Tales from an American girl living in Denmark
I was really looking forward to today because it was time for our visit to INDEX: Design to Improve Life, the nonprofit organization that we watched a video about and discussed at length in Denver before leaving.
The people at INDEX are the ones who give out the biggest design award in the industry. Nominated designs are judged on the following three criterion: form, impact, and context. For them design is not only about aesthetic or function, but also (and primarily) what role it plays or service it provides to society. Our study focus question, “What is design citizenship?” can be answered almost completely by looking at past INDEX Award winners. It is so inspiring. Their intent at INDEX is to reward those who “Design to improve life,” and are truly practicing design citizenship. Kigge Hvid summed it up best when she told our group,
“There are more than enough white cups in the world.”
Case closed. Designers have the competencies to make important contributions to more than just the latest in dishware. (That’s not to say we don’t all appreciate the existing well-designed dishes!)
Our visit with Kigge exceeded my expectations, and I think our group really enjoyed the things she gave us to mull over. Kigge is the epitome of this incredible consideration and genuineness I’ve been noticing within Copenhagen’s design community. What she had prepared for us was less a presentation and more an open discussion between all of us about design’s role in bettering our world. And you could see her consider and really think about what each person had to say before responding, which was very refreshing.
Here are a few photos from earlier.