that have accepted an invitation to engage in a close collaboration with groups of students. After two intense weeks the students present qualified proposals for initiatives within social innovation the companies should consider pursuing. StudentCamp ends with a presentation that is open to the public.

John Elkington
“So, you could call me optimistic and hopeful and probably just a little bit naïve, but I'm coming from the space that the best way to predict the future is to get out there and just do it yourself.”
Together we need to turn our ideas into actions, our inventions into innovations, and put new technologies into use.


Save the dates: 9-20 January 2017

We will put together an exciting programme of experts and events offering an intense design process for specially invited students as well as an open conference for companies and others with an interest in design.

Pre-camp workshop 1 December 1-4pm
Pre-camp workshop for partner companies.
The objective is to identify problems/cases that are relevant to the companies and discuss possibilities.

Conference Day Tuesday 10 January 2017
Companies and students meet.

Networking opportunities and inspiration.

Open doors
Throughout the project period and specifically 11-13 January 2017 companies must make themselves available to the students for research, observation and interview purposes.

Presentation Friday 20 January 2017
Presentation and exhibition of the solutions and prototypes at Design School Kolding.

Thomas Lockwood
“Design thinking is a human centred process that emphasizes observation, collaboration, fast learning, visualisation of ideas, rapid concept prototyping, and concurrent business analysis, which ultimately influences innovation and business strategy.”


Design School Kolding
Design School Kolding has university status and educates designers at bachelor and master’s degree levels. The school has around 400 students and offers a range of design programmes including a Master’s degree programme in design management in collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark. Each year the creative setting at the school frames the international DesignCamp. Talented and experienced teachers are in charge of teaching the students, and the school’s departments for research, development and communication work together to create a top-level international DesignCamp.

D2i - Design to innovate
D2i - Design to innovate is a cluster organisation based in the Region of Southern Denmark that promotes industrial growth and innovation by introducing the extended design concept and networking activities.


Design School Kolding
Aagade 10
6000 Kolding, Denmark
T: +45 7630 1100




Design School Kolding
D2i - Design to innovate
EU Social Development Fund
Kolding City