Issue No.


Design-driven innovation

Design is an enabler across industries. From optimised medical instruments to new biodegradable packaging methods and improved urban spaces – good design-thinking is everywhere. With this Focus, we highlight the power of design-driven innovation. Through a collection of innovative cases, podcast, video portraits of creative frontrunners, and Danish design awards, we showcase how design can improve business models and create real impact.

Meet the creative frontrunners from DesignIt. In our video portrait with Creative Director Carsten Henriksen, we dive into how the design company approaches innovation.

Tackling business challenges with design. DesignIt transform challenges into great solutions.

Design as a human-centred driver

What if we let design-driven innovation lead the way for our quality of life? What if we let design-thinking be a cross-sectional approach?

Many Danish companies are already working design-driven. 54% of Danish companies state that they use design systematically in their business models. They report that working with a design approach has a positive impact and strengthen their products*.

Design-thinking is a human-centred approach. It is about creating meaningful, relevant, and profit-making products and services. Design-thinking pushes innovation by empathising with user needs, exploring options through playful prototypes, and redoing the process until reaching an impactful solution.

* Sources: Design Delivers 2018, DDC and Confederation of Danish Industry (DI)

Meet the creative frontrunners from MONSTRUM. The play enthusiast Ole Barslund shares how his company challenge children through artistic and architectural quality design. Read the full case on the play company.

Designed for wonder. A look behind the scene at the workshop of Danish MONSTRUM where they create their thematic playground designs.

Get a sneak peek of America by Design. On a tour to explore the Danish design DNA, the host Ilene Shaw visits LEGO House to learn about their playful products.

Behind the scenes. The host Ilene Shaw explores the special qualities of Danish design like AirBird for better indoor air quality.

Showcasing new Danish design in America

In the popular CBS tv-show America by Design, Ilene Shaw visits Denmark to explore the playful constructions of Danish design – from early childhood play at LEGO House to designing impactful solutions in the city.

The TV crew travels through Denmark to explore the playful cityscapes with design by JAJA Architects and Dissing+Weitling together with Chief City Architect of Copenhagen, Camilla van Deurs, showcasing how playfulness in design makes a difference for society at large through fun and engaging urban environments.

With insights from the Programme Director at the Danish Design Center, Christina Melander, the show invites the viewers to explore a range of creative design solutions from both TAKT, AirBird and

Watch the full episode of America by Design. As a spotlight within episode four, America by Design features a range of Danish design solutions.

Xiamen Bicycle Skyway integrates different form of traffic. Besides the Bike Snake featured in America by Design, Danish Dissing+Weitling has designed the elevated bicycle pathway along a busy traffic road in China. Explore their bike bridge design.

Innovative packing of furniture. TAKT is rethinking the way to design, build and sell furniture. Read the case on their sustainable furniture design.

Coloplast put user needs at the front and centre. Danish Coloplast is a prime example of the human-centred approach that is central to the Danish creative DNA. Explore how they design to make life easier for their users.

Quality mobile shower and changing table. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium bathroom solutions, Pressalit enhances the experience for the user as well as the caregiver. Explore the healthcare case.

Design for better healthcare

Why do medical products for diabetes or ostomy patients need nice design? Because they reframe the experience for the users. By offering pleasant quality products that can help dilute taboos and create pride instead of embarrassment.

The Danish tradition for human-centred creativity is vital for developing impactful and user-based solutions so that healthcare can be a positive experience.

Pioneering sensory cushions. With its unique combination of beautiful design, interactive music, AI technology, and haptic stimulation, the inmu® is a valuable companion that improves the quality of life for people with special needs. Explore the case.

Intelligent solutions. AirBird® quickly detects poor indoor air quality and helps occupants of a room to take necessary action, like the canary in the mine. Read more about AirBird.

Danish Design Award. The major annual Danish design event celebrates the best design solutions and highlights the many ways in which design can make a difference. Photo credit: Agnete Schlichtkrull

A free VR tour of space. Together with the energy company Ørsted, Danish Khora Virtual Reality won a Danish Design Award for their 360º VR Space Safari communicating “the overview effect” experienced by astronauts. Explore the full VR case.

Danish Design Award promoting the impact of design

Celebrating the best design solutions and highlighting the many ways in which design can make a difference for our society, Danish Design Award is the major annual Danish design event.

Behind the Danish Design Award is the leading trade association Design denmark and Danish Design Centre. The partnership brings together the design industry and the entire country around an annual design event celebrating the difference design can make.

Although the Danish Design Award is a Danish design event, it is international in outlook and calibre, and the finalists and award-winning companies stand to reap considerable branding benefits, both in domestic and international markets, as well as a positive impact on employee motivation and export potentials.

Explore the many great design solutions awarded with the prestigious award.

Tile design to avoid flooding. The Climate Tile by THIRD NATURE is another Danish Design Award winner. The rainwater solution limit the damage from heavy rainfall in cities by handling the water from roofs and urban spaces in the tiles. Explore the full case.

Designing solutions as a way to innovate. In this podcast episode of “Business of Collaboration”, Christian Bason from the Danish Design Center talks about how to innovate and think holistic with a Danish design mindset.

Innovation is an ability to frame problems in a different way, come with solutions and make them real

Christian Bason, CEO of the Danish Design Center

Using design to solve real-world needs. The Index Award is not a traditional design award. Instead they work to push the boundaries to honour design that bring humanity forward.

Design to change the world

The best way to predict the future is to design it. That is the approach of Danish Index Project that works to redefine design from a commercially driven discipline to one that’s used to improve quality of life – for everyone.

Their Index Award biennale celebrates people, from far and wide, using design to solve the problems that matter. Since 2005, they have recognised some of the world’s most impactful and iconic solutions. From tiny tools that diagnose disease to environmental moonshots saving our most vulnerable ecosystems.

The Index Award isn't just about upholding great designs but about celebrating diversity, inspiring hope and, acting as a catalyst for groundbreaking innovation. Explore some of the many design solutions from the past year.