A Key Player in the Development of Academic Research at Design School Kolding

With a background in textile design Vibeke Riisberg has contributed significantly to the shift from analogue to digital in textile design, both through design research and practice where she introduced digital tools back in 1987. In education she has pioneered and developed educational formats for textile and fashion students, giving them the tools to think sustainability into the design process and the value chain. With a practice background from a Danish design school she was the first student to enrol in PhD studies in 2001, and she played a central role in the development of academic research at Design School Kolding. Riisberg has successfully supervised three PhD students and is currently supervising two. She has also served as the official opponent at six PhD defences and as a reviewer for international journals and conferences.

Vibeke Riisberg has participated in several projects and research groups. Together with Joy Boutrup she investigated how aesthetic means, such as ornamentation, colours and textures, can be integrated as an important part of function and sustainability in adjusting daylight. Other projects include development of tools and methods to raise awareness of clothing consumption among teenagers, and research concerning the use of textile products in institutional contexts such as hospitals. Most recently with Anne Louise Bang and Trine Brun Petersen she has studied users’ reception of VIGGA - a new business concept for leasing baby clothing based on sustainable systems thinking and circular economy.

Since 1992 sustainability has been a vital part of Riisberg’s work and she considers the development of teaching sustainable design to fashion and textile students her most important contribution. This journey has only been possible in dialogue with many good colleagues and enthusiastic students. An example of students’ work from the sixth semester course in Design for Change in 2015 has been selected to illustrate the outcome of this effort.