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Promotion of Sustainable Nordic Design through Education

  • Published on November 14, 2018
Of interest to designers and design schools interested in sharing platforms for sustainable design concepts in fashion and textiles.

A Nordic collaboration between fashion designers and design schools that increases knowledge sharing and provides a common basis for moving forward on sustainable design education.
Designers have a major role to play in shifting the fashionindustry towards greater sustainability. A prerequisite is that they have an understanding of how to design for sustainability across the lifecycle of a textileproduct. While Nordic resources and teaching materials on sustainable design exist, these are fragmented.

The project's aims were to facilitate the establishment of a network of Nordic design schools to create a common Nordic agenda on sustainable design, and to establish a platform via which they can share information with designers and upcoming design students. The project began with scoping activities to outline the content and format of a digital platform. Two webinars were held in February 2017 to gather ideas and wishes; one for educators in design schools and one for current and potential students. This led to the development of a platform which at its core includes information, pictures and videos from Nordic design schools and the courses and training opportunities that they offer. In addition it included news articles covering different aspects of sustainability and their relationship to design.

The digital platform was launched at The Nordic Hour event in May 2017 in connection with the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. Nordic design schools and industry stakeholders were invited and the event ended with a call to these stakeholders to commit to active engagement in the common effort to promote sustainability. On 9th November 2017 a seminar was held in Oslo with the purpose of clarifying how design schools and industry can work together and what areas and themes would be relevant to focus on. Ten Nordic design schools participated together with DAFI, Nordic Fashion Association and the Danish EPA. The intiative has created consortium of the ten design schools which along with DAFI and the Danish EPA applied for support from Nordplus Higher Education program to continue the focus on how to teach sustainability. This application was unfortunately not successful and the online platform established by the initiative was forced to close due to lack of financial support. The consortium is however continuing its collaboration and exchanges on sustainable design. If you wish to join the consortium of Nordic design schools or you are a design school in another region that wishes to establish a similar exchange platform please contact Johan Arnø Kryger at the Danish Fashion Institute.

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