Transformational capabilities and excellence in the educational portfolio
Design capabilities are fundamentally transformational and inter-disciplinary by nature. Historically, Integrated Design was a cross-institution (CBS/DTU/KADK) study line that ran for a number of years before being discontinued. A similar type of collaboration exists today in the form of the newly established CBS/KADK study line “Strategic Design and Entrepreneurship” where Bo T. Christensen and Tore Kristensen teach courses. New courses are “Strategic Design” with Tore Kristensen and John Christiansen, as well as “Values of Design” with Tore Kristensen, Mia Münster, and Jesper Clement. We will continue to explore options in making new forms of integrated design teaching collaborations in a balanced way where research projects take first priority. Other initiatives that are explored are courses on designs science methodology (at M.Sc. and Ph.D. level) and embedding design science in the curriculum of the M.Sc. program Sales Management.
Exploration of big challenges/wicked problems
Copenhagen Business School’s new strategy entails transforming society with business with an inter-disciplinary, curious, critical, and innovative approach to major opportunities and dilemmas facing business and society, in alignment with our Nordic heritage.
We believe that design as a curios and creative skill must be the heart of such societal transformations. Any grand challenge involving change of society and businesses starts as a design challenge that can be addressed at many different levels (e.g., designing products, services, and business models within a business at the organizational level, designing industries, new value chains, and new types of economies, for example a circular economy). While any grand challenge is in need of systemic design, our cluster would like to place special emphasis on the issue of sustainability. Design also has a specific tradition in terms of pedagogical model, with the design studio as a central element – a model that has come to be important at Copenhagen Business School also in our Studio environment, instilling an entrepreneurial and design thinking mindset in students.
Design is not to be understood as a mono-disciplinary approach. Design is cross-disciplinary by nature, and only by integrating different scientific domains with the capabilities of industry and public institution will societal change be able to take place.
Finally, we would add that Scandinavian Design is also a specific Nordic tradition both in terms of the type of collaboration involved (participatory design) and approach to materiality and manufacturing (sustainability; nature).
Inter-disciplinary and collaborative projects in research and education
In alignment with Copenhagen Business School’s overall strategy, a special emphasis on national and international collaboration with STEM research in the form of further connecting with the technical engineering design universities that we are already working with (e.g., Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft, DTU, Imperial College, Lancaster University, Loughborough University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Samsung Art and Design Institute).
Historically, we have collaborated with design schools and will continue these collaborations, but would like to pursue a further strengthening of relations to universities of technology in Denmark and abroad. Several cluster members have good collaborative connections, and this might prove beneficial, for example in entering into funding consortia addressing grand challenges from a technical angle, but with the need to add the design of behavioral components to the technical solutions, in terms of behavioral change, organizational and societal implementation, and scaling beyond the proof of concept. We will also try to involve more M.Sc. students in our cluster activities.
Cross-department at Copenhagen Business School, we will collaborate with Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Department of Organization, and Department of Society and Communication in a bid for a cross-department initiative within arts, culture, and creativity.
Locally, we collaborate with the Decision Neuroscience Research Cluster and the Business-to-Business Research clusters in the Department when such methods are appropriate for the design projects.
Societal relevance, impact, and value
The set of transformational and wicked problems our group focusses on are inherently social grand challenges; and we will be addressing these through our activities in research, teaching, funding, etc.