Kirsten Bonde Sørensen

Kirsten Bonde Sørensen

Ph.D., MA in rhetoric, designer


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Personal profile

Research areas



In my Ph.D. thesis, “When designing emerges into strategies – in an organization and in individuals” I proved that designing can be used strategically, not only in organizations, but also in individuals. 

This means people, also non-professional and so-called ‘non-creative’ people, can use the skills of the designer and do designing as a language for self-dialogue and value clarification and thus do/create reflections about our unconscious dominant values in life. This often leads to new defined values and strategies in the life of the individual – and subsequently changes in perception and behaviour. 

In my workshops banking customers, students and people in general have changed their perception and behaviour in relation to money behaviour, to creativity, and to life in general. This type of designing is strongly self-persuasive and empowering and makes participants self-leading in their private sphere.

In a broader perspective the most challenging and limiting elements in business organizations are also the hidden values, also called mental mappings, present in the organizations. Mental mappings root in our dominant values and result in our limiting way of thinking, our ‘glasses’ and view of life. Today, too many organizations, read: business leaders, only ‘see’ the problems at hand and make decisions by choosing among existing possibilities. Instead we need business leaders that can ‘see’ and create new possibilities.

As individuals, and secondarily as business leaders, employees etc. we need to reflect on and clarify our individual dominant values – as this is the hidden barrier between our dream and reality.

Yet we have the possibility of using designing as a language for self-dialogue and value clarification and a possibility of letting designing emerge into new creative strategies in organizations and in individuals.




2008 - 2011 Industrial Ph.D.
Kolding School of Design / Middelfart Sparekasse (Arkitektskolen Aarhus)
2006 - 2008: Master in Rhetoric (MARC)
Aarhus University, Denmark
1990 – 1995: Designer
Kolding School of Design
Utrecht School of the Arts, Utretch, Holland (1994) 
1982 – 1985: Studentereksamen
Ribe Katedralskole, Ribe

Positions held:

Aarhus School of Architecture
Research assistant
Researching and teaching service design and strategic design
Research topics: generative tools, design as language for self-dialogue and value clarification, rhetoric, doing thinking, design as doing, self-leadership, strategic design in organisations and in individuals, service design.
2011 - 2012
Design2Innovate, Kolding School of Design
Academic editor: “SÅDAN! - bruger du design i forretningsudvikling” (2012) on how to use design in business development.
Design2innovate is a four-year project funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The objective of Design2innovate is to help small and medium-sized companies develop and increase their business using design as a tool.
2011 – 2011
Kolding School of Design:
Design management consultant at Danfoss 


2011 – 2012 
Kolding School of Design/University of Southern Denmark (SDU)
Teacher & supervisor (MA level) in Design Management at Kolding School of Design/University of Southern Denmark

Kolding School of Design, Middelfart Sparekasse, Middelfart
Industrial Ph.D. student
2007 -2007
Kolding School of Design/Danish Centre for Design Research (DCDR)
Research Assistant
2000 - 2006 – design studio
Owner, designer

1996 – 2000
InWear, IC Companys, Denmark
International Art Director
1995 – 1996
Lindberg Optic
1985 – 1991
Marie Brolin-Tani Dance Theatre
Stephen Fant Dance Theatre and Eske Holm Dans

Research area

  • Process and method