Ida Engholm

Associate Professor

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design

Ida Engholm is professor of design history and design theory at the Royal Danish Academy. She has published numerous research articles, and is author and co-author of twelve books on design and design-related fields, most recently the influential, “Design for the World. From Human Design to Planet Design”, published by Intellect Press. Engholm is founder and head of the Academy’s postgraduate educational program, Master in Design for trained designers and architects, as well as professional in innovation and development-oriented industries, who seek to further their education in sustainable leadership with a design perspective. Engholm is a member of the Danish Design Council.

From Human Design to Planet Design

Over the recent centuries, design has been like a huge engine, generating a constant spiral of new needs. This design engine is driven by our human capacity for imagination, which keeps producing new ideas while also resulting in the consumption of vast amounts of scarce resources.

In her talk, Professor Ida Engholm will argue that instead of focusing on how design can serve humanity, we should critically question what fundamental values and world views our design is based on. So far, our design has been centred on human users and our needs, but today, the scale of the environmental crisis compels us to put the planet first. We need to go from human-centred to planet-centred design.

Just as design has been part of the problem, it can now become part of the solution, provided we change our focus.