DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Andersson, Anders-Petter; Edeholt, Håkan; Ek, Anne-Charlotte; Hansen, Anne-Marie
Series: E&PDE
Institution: NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Design, Gjøvik, Norway; AHO Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Institute of Design; Malmö University, School of Arts and Communication
Section: The effect that design and engineering have on global co-habitation
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.94
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


This paper is relevant because of the current dire health situation of several critical human and non-human systems. In the paper we take a Nordic perspective, being critical of mainstream challenges currently facing many of our most existential systems. We suggest that design disciplines and their educations, together with others, urgently need radical change during the few years that remain until 2030. The paper argues that a holistic and systemic view is required that rather focuses on root problems, than the symptoms these root-problems cause. Based on a multidisciplinary selection of scientific literature, the paper shows how espoused systemic approaches often harm the health of both human- and non-human systems. In addition, the paper argues that these espoused systemic approaches tend to suggest ‘solutions’ that stand in the way of more realistic solutions emerging from supportive and social environments. One of the insights conveyed by the literature visited is how a reconnection of individuals in community- and practice-based activities promotes health and hopes that better futures can be achieved. The paper, therefore, suggests how design and its different educations, with others, can act in an interdisciplinary manner to become agents towards the kind of holistically and radical changes required to heal all broken systems we humans, together with so many others, inhabit today. In other words, as an output, we suggest what and how we designers should ‘design’ in our ‘workshops’ in 2030. And what tools, materials, methods, crafts, social processes and thoughts-to-think-with, we need to change to get there.

Keywords: Design Workshop, Health Promotion, Non-Human Health, Systemic Thinking, Community


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