Working with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Design Education

Publications: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


This paper investigates how design schools within the fine arts can teach students to create sustainable transformation when working with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). The question is examined through a case at the Royal Danish Academy where third semester students engage in a project-based design thinking course focusing on how to increase biodiversity in Denmark. Data consists of the course material and 48 student team projects. The projects are organized in terms of the areas of design intervention and are applied to analyze how well the design methodology and course serve the objective. Findings illustrate that the applied design thinking approach is supportive to creating transformation at the scale of the UNSDGs, however, the student projects generally lack critical reflection on the correlation between challenge and solution and an assessment of the potential impact of the design proposal. Adjustments and new suggestions are offered for future courses.
Original languageDanish
Publication date8 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021

Artistic research

  • No

Cite this