Harmful or Harmless? Student rebellion and debates at Danish design schools 1967-1976.

Anders V. Munch, Lene Kiærbye Pedersen, Vibeke Riisberg

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


Danish design educations changed radically with the student rebellion. There has been research into these events in the other Nordic countries, especially linked to the visits of Victor Papanek. The history of the Danish design schools has, however, never been investigated, and only little archival sources are saved from these turbulent years, so this paper is preliminary research. Papanek published ideas on design education in Danish journals, and we compare his perspective with our findings in annual reports, school magazines and minutes from debate events. The focus of our discussion here is, how the agenda of the students to have an impact on society was articulated in their actions, and how it developed with events and reforms of the schools. Initially the Danish students felt that their education only taught them harmless hobbies with only rare possibilities for employment, and they were far away from any impact to change the harm of design consumption. As actions and reforms developed the scope of the students turned out to be quite different from Papanek’s. Historical investigations of student activism, design critique, and educational reforms around 1970 is an important lesson to remind us of an engaged criticism – and its pitfalls.
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2020
BegivenhedICDHS 12th conference of the International Committee for Design History - Zagreb, Kroatien
Varighed: 16 okt. 202018 okt. 2020


KonferenceICDHS 12th conference of the International Committee for Design History


  • Design school history, student rebellion, Danish design history

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

  • Nej