1st Edition

Danish Design Heritage and Global Sustainability

By Ditte Lysgaard Vind Copyright 2024
    246 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    With a bias for action, this book offers valuable insights into the origins of the much-celebrated Danish design tradition and how it can be employed to create design solutions to address today’s environmental crisis using the planetary boundaries as positive creative constraints.

    Danish design has long been revered for its high-quality aesthetics, materials and craftmanship, encouraging sustainability without compromise. This book explores the lessons to be learnt from Scandinavian design ideals, introduces the philosophy and principles of circular economy and showcases the potential power of combining circular economy and design in helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. It presents a range of case study examples across multiple sectors and includes interviews with Danish designers from architecture, furniture, fashion, digital and industrial design, providing unique insights by some of the world’s leading contemporary designers.

    Bridging theory and real-world insights and experiences, this book builds on the framework of the 4Rs – The Circular Way: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Replace to encourage innovation through the replacement of environmentally damaging materials and business models. A must-read for product designers, industrial designers, consultants, business developers, sustainability professionals and students interested in learning how to design and implement circular, sustainable models into practice.

    1. Design in the Anthropocene
    2. Learning from Danish Design
    3. Systems Design in the Anthropocene
    4. The Troubles We are in
    5. Partnering with Life: The Essence of Regeneration: An Essay
    6. Theory Meets Practice and Magic Happens
    7. Manifesto: Design in the Anthropocene
    8. The Purpose of Business is to Solve Problems
    9. The Circular Way
    10. Nature’s Playbook
    11. Technology: Friend or Foe?
    12. Plastic not so Fantastic
    13. Building The Circular Way
    14. Designing our Cities the Danish Way
    15. Copenhagenize: Designing Regenerative Mobility
    16. Trust the Future – if We do the Work to Create it


    Ditte Lysgaard Vind is a renowned circular economy and design expert and practitioner, based in Denmark. Ditte is known for pioneering new materials as well as business models while sharing the knowledge gained from practice through teaching and thought leadership. She is the founder of The Circular Way, the Chairwoman of the Danish Design Council and a member of the executive board of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation as well as the global SDG innovation lab UNLEASH. Ditte previously co-founded Lendager The Circular Way, a subsidiary of the Lendager Group. She is also the co-author of A Changemakers Guide to the Future (2018).

    "It is wonderful to read a book which re-imagines the role of design in relation to the climate challenge. The emphasis on how the core qualities of classic Danish product design -- purpose, functionality, and simplicity -- can be used as important tools in creating a more sustainable construction sector is a key insight."

    Mads Kann Rasmussen, CEO of VKR Holding, and Chairman of WWF Denmark

    “Ditte Lysgaard Vind writes eloquently about the role of Danish design in Denmark’s journey toward a regenerative future, and how global suitability pressures have helped shaped positive action in places like Copenhagen. It’s a great read and resource for anyone who wants to understand how design can help us live better on this planet.”

    Michael H. Ramage, Professor of Architecture and Engineering, and Director at Centre for Natural Material Innovation, University of Cambridge, UK

    "Simply put, as manifested in this book by intelligent design, we can harness the extraordinary powers of business as a source of good, and make sure we are incentivised to keep on the trajectory of creating a regenerative society for all to thrive in, and to ultimately ensure a liveable and sustainable future for businesses, as well as the planet and humankind. I say let's choose light over darkness, wisdom over foolishness, and leave the winter of despair behind to enter the spring of hope. This book is a good place to start."

    Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman of Siemens, boardmember of World Economic Forum and adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

    "This thought-provoking book showcases how design can build a regenerative society, with practical examples from Danish design, questions on systems thinking, and applications of circular economy principles. The author skilfully demonstrates the transformative power of design for a better future."

    Catherine De Wolf, Professor, Circular Engineering for Architecture, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

    "This is a book of planetary urgency; a playbook for industries, universities, countries, and is is the epitome of a nation's reputation and legacies." 

    Richard Hsu, Professor of Practice at Tongji University School of Design and Innovation, China