Hacking EU calls

Thursday, 29th Sep 2016

Laura Boffi together with Design to Innovate facilitated the workshop “Cross-sectoral project development: including designers in EU projects”  at the EU Design Days to showcase and explore the value of design in Horizon 2020 projects.

Laura presented how CIID Research infuses People Centred Design into EU funded projects through field examples from previous EU projects and highlighted bottlenecks preventing flexibility, creativity and people-centred approach.

After the presentation, Laura run a workshop to hack EU calls so that they would allow a truly people centred approach. Supported by the People Centred Design Research Cards, a new CIID Research tool that supports the application of people centred design methods in big research consortium, participants had the chance to destroy/rebuild/correct/cut some of the existing EU calls. The results were very promising: lots of ideas to renew how EU grants projects emerged and participants felt so empowered!

Surely, CIID Research is going to keep on building the People Centred Design Research Cards and repeating the EU calls rebuilding workshop in the next future!

Just Opened: A Slot in the Company & Startup Matchup Workshop

Thursday, 22nd Sep 2016


Join us for a free and intensive workshop at the CIID Nest to bring a startup mindset and method to your organisation. You’ll collaborate directly with a startup in your industry and create a lasting connection for future collaboration. In addition, you’ll walk away having learned and applied practical design thinking methods and innovation strategies as applied by startups. 

If your company is in the energy, aid, healthcare, telecom, or travel & tourism industry, you could be matched up with one of the startups in our Nest incubator for an intensive and practical workshop next week. 

For more information, please write to Simon Herzog by Friday, September 23rd: s.herzog@ciid.dk

More about the Nest: http://nest.ciid.dk

Neighbourhoods of the Future: Informing the creation of a European Reference Framework for Age-friendly Housing

Monday, 19th Sep 2016


CIID-Research together with the Municipality of Odense and the University of Utrecht organises a National Workshop, 6th in a series of European interconnected Open Innovation Workshops, informing the European Commission. Come to meet experts and share your views on the most exciting developments in smarter homes, new financing models and urban retrofitting.

The event is hosted by the Week of Health and INNovation.

Laura Boffi, senior researcher at CIID, will talk about Design in Research and will present outcomes and findings from the Helicopter project.

Time: 5th of October, from 9:30 to 17:00

Place: Forskerparken 10H, 5230 Odense M

Price: the event is free of charge. Register here

CIID-Research at Copenhagen Maker

Thursday, 15th Sep 2016


On the 23rd and 24th of September CIID-Research will be at Copenhagen Maker with the European project PELARS.

Come and experience with your hands physical computing with new Arduino-Genuino components and the forefront of learning analytics.

At Copenhagen Maker, we present the innovative learning space consisting of:

  • an interactive workstation linked to a data analytics system and data visualization,
  • a novel physical computing kit and development environment,
  • a new furniture concept embedding technology and fostering collaborative hands-on activity.



CIID10: Celebrating a Decade of Serious Play

Thursday, 15th Sep 2016


Article by Carl Alviani

For an unfamiliar visitor walking into the UN City complex or Langelinie Pavilion during last week’s CIID10 celebration, it would be easy to think you’d accidentally stumbled upon two different conferences happening simultaneously.

One of these conferences was about challenges, complications and endless hours of work. “Celebrating 10 years of not sleeping” read one of the cheekier captions projected on the screen during the closing party, and there’s a clear reason why: in keynotes, panel discussions and lightning talks, we saw an endless procession of human problems that need solving. The world is warming, cities are flooding, South Sudan needs safe drinking water, and roads to connect people with markets and medical services. Blind kids need to learn how to code too. Refugees need to know where it’s safe. Entrepreneurs still don’t have access to capital–especially, it seems, if they’re more concerned with helping people than increasing shareholder value. Fixing these problems takes effort, and effort is in good supply.

There’s always been a kind of fervor that permeates the CIID network, shared by IDP students, advisors and Nest startups alike. We’re a community of unusual passions, equally motivated by creative expression and a desire to improve the world. Judging by the presentations of the past four days, in fact, it may even be that creative expression is ultimately the less important of the two. This is what makes a design school different from an art school, after all.

But concurrent with all of this was a second thread–a second conference, almost–that was all about play. Learning through play, teaching through play. Generating and testing ideas through play. We need to play more, we heard, and we need to take its outcomes seriously. We should embrace our side projects and personal quirks, not just as opportunities for expression, but as a way of building useful skills and improving the quality of our ideas. We watched talks turn into slideshows of watercolors, and 50-person games of Rock/Paper/Scissors. We discussed the educational value of LEGO during an Impact Minds panels, and heard about the importance of taking on projects that are sufficiently useless. We laughed and cheered as Hololens demos turned us all into curious, gesticulating cyborgs.

From the inside, this collision of lightness and gravity feels natural. From the outside, it’s bewildering. Nowhere else on earth will you hear people so enthusiastically celebrate the value of not taking things seriously one minute, and emphasize the urgency of the world’s troubles in the next–in a venue hosted by the UN, no less. It can feel like a piece of dystopian sci-fi, rendered in the bright colors of a little kid’s cartoon.

But there’s a great reason for this strange combination: it works. Designers in general, and CIID’s creative network in particular, have gotten where we are because we’ve mastered play as a tool. We use it to suspend our preconceived notions of what’s possible, and to invite exploration. We use play as a motivator, with the power to engage the disinterested, and get the interested to obsess. We use play as the nucleus around which brilliant, unexpected solutions form, and to create a structure for making the unfamiliar accessible. We play seriously, in other words, and the outcomes of our efforts reflect it.

I was lucky enough to host a panel on Learning through Play during the Impact Minds portion of CIID10, which included an activity from Jesper Jensen of LEGO, illustrating one of the key elements of effective play. After receiving a small packet of just six LEGO bricks, each of the 40 or so participants was given one to build a duck. The results are astounding for their variety–no two results are identical–but also for the fact that they all look like a duck, more or less. Who knew there were so many ways to solve a single problem? It’s a powerful lesson in the potential of play to unearth unexpected solutions.

But dig deeper, and it holds another lesson. This particular exercise is something LEGO has been using for years as a demonstration tool, and it’s a highly refined game: one duck, six bricks, one minute, the same bricks each time. It’s very constrained, but constrained in exactly the right way.

And this is the challenge to designers of all stripes when we think about play: it’s wonderful to play, and let ourselves be frivolous and uncritical in the pursuit of new ideas, but it’s crucial to define the game we’re playing, and make sure it’s the right game. This dichotomy tells us to keep the needs of the world in mind and maintain a sense of urgency, even as we let our imaginations run wild. And to follow up our play with the expertise, collaboration and uncounted sleepless nights necessary to transform them into effective solutions.

This balance is deeply counterintuitive to much of the world–I originally trained as an engineer, and nothing in that curriculum remotely prepared me for this kind of mindset. But it’s also our best hope when facing problems whose traditional solutions are falling short. If there’s a call to action that came out of CIID10, it’s to play harder and play well. To play, in other words, as if the world depends on it.

Refugee Text in Brussels

Wednesday, 14th Sep 2016


Refugee Text, one of the startups in the CIID Nest, is currently attending the Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Seminar hosted by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles in Brussels. 

Refugee Text, hosted in the Nest since February 2016, delivers trusted and vital information to any refugee with a phone. The founders have been selected as one of a small handful of startups to pitch their initiative to a room full of humanitarian aid organizations, city councils, and NGOs.

Find updates at @refugee_text on Twitter and at http://www.refugeetext.org/

Partnership With UNOPS

Monday, 5th Sep 2016

UNOPS Executive Director, ​​​​Grete Faremo with Simona Maschi, Co-Founder and CEO of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Photo: Hasse Ferrold

UNOPS Executive Director, ​​​​Grete Faremo with Simona Maschi, Co-Founder and CEO of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Photo: Hasse Ferrold

CIID10 is in full swing right now, and besides the many inspiring panels, Lightning Talks and joyful reunions, there’s some great to news to announce: an official partnership between CIID and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS). UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo made the announcement Thursday, as the CIID Impact Minds conference kicked off at the UN City campus in Nordhavn, lending additional weight and excitement to an already momentous event.

In honour of UNOPS new partnership with the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID), Grete Faremo, opened the one-day conference on the eve of the Institute’s ten-year anniversary.

“At the heart of the 2030 Agenda is the need to think outside of the box – using innovation, business and technology to help people build better lives,” said Ms. Faremo at the opening of “Impact Minds” on 1 September.

​​​​​”UNOPS and CIID share a common belief that innovation can help spur global development.”​

The partnership between UNOPS and CIID will allow both organizations to tap into each other’s networks in future joint projects.

UNOPS Social Impact Investment Initiative and the Institute’s interest in applying its work to the Sustainable Development Goals, led both organizations to each other earlier this year.

“Impact Minds is an opportunity to gather over 300 participants and CIID’s international network of experts to discuss future direction and impact.  For an event focused on impact at global scale, we couldn’t have found a better place to share this agenda than with our partner, UNOPS at the UN City,” said Ms. Simona Maschi, Co-founder and CEO of CIID.

Interaction design combines traditional design disciplines with socio-economic trends. The Institute is an innovation​ institution for designers, engineers and architects, as well as a consultancy and start-up hub for designers.

The partnership comes at a significant time for both CIID and UNOPS, as global concern about the complex problems of the developing world aligns with a deeper embrace of design, and its unique potential to find sustainable solutions that work at the human level. UNOPS has a strong track record of working with government agencies and private companies alike, providing the project management expertise to direct resources where they’re most needed.


By partnering with CIID, they hope to leverage the extraordinary network of experts we’ve built over the past decade, and combine creativity with pragmatism in a way that impacts lives for the better, all around the world.

CIID 10 – Open House

Monday, 29th Aug 2016


CIID will be opening its doors on the 31st of August. We’d love to see you there and show you more about who we are and what we do. Each floor will be hosting events throughout the day. You’ll be able to participate in research studies, experience our design process and have in-depth chats with our students and entrepreneurs.

It’s your chance to understand what we’ve been up to and what’s coming next in the world of interaction design.

From 11:00 to 18:00 on Wednesday the 31st of August.

In order for us to plan for a great day, we ask you to reserve your free ticket.

We look forward to seeing you!

Refugee Text In The News

Wednesday, 17th Aug 2016


Last year, IDP student Kåre M.S. Solvåg dedicated his final project to the refugee crises. The output of his final project is Refugee Text – a service that allows refugees receive information on-demand from humanitarian aid organisations, via SMS chat bot. This project has since been taken into the NEST incubator at CIID, where Kåre is joined by IDP 2015 graduate Ciarán Duffy, and Caroline Arvidsson, who was working with CIID Consulting.

The project has recently received some media attention in the UK. The team are hoping to implement the service with a major humanitarian aid partner very soon. You can follow their progress on their Twitter page, and find more information on their site.

Date a Startup: A Two-Day Innovation Exchange

Monday, 4th Jul 2016


The CIID Nest incubator in collaboration with the Plus Program are creating a free two-day workshop September 29-30 to build meaningful and lasting connections between startups and established companies. The workshop is designed to infuse companies with proven skills, design thinking methods, and an agile startup culture while Nest startups benefit from the experience and knowledge of an already successful company.

Entrepreneurs at the CIID Nest are trained in design thinking, user research, and concept development tools, and the workshop is built around the application of these methods to concrete issues faced by participating companies. Over the course of two days startups work on specific challenges of participating companies and contribute their creativity and speed, and in return, companies lend their knowledge and experience to the startups on one of their challenges.

At the end of day 2, participants will walk away with fresh ideas, new practical skills, a deep foundation for a potential partnership, and even possibilities for hires or acquisitions.

Participation is free, but there is only one slot available to collaborate with each Nest startup. Contact us at nest@ciid.dk for more information and an initial mutual assessment.

Participating Nest startups include:

M-PAYG is democratizing access to clean, affordable and reliable energy to developing countries through pay-as-you-go solutions.

Media Sifter is a news aggregator which helps people interpret the news they read online.

Refugee Text is delivering trusted information into the hands of every refugee with a phone providing vital information about the asylum process and safe travel routes.

Remories helps people overcome anxiety by reminding them of previous achievements through an app. Self-support in your pocket – built on principles of behavioral psychology.

Minimiles is an app enabling children to take an active part in the travel planning experience with their families by exploring destinations ahead of time.