How can this design contribute to the development peaceful, inclusive and just societies?

How does the changes in the design profession affect both the design education and the designer's working methods? Since to 2011we have explored the extended designer role, seeking new insight in how to work together for social innovation.

Teamwork and cooperation with other professional groups are becoming increasingly common and important, as well as inclusive and user-driven design. But working together are challenging and can lead to conflicts and frustration. 


We started in 2011 to invite the 1st year’s Master students in Design at Bergen Academy of Art and Design1 to pay attention to challenges in society, like waste of food and conflicts around a planned windmill park in the west cost of Norway, through a four week long course. The coming years we arranged courses with cases like Nygårdsparken and Laksevåg, the first described as one of Europe’s hardest drug scenes, and the second defined as a suburb with special needs by the Bergen Municipality. We had no intention to solve the challenges in a short time, but to investigate if design could add insight and highlight possibilities.

Laksevåg is a place with engaged inhabitants and under-communicated qualities. By involving the locals, the students came up with projects to make some of the qualities visible, like a way finder presenting activities and organizations in the area (which were surprisingly many). The students used diverse methods, often playful, to come in touch with the locals, like making ballon dogs to be placed outside doors, inviting the inhabitants to share stories by writing on a piece of paper around the dog’s neck. The method was inspired by observation of how dogs function as icebreakers when people meet in the streets. 

Through courses like the ones at Laksevåg we experiment with creative teamwork and the design process. The project has resulted in different tools for creative groups, based on idea of do-it-yourself and with a strong belief in making and visualization: Visualization is a powerful tool which can make the invisible visible, offer people imagined realities and make them believe in changes and alternative futures.

Design Thinking

In Bergen, Norway, a multidisciplinary education in Design Thinking was established in 2015 by the Department of Design at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design (University of Bergen), NHH Norwegian School of Economics and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. In the program, which is the first of its kind in Norway, designers, economists and engineers collaborate on solving real, complex problems for the industry and the public. As teachers in DTBergen we had the oppurtunity to develope methods and tools further on. 



Design Thinking Bergen

Together for

social innovation

Design Thinking, ideation, workshop in Bergen 2016.


Associate Professor, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen 


Associate Professor, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen 

Idedevelopment and sketching. Searching for a method reminder. 

Use tools  – go to Methodomania

Paper presented at the conference Beyond Oil, University of Bergen, October 2017. 

Students work, Dr. Daddy and Daughters, Festlab, 2012 (Photo: Dr. Daddy and Daughters).

From some of the courses over the years.