Press play - Designing for sustainable balance

Press play - Designing for sustainable balance

25 February - 8 March 2019

DesignCamp2019 focuses on creating solutions to sustainability challenges by engaging in playful design processes that produce playful concepts.

For more than a decade, Design School Kolding has worked strategically on combining user empathy with sustainable business development, as well as combining play, design and social concerns. Recently we decided that the knowledge, which we have been building, and the way we see the challenges of the world should be reflected directly in our MA programme. So we launched three new specialisations: Design for People, Design for Planet, and Design for Play. It is the knowledge and potentials of these areas combined that form the basis of DesignCamp2019.

Sustainable behaviour
The UN Sustainable Development Goal 12, “to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”, serves as our focal point. This goal aims specifically at how we can “do more and better with less” and inspires us to re-think current linking of consumer behaviour and business behaviour. Business-as-usual has become harmful of nature and people, so at DesignCamp2019 we work with sustainable alternatives, which can potentially re-shape the business landscape of the 21st Century and restore balance to people and to the Planet. In particular, we work with the combination of deep user understanding and strategic business development, as a way of supporting new formats for linking production and consumption; this might be testing out circular business models, communication formats for sustainability as the 'new normal', or embedded storytelling in products or branding for promoting sustainable behaviour.

During this case-based two-week camp, our driving principles for solving these highly complex challenges are play and playfulness. Together with invited companies, we use open-ended and playful methods to drive idea development and explore strategic design potential. Our objective is to inject (a much-needed) inventiveness and radical reframing into the solutions to issues surrounding the provision of products and services. The purpose is not to arrive with fully-fleshed, ready-to-launch concepts but instead to explore possible novel directions, and in this way function as an inspirational lab from which ideas and early concepts can be picked up by the participants, students and/or organisations, for further development.

We often define play as something outside serious or practical processes. In this DesignCamp, we consider play to be the key for developing sustainable solutions that balance production and consumption.

For this DesignCamp, Design School Kolding joins forces with international universities to initiate a massive, cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural set-up. As well, one the strongest innovation networks in Denmark, D2i - Design to innovate, will support the camp. The camp finishes with a playful bang through deep-dive playful dialogue forums with students, invited organisations and experts from the camp.


The StudentCamp is for invited master’s degree students from some of the world’s top design schools including all first-year MA students at Design School Kolding. For two intense weeks, from Monday 25 February to Friday 8 March 2019, international and Danish students gather at Design School Kolding and collaborate with selected companies on solving specific challenges related to sustainability. This means that at the DesignCamp2019 you work with students from all over the world and selected companies and explore how, using an entrepreneurial and design methodological approach, you are able to create socially and environmentally responsible and innovative solutions. Being a student at the DesignCamp2019 gives you unique insight into what it means to work with entrepreneurship and how you can apply an enterprising approach based on design and design methods. Fundamentally, entrepreneurship is about supporting enterprising behaviour. That is to act in enterprising ways on ideas and opportunities and transform them into something that is of economic, cultural, or social value to others.

Camp Program


DesignCamp2019 is organised by the Laboratory for Play & Design at Design School Kolding in collaboration with D2i – Design to innovate. It is funded by the Region of Southern Denmark and the EU Social Fund.

Design School Kolding
Design School Kolding is an independent institution under the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. Although the institution is quite small, with only 400 students enrolled per year, it is an internationally acclaimed design university where students work with tools, techniques, concepts and methods in an international academic setting and enjoy easy access to excellent workshop facilities.

Design School Kolding offers higher education based on innovative practice and research in close collaboration with industry and wider society and believes that the overall objective of any university should be to generate and transfer knowledge in ways that create value at many different levels of society. Specifically, the school intends to support and challenge the fields of Industrial Design, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Accessory Design and Communication Design in a societal context by focusing on three strategic areas that they refer to as Design for Planet, Design for People, and Design for Play. This means they dedicate part of their programme and their research and development activities to issues of sustainability, social design and play. The school also offers postgraduate courses and consultancy services.

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.

The DesignCamp concept

Since 2009, the annual DesignCamp at Design School Kolding is internationally recognised for successfully establishing a space for companies, experts and design students to come together and engage in the creation of new concepts. Each year the creative setting at the school frames the 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.


If you require additional information or have any questions regarding the DesignCamp2019, please contact Project Manager Sune Gudiksen at If you are a Danish or international student and have any questions, please contact Anette Flinck at or +45 4021 1100.

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