A growing interest in creativity is opening up new roles for the designer – but also creating a need for clarification of these roles

By Associate Professor Bente Irminger and Associate Professor Linda Lien,
Department of Design, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design,
University of Bergen, Norway

In recent years, “Design Thinking” as an interdisciplinary innovation process has increasingly led trade and industry and the public sector to take an interest in the design profession. While this profession has traditionally been related to the design of products and shaping of surroundings, today design can also concern methods and processes, making the profession relevant for additional areas of society. In this article, we present some key characteristics of the design profession today, and also discuss which expectations and different designer roles newly qualified designers meet and may come to meet in the future.

The designer has traditionally addressed the design of products and shaping of surroundings, while the working method, the actual design process, has received little interest from other academic environments. In recent years, creative problem solving has increased in status, as described, for example, in the Report to the Storting 16, Kultur for kvalitet i høyere utdanning (Culture of quality in higher education) (Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, 2016). Here, teaching students, irrespective of subject, creative problem solving and critical reflection is highlighted as important in managing the global societal challenges. A great interest in ideation and visualisation is thereby demonstrated. In Bergen, during the last three years, several economists, engineers and designers have signed up for the continued education programme “Design Thinking – Strategic Design for innovation”.[1]

At a Cumulus conference in Hong Kong in November 2016, several of the speakers put the role of future designers on the agenda.[2] Professor Wang Min of the Chinese School of Design, Central Academy of Fine Arts, advocated dividing their future education into four directions: 1) design for arts and crafts, 2) design for industry, 3) design for social innovation and 4) design for management. While Professor Wang Min predicts that in future the subject will split into four directions, others believe that two main directions for designers can be identified: the designer as opinion creator and the designer as problem solver (Manzini, 2015). The problem solver concentrates on the physical and biological world, where people live and things work, while the opinion creator is concerned with the social world, where people communicate and things gain meaning.

Human-Centred Design/HCD and Design Thinking are nonetheless probably the concepts that have received most attention in recent years. Human-centred design moves away from the designer as the great “guru”, but emphasises development and improvement processes whereby the user becomes the expert together with the designer, which may have similarities with participating action research, which has roots going back to post-Second World War Europe.[3]

One source of challenges for designers, and for those who are to make use of design skills, is the many overlapping and to some extent unclear co-existing concepts. For many people it is difficult to understand what a designer is. Another challenge is that the expanded designer role brings designers into such professional fields as medicine, sociology and anthropology. This requires awareness of breaking down boundaries and an understanding of other people’s professional expertise, and makes high demands of research ethics at educational institutions. In some cases, this awareness and understanding will be absent, which can impair the credibility of the designer and the discipline. In recent years, many educational institutions, but also commercial design agencies, have therefore employed or initiated cooperation with, for example, social anthropologists and philosophers.

The discussion began in the 1960s

Two years before 1960, Thomas Maldonado wrote the article “New development in industry and the training of the designer”. His starting point is the Bauhaus philosophy, which emphasised craftsmanship and creating an artistic environment for ordinary people. From this perspective, Maldonado discusses the designer’s various roles in tackling complexity and nuances, in particular within industrial design (Maldonado, 1958). In the 1960s and 1970s, the first discussions arose about the various design disciplines and the designer’s role: Was the designer an artist and form-giver, or a problem solver who handled complex challenges? In 1964, the architect and design theorist Christopher Alexander, in the book Notes on the Synthesis of Form, defined design as “the process of inventing things which display new physical order, organization, form, in response to function” (Alexander, 1964/1973, p.1). Alexander was concerned with systematics, rationality and pattern use. Inspired by nature and mathematics, he wanted to create structures for urban planning, but the methods were of more significance to areas such as data programming and interaction design. Herbert Simon argues in The Sciences of the Artificial (1969/1996) that design concerns how things should be, in ideal terms, and defines design as a problem solving method: “Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones” (Simon, 1969/1996, p. 111). Simon was concerned with artificial intelligence, information processes, organisational theory, economic value drivers, complex systems and data simulation of scientific discoveries, but was also interested in creativity and innovation, and saw design as an important aspect of rational decision-making processes. He was a scientific researcher, but with an understanding that design could offer a different approach to reality. Simon is also regarded as one of the founders of design research (Johansson-Skøldberg, Woodilla & Cetinkaya, 2013).

The nudging designer

A few years ago, the English term “nudging” was in great vogue. “Nudging” is related to the design of behaviour. It brings the design discipline into the psychology field. Understanding behaviour is a demanding process. In the book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, professor of psychology and the Nobel laureate in economics in 2002, explains how we think through two systems: one rapidly and intuitively, and one slowly and rationally. Which system is used determines how people take decisions. Kahneman shows how using the rapid and intuitive system can lead to a number of logical fallacies (Kahneman, 2011). Knowledge of the two systems is important when we work with design projects of which the goal is to influence behaviour. A “nudge” is a type of small, but well-considered, stimulus that will help people to make free choices that are also pre-defined as better choices. In the book Nudge, Richard Thaler, professor of behavioral economics at the University of Chicago and Cass Sunstein, lawyer, professor and founder of the Harvard Law School’s program for behavioral economics and public policy at Harvard University, give a number of examples of how people can be influenced to make decisions that can have positive consequences both for their own lives and for society.[4] Design has great potential when it comes to influencing people’s decisions. A known example is how, through interaction design, we can turn a flight of stairs into a piano and thereby stimulate movement by making more people choose the stairs rather than the escalator.[5] Another well-known example is the fly image in men’s toilets and urinals at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. This simple image leads men to aim for the fly when they urinate, which reduces splashback on the floor next to the toilets by 80 per cent (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008). Design can also contribute to problematic and contentious behaviour: The development of mobile phones with touchscreens has brought changes in who people interact with in public places: turning away from other people who are physically present in the same space and towards people who are interconnected through digital networks. Anti-social mobile viewing has its own name, “phubbing”, and this behaviour is referred to as an increasing source of irritation for many people (Graatrud & Ingebrethsen, 2014). The designer needs to be aware that when new products are developed and designed, new behaviour is potentially also being designed. The nudging designer faces high demands concerning ethical reflection. The challenge is that it can be hard to predict the effect of, for example, a product or service, and difficult to subsequently reverse its popularity.

The environmentally aware designer

The Oslo Manifesto was launched in 2015.[6] The manifesto was initiated during the “Framtanker” conference, which was hosted by Design and Architecture Norway, DOGA. The critical role played by designers, architects and urban planners in creating a sustainable world was discussed: How can we get more designers to take responsibility and understand the difference they can make? The point of departure for the manifesto is the UN’s 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate poverty, combat inequality and stop climate change before 2030.[7] The sustainability goals serve as a common global manifesto for countries, business and civil society. Nations from all over the world were actively involved in designing the goals, and more than eight million people gave input during the process. The goals reflect three dimensions of sustainable development: 1) climate and the environment, 2) economics and 3) social conditions. Designers are criticised for, on the one hand, creating unnecessary need and for contributing to excessive consumption, while on the other hand many designers are socially engaged and critical of the mass production of consumer goods and the use-and-discard mentality. Many wish to focus on social innovation, or design for the public sector, motivated by the opportunity to make a difference (Bason, 2014).

Design and sustainability are also on the agenda via the EU report “Design for Growth & Prosperity” (Thomson & Koskinen, 2012). The report highlights design as a driver of user-driven and sustainable innovation in Europe. There is focus on six strategy areas:\

  1. European design on the global stage , 2) Design in Europe’s innovation system , 3) Design in Europe’s enterprises , 4) Design in Europe’s public sector , 5) Design in Europe’s research system, and 6) Design in Europe’s education system.

The socially responsible designer

There is a gradual transition from the environmentally aware designer to the socially responsible designer. Social design can be defined as design that will solve complex problems, called “wicked problems”, thereby helping to improve people’s well-being and standard of living (Manzini, 2015).

In the 1970s, Victor Papanek named designers as responsible, encouraging the development of sustainable solutions for the less privileged, rather than spending time on designing goods for the consumer market. In the book Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change Papanek advocates that designers and creative people have a responsibility for the products that are developed, and also for the choices made in design processes. Designers have professional expertise that enables them to create real change. The book received considerable attention in the 1970s and has been translated into 23 languages (Papanek, 1971).

The DESIS[8] network also focuses on how human and environmental interests can be combined in a growing social economy. DESIS was established by Professor Ezio Manzini of University Politecnico di Milano. Manzini is an active advocate for designers to demonstrate greater social responsibility, and is the author of The Material of Invention (1989) and Sustainable Everyday (2003). In another book concerning the designer’s global social responsibility, How to Thrive in the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow’s World Today, John Thackara focuses on sustainable development and presents examples from all over the world of design that contributes to practical solutions to some of the global challenges associated with climate change, poverty and inadequate healthcare systems. Thackara argues that in our eagerness to find technological solutions we often forget the surprising creativity that is generated when people work together in close contact with the surrounding world (Thackara, 2015). In Design, When Everybody Designs Ezio Manzini discusses how we as designers should become more engaged in society’s sustainable development. He challenges us to think innovatively about the role of the designer and design in modern society and to promote social innovation and the building of a sustainable culture. In recent years, the concept of social design has emerged as an overall designation of community-focused design.

Projects related to social design do not always arise as a consequence of a formal request. Victor Margolin, professor emeritus in design history at the University of Illinois in Chicago and co-editor of the academic design journal Design Issues, is concerned with how social design is an activity that should not be confused with charity, assistance and donations. Social design is not voluntary work, but a professional contribution that plays a role in the economic development or improvement of living standards (Kallish, 2011).

With the blog post “Is Humanitarian Design the New Imperialism? Does our desire to help do more harm than good?” Bruce Nussbaum (2010) created strong commitment among designers. In this post, he criticises the designer (usually from the USA or Europe) who wants save the world through design, and asks: Is design a new imperialism, whereby western designers seek to solve problems for “underdeveloped” societies, or whereby resourceful designers and enterprises seek to resolve the challenges of less privileged groups in society?

Yet social design has not only been actualised through global challenges, but also as a consequence of how in the future we can expect that the public sector in the Nordic welfare states will have to reduce welfare benefits, leading to wider gaps between needs and requirements on the one hand, and offers and opportunities on the other.

In Denmark, MindLab was initiated to rethink the challenges within public welfare.[9] MindLab was created by people with different skills, including sociologists, social anthropologists and designers who, by involving residents and relevant enterprises, worked on an interdisciplinary basis to develop the public sector. The conference How Public Design in 2013 focused on how the welfare societies of the future will begin as dialogue with citizens. “There is a growing mismatch between what the public sector offers, and what an increasing number of residents need,” Christian Bason, former director of MindLab, has said.[10]

Several other organisations also focus on social design and challenges for society. Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta since 2011, believes that, at their best, design and design thinking can be a good catalyst for viewing problems and opportunities from a fresh new perspective.[11] Nesta is an innovation foundation that focuses on helping people and organisations with good ideas to put those ideas into practice. Nesta’s interdisciplinary work involves investors, researchers, start-ups and executors. Geoff Mulgan was previously responsible for Young Foundations, a leading centre for social innovation, combined with research, innovation and project development.[12] The organisation works to create an equitable and just society, whether this is in the public or private sector. Lucy Kimbell, Professor at the University of the Arts in London, was the first head of social design at the Young Foundation in the UK. She refers to several initiatives both in the UK and internationally in which emphasis is given to a design-based approach in interdisciplinary projects, in order to create innovation and improvements in public services and to resolve social problems.[13]

The activist designer

Design activism actualises design as a power factor, and the designer as an activist with a powerful influence tool. “Design activism is design thinking, imagination and practice applied knowingly or unknowingly to create a counter-narrative aimed at generating and balancing positive social, institutional, environmental and/or economic change” (Fuad-Luke, 2009 s. 27).

Critical design, speculative design and design fiction are all related to design activism. The design duo Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, who are regarded as the founders of speculative design, use design as a medium to stimulate critical reflection, discussion and debate (Dunne & Raby, 2013). They see a risk that critical design might be perceived as sophisticated entertainment. At its “best”, critical design can illuminate complex and challenging themes, and contribute to debate and innovation concerning social, cultural, technological and ethical conditions.[14]

In Design Activism: Beautiful Strangeness for a Sustainable World, the authors argue that design activism concerns motivation, activation and transformation, or is about interconnecting people and organisations to achieve a shared vision (Fuad-Luke, 2009).

There are many actors, stakeholders and agents in the activist landscape who use design, design thinking or other design processes to influence society and create change. Enzio Manzini distinguishes between what he calls diffuse design (performed by everybody) and expert design (performed by those who have been trained as designers), and in Design, When Everybody Designs (2015) describes how the two areas can be combined, and how designers can help to “trigger” and support like-minded people, and stimulate cooperation to create the required change.

Victor Papanek also took a clear activist approach to design. From an early stage, he invited users into design processes, thereby laying the foundation for what later became known as co-design: the user as co-designer. Here, the designer delegates the designer role and uses design as a tool to empower non-designers.

The process-oriented designer

In the Nordic countries, already in the 1970s processes were taking place that can be compared with the design thinking process. Christian Bason, director of Mind Lab at that time, wrote in a blog post in the Danish online newspaper Mandag Morgen that the Nordic countries were a prime mover in working systematically with participatory design, i.e. design processes whereby customers, users, employees and partners are involved in the development work (Bason, 2016). The Danish and Nordic ability to design together with users, and to capture needs that led to innovative products, services and systems, was later brought to the USA. Today, the global design agency IDEO is linked with the concept of “human-centred design” (HCD), and user-centred design processes such as co-design, design thinking and service design have become commonplace.

In recent years, design, often with labels such as strategic design, design thinking or service design, has invaded boardrooms and government offices worldwide. But do we thereby risk losing the full value of what design has to offer? asks Bason, who believes that an artificial representation of design has arisen; that design is either advanced products or specific development methods, strategies and business models: "Sometimes you hear the rather pejorative comment that design no longer concerns graphic communication or products, but is more about thinking, strategies and services. The consequence is that many leaders and developers have become attracted to design. Design is now on boardroom agendas all over the world, but the designer is not always included," argues Bason (2014). The challenge of “design processes” without designers is that this limits design to theoretical knowledge, rather than a practical skill.

The “Design Thinking” concept became widely known through one of the founders of IDEO, David Kelly, and later spread through books by Tim Brown. According to Brown, the evolution from design to design thinking is the narrative of the evolution from shaping products to analysing the relation between people and people (Brown, 2009). The Department of Design at the University of Bergen has developed a further education programme in “Design Thinking” in cooperation with the Norwegian School of Economics, the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Human Innovation (formerly Design Arena). The education programme is interdisciplinary and case-based, applying IDEO’s design thinking model that has been further developed and adapted to the interdisciplinary study. Students work in teams consisting of designers, economists and engineers, and seek to develop innovative solutions to real cases.

The Design Thinking process has been named as the solution to most challenges in society. The Design Thinking process does have its limitations, however, and has also been criticised in recent years (Plattner, Meinel & Leifer, 2015). On the one hand, the criticism is related to how the process does not take sufficient account of teamwork and interdisciplinary cooperation, while on the other hand, in several cases processes are run without the involvement of professionals with design expertise.

In a blog post in the Huffington Post “How to Manage Innovation With Design Thinking”, Søren Petersen argues that the process is first and foremost useful in developing incremental innovations of which the goal is to meet known or clear needs (Petersen, 2017). In “breakthrough innovation” that leads to the discovery of new needs and the development of new technology, other approaches or processes may be more appropriate. Thomas Lockwood supports the view that design thinking is more suited to incremental innovation than to radical innovation.

We would argue that it is absolutely essential that the designer has an active role in the process, as part of an interdisciplinary team: Designers have the expertise to visualise ideas and concretise imaginary solutions and to create an overview. The designer has a human and user focus, and through the design education programme students are trained for experimentation through trial and error. It can also be an advantage to err quickly and often, so that learning arises (Lockwood, 2010). Visual and physical exploration of a theme can be important to creating a holistic understanding. Designers can also drive non-linear thinking, and can contribute to an open culture that promotes creative solutions (Kolko, 2015).

Lucas Verweij ironically considers artists’ sceptical view of the “Design Thinking” process: When the “Design Thinking” process is taken over by other professional groups, this can lead the designer to fear for their position in the market. Verweij asks why the designer is concerned about “the new” design thinkers, and believes that design is not just theoretical knowledge, but also a practical skill that is built up over time, so that there are no grounds for concern (Verweij, 2017). Confidence in the process, gained through experience, is important if we are to dare to dive into the unknown and thereby achieve unexpected results.

The connecting designer

While previously design was often an individual exercise, today the norm is for the best projects to be developed in a creative and often interdisciplinary community. As we have seen, resolving complex problems requires the expertise of different professional disciplines. In the Renaissance era, the Medici family in Florence could already see the value of knowledge sharing and interaction. The Medici family had great wealth and power, which in part derived from engaging artists and men of science to develop a creative and innovative environment, which in turn contributed to a rich culture and a flourishing society (Johansson, 2006). In our time, migration creates more meeting points than before, not only between people from different nations and cultures, but also between people from various social environments and subcultures. Tom Kelly uses the term “cross-pollination” to describe how people can create innovation by combining ideas or concepts that appear to have little in common. Being a “cross-pollinator” is to see opportunities and solutions by interlinking different contexts (Kelly, 2008).

At the same time, the challenges of working together are often under-communicated. In the article “When creative teams lack creativity” Vidar Schei and Therese E. Sverdrup find that even though many leaders swear by using teams to develop creative ideas, research shows that teams are not very creative. The article’s authors present three reasons: We don’t want to, we don’t dare, and we can’t. The first is due to a loss of motivation; we perform less because others also perform, leading to what is called “social loafing” or the “freeloader problem”. Secondly, we want to be liked by others, so that we exercise self-censorship, making good and innovative ideas disappear. The third reason for a lack of creativity in groups is that participants have to wait for their turn to express their ideas, which leads to production blockage (Schei & Sverdrup, 2011). Frans Johansson also argues that even though it may seem to be an obvious truth that collaboration between many people will contribute to increased creativity, it is remarkable how often we avoid this type of cooperation. People tend to stick to their own fields and domains, or, as he says: “They adhere to their own ethnicities and cultures” (Johansson, 2006, p. 80).

A test conducted among a group of students by Donn Byrne (Byrne, 1961) showed that the students preferred a collaborator whose underlying values matched their own. The most surprising aspect of this test was how predictable it was that the participants preferred their peers. The desire to work together increased proportionally with this similarity. This is a challenge when it comes to compiling interdisciplinary groups (Johansson, 2006). In The Open Book of Social Innovation (Murray et al., 2010), the authors compare social innovation projects with societies consisting of bees and trees: “We’ve suggested that much social innovation comes from linking up the ‘bees’ – the individuals and small organisations that are buzzing with ideas and imagination – and the ‘trees’, the bigger institutions that have power and money but are usually not so good at thinking creatively. On their own, the bees can’t achieve impact. On their own, the trees find it hard to adapt” (Murray et al. 2010, p. 125). The authors refer to several examples of connections, for example in the form of facilitators, own organisations and network builders, or quite simply open and safe spaces that can be used to initiate meetings between people, ideas and resources. In the public sector there are examples of how innovation scouts are responsible for discovering innovations that can be adapted to relevant organisations. The Young Foundation, for example, employed an experienced investigative journalist to identify promising new healthcare projects.

The designer must not only have knowledge of and be able to join an interdisciplinary team, but also be a facilitator and driver in order for teams to arise and for teamwork to be successful. By using a visual language, designers can contribute to transparency in teams and to creating a common understanding of challenges and potential solutions (Kolko, 2015).

The expressive designer

The design discipline can also be divided into a strategic and an expressive direction, even though the two directions will often overlap. In simplified terms, we can say that in strategic design, design is used as a means to achieve a goal, while within expressive design, the design is the actual goal, for example as an aesthetic experience or invitation to reflection. The boundaries between expressive design and art may be unclear, and in some cases the practitioner’s background and the environments with which they identify will determine whether projects are placed under the category of “art” or “design”. Futurefarmers, established in 1995, is an example of a collective consisting of both designers and artists, who express themselves through a variety of media: Futurefarmers describe themselves as “a group of diverse practitioners aligned through an interest in making work that is relevant to the time and place surrounding us. […] We are artists, researchers, designers, architects, scientists and farmers with a common interest in creating frameworks for exchange that catalyze moments of ‘not knowing’.”[15] Futurefarmers has been represented by works at, among others, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Italian MAXXI Museum for Contemporary Creativity.

It came as a surprise then the Assemble collective received the Turner Prize in 2015. Assemble is based in London and works across the disciplines of art, architecture and design. They work mainly with urban renewal, as evidenced by the project that won them the Turner Prize: the regeneration of a run-down and partly derelict residential area in Toxteth, Liverpool (Arkitektnytt 09.12. 2015).

The future designer?

Throughout this article we have discussed the designer’s many possible roles, and have seen that several players with ties to the design discipline believe that design will move in different directions in the future.

How will and can educational institutions tackle the challenges and opportunities that designers will face in our future society? Should designers contribute to society’s development, and should education provide a basis for collaboration, sharing, technology, methods and processes? Architects, interior designers, industrial designers, furniture designers, service designers, graphic designers, strategic designers, interaction designers, and so on have different specialised expertise, but can their basic education be the same? Methods, processes, user knowledge, digital knowledge and collaboration forms can be combined with specialised professional expertise (a subject area can also have different directions) and visual language.

Educational institutions must ensure that designers are not only able to use the visual language, but that they also contribute to the development and expansion of the visual language repertoire. Future designers must also have knowledge and tools to enable them to not only be part of a team, but also a driving force in establishing competent teams, and making teams succeed. In addition, digitalisation, new technology and user understanding/empathy will be important.

New information technology is changing the world constantly, and anyone who interacts with systems is also helping to change the systems (Thackara, 2005). During the Open Design Forum conference at the Hong Kong Design Institute in 2015, the theme of open data was discussed. Here, the presenters Cesar Jung-Harada and Scott Edmunds gave several examples of how projects were developed using data sharing. Cesar Jung-Harada made the following call to designers: “The more you share, the greater the value of what you design. Be inclusive, rather than focused on individual style, ownership and ego.”

In December 2018, the Danish Design Centre published a study on Nordic designers. The study reveals that there are far more design professions than assumed, giving an insight into how designers operate in a Nordic context. Who are the Nordic designers and what challenges will they face in the future? The survey concludes as follows: “The designer of the future is a leader, bridge builder and digital operator” (Nordic Innovation, 2018).

Irrespective of roles, some competences and skills for the designer of the future can be identified: the ability to cooperate, and the ability to see connections.

In a blog post, Victor Margolini, professor emeritus in design history at the University of Illinois in Chicago, describes the designer of the future as follows (Kallish, 2011):

“As we experience more problems in the world, the old adages about what design is for seem less and less relevant to contemporary needs. […]. The broadening of design in contemporary society is opening up new avenues for a greater sense of what a designer might do and a deeper sense of a type of thinking to address a more complicated world. This broadening is also making it more difficult to be an effective designer because the questions designers have to address are much more complex and numerous, demanding greater knowledge to insure success. There are new projects that can be considered the purview of design like the design of organizations, projects, and systems that call for a larger vision of what a designer is and a require teamwork.”



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  1. In 2015, the Bergen Academy of Art and Design (now UIB) established an interdisciplinary programme for part-time studies in Design Thinking (Design Thinking: Strategic Design for Innovation) in cooperation with the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). Here, designers work together with economists and engineers, and this cooperation is combined with a high degree of user participation. This requires a different approach to project development than the traditional relationship between designer and client. User participation is considered in Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders’ article “Design Research” in Design Research Quarterly from September 2006. ↩︎

  2. Cumulus, International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media, [http://www.cumulusassociation.org/cumulus-working-papers-3316-cumulus-hong-kong-2016-open-design-for-e-very-thing/]{.underline} ↩︎

  3. Action research is a research form in which the results are used to initiate practical measures with the participation of the researcher. “Action research is used particularly to describe social science research subject to specific value premises. The researcher proposes change measures, participates in the implementation of the measures and controls their impact. It is customary for research to seek objectivity. In action research, however, the researcher is a moving operator. The intention is to engage the academic expertise in a desired society-changing process.” (Translated from Norwegian.) Store Norske Leksikon, snl.no/aksjonsforskning. More about participating action research in Masters, J. 1995. The history of action research in Hughes (ed.) Action Research Electronic Reader, The University of Sydney. Available at [http:/www.behs.cchs.usyd.edu.au/arow/Reader/masters.htm]{.underline} (05.08.2012). ↩︎

  4. Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2017, while Cass Sunstein was awarded the Holberg Prize in 2018. ↩︎

  5. A video of the piano stairs can be viewed at [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw]{.underline} ↩︎

  6. [http://oslomanifesto.org]{.underline} ↩︎

  7. Paris Agreement, adopted 12.12.2015: [https://www.fn.no/Om-FN/Avtaler/Miljoe-og-klima/Parisavtalen]{.underline} ↩︎

  8. Desis Network, Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability, [https://www.desisnetwork.org/]{.underline} ↩︎

  9. MindLab, [http://mind-lab.dk/.]{.underline} The activity was discontinued in 2018. ↩︎

  10. Examples of projects are described in the “Design for Public Good” publication, which is published by SEE (Sharing Experience Europe), a network of 11 European partners. The report presents case studies and tools related to design-based innovation in the public sector: [https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/Design%20for%20Public%20Good.pdf]{.underline} ↩︎

  11. Nesta, The innovation Foundation, [https://www.nesta.org.uk/]{.underline} ↩︎

  12. The Young Foundation, [https://youngfoundation.org/]{.underline} ↩︎

  13. In the practical guide The Social Design Methods Menu, Lucy Kimbell and Joe Julier argue that design can resolve social challenges and present methods related to social design. Available at [https://youngfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Social-Design-Methods-Menu.pdf]{.underline} ↩︎

  14. [www.dunneandraby.co.uk/content/bydandr/13/0]{.underline} ↩︎

  15. [http://www.futurefarmers.com/#about]{.underline} ↩︎