Pia Bech Mathiesen, vice chairman of Design School Kolding’s board of directors, has died at the age of 54.

Pia Bech Mathiesen’s professional competences and ability to make a difference have been powerful traits ever since she graduated as an industrial designer from the Royal Academy’s School for Architecture. Her impressive graduation project was the talk of the town, just as the fact that she went straight on to an exciting and prestigious job at the Experimentarium.

Pia was idomitable and always displayed an immense passion for her profession and for life. Throughout her impressive career, she managed to combine her professional competences and her capacity for leadership. She never quite put down the pen. During her years as lead designer at DSB, Pia insisted on always doing at least one design project that was her own. She continued to nurture her creativity and design skills and always kept updated on the trends of the trade. Pia’s years at DSB have left a mark that we all still enjoy to this day. Pia was the one who brought DSB into a new era of modern transport.

Pia devoted a large part of her life to leadership, in her jobs and as an active member of a number of boards. She wanted to make a difference. We felt this very strongly at Design School Kolding where Pia was the vice chairman of our board for five years. Pia always strived to raise the bar; strived to avoid discussions about trivia and daily issues. Her positive outlook, visionary thoughts and long-term strategic mindset inspired the work of the board and the management and led to actual initiatives and changes. Pia never failed to remind us that design can create positive change for a lot of people. Her own career was a shining example of just that.

The last three years of Pia’s career were spent at Universe, the experience park on the island of Als. Her efforts there were remarkable and helped put Universe on the international map. Again, in the most admirable way, Pia was able to combine her design skills with excellent leadership and a visionary mindset.

The human being that Pia was shines through her entire professional career. She was warm and had a strong presence. She was a talented and caring leader and an attentive and committed discussion partner. Always open and always available. Always curious and always full of ideas. As a mother, a wife and a family person, Pia was always present. It might seem trivial but also obvious to describe Pia as a renaissance woman because what she achieved, embraced and inspired in life was truly amazing. We will miss her energy, her vision and her presence. Pia is not someone you forget. Her life has made a difference and a mark on the world and the people she encountered. Therefore, Pia’s memory will live on and continue to inspire us.