LEARN HOW TO DESIGN FOR POSITIVE IMPACT:
FOR PEOPLE AND THE PLANET

  • One year full time
    Interaction Design Programme

  • Participants
    from around the world

  • 40+ expert faculty

  • Peer to peer &
    hands-on learning

  • Bridging urban life
    and nature

LEARN HOW TO DESIGN FOR POSITIVE IMPACT:
FOR PEOPLE AND THE PLANET

  • One year full time Interaction Design Programme

  • 40+ expert faculty

  • Bridging urban life and nature

  • Participants from around the world

  • Peer to peer & hands-on learning

THE INTERACTION DESIGN PROGRAMME

Through an intense one-year curriculum, participants are taught to identify opportunities and to create new applications for technology through the creation of meaningful, pragmatic and socially relevant concepts that will have a positive impact on people and the planet.

Read more about the IDP

We place faith in diversity of experience, thinking and culture – and impart skills for teamwork, communication and collaboration, not just technical and design skills. Following a rigorous selection process, we select people from all over the world and a wide range of backgrounds to participate in our Interaction Design Programme (IDP). Each person brings individual skills with them and the IDP is an effective platform for peer-to-peer learning.

We hope that our graduates will go on to use design as a catalyst for bigger thinking. There are things people can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle – but we need to act on a systemic level. The beauty of interaction design is that it can act as a conduit between the individual and the complex systems that govern how we live. Knowing that, we’ve formed collaborative partnerships between industry and education to design products and services that help people adapt and respond to a rapidly changing world.

THE INTERACTION DESIGN PROGRAMME

Through an intense one-year curriculum, participants are taught to identify opportunities and to create new applications for technology through the creation of meaningful, pragmatic and socially relevant concepts that will have a positive impact on people and the planet.

We place faith in diversity of experience, thinking and culture – and impart skills for teamwork, communication and collaboration, not just technical and design skills. Following a rigorous selection process, we select people from all over the world and a wide range of backgrounds to participate in our Interaction Design Programme (IDP). Each person brings individual skills with them and the IDP is an effective platform for peer-to-peer learning.

We hope that our graduates will go on to use design as a catalyst for bigger thinking. There are things people can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle – but we need to act on a systemic level. The beauty of interaction design is that it can act as a conduit between the individual and the complex systems that govern how we live. Knowing that, we’ve formed collaborative partnerships between industry and education to design products and services that help people adapt and respond to a rapidly changing world.

WHY COSTA RICA?

We have chosen Costa Rica as the first location for the Interaction Design Programme outside of Denmark because the country is home to a staggering 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity. This makes it the perfect place to focus on life-centred solutions. Our aim is to combine the potential of the most diverse ecology with thought leadership in design. We want to learn from and build upon progressive innovation including the fact that the region currently generates more than 99 percent of its electricity using renewable sources

WHY COSTA RICA?

We have chosen Costa Rica as the first location for the Interaction Design Programme outside of Denmark because the country is home to a staggering 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity. This makes it the perfect place to focus on life-centred solutions. Our aim is to combine the potential of the most diverse ecology with thought leadership in design. We want to learn from and build upon progressive innovation including the fact that the region currently generates more than 99 percent of its electricity using renewable sources

LIFE CENTRED DESIGN

Our world-renowned people-centered process will further evolve in to a life-centered focus to encompass not just people, but the environment we live in and the other organisms we share it with. Our vision is to be a global hub for innovation and an accelerator for sustainable solutions in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Read more about life centred design

Since its inception in 2006, CIID has developed networks, processes, and a mindset to create a positive impact in people’s lives through design. Our key approach to innovation has been to use empathy and co-creation to engage with the people whom the products and services we design are meant for. This process is based on prototyping those products and services as early as possible and continue iterating them based on the feedback of all the stakeholders involved. This results in a more considered approach to innovation, where real human needs guide the development of products, services, and technologies, rather than the other way around.

However, now we know that just focusing on creating value for people has come at a cost to the environment. Our next step is to develop a set of tools - and a mindset to be able to co-create both with people and the planet.

Though we have known this for a long time, a lack of data, rigid industrial production chains, and business models focused on financial growth have created an extraction economy based on exploitation of natural and human resources. Now, with a changing world and more widespread awareness, we are ready to tackle these global challenges and we believe that it is time for design to do its part.

LIFE CENTRED DESIGN

Our world-renowned people-centered process will further evolve in to a life-centered focus to encompass not just people, but the environment we live in and the other organisms we share it with. Our vision is to be a global hub for innovation and an accelerator for sustainable solutions in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Since its inception in 2006, CIID has developed networks, processes, and a mindset to create a positive impact in people’s lives through design. Our key approach to innovation has been to use empathy and co-creation to engage with the people whom the products and services we design are meant for. This process is based on prototyping those products and services as early as possible and continue iterating them based on the feedback of all the stakeholders involved. This results in a more considered approach to innovation, where real human needs guide the development of products, services, and technologies, rather than the other way around.

However, now we know that just focusing on creating value for people has come at a cost to the environment. Our next step is to develop a set of tools - and a mindset to be able to co-create both with people and the planet.

Though we have known this for a long time, a lack of data, rigid industrial production chains, and business models focused on financial growth have created an extraction economy based on exploitation of natural and human resources. Now, with a changing world and more widespread awareness, we are ready to tackle these global challenges and we believe that it is time for design to do its part.

LIFE IN
COSTA RICA

‘Pura Vida’ is the tropical equivalent of Danish ‘hygge’! It can mean hello, goodbye, everything's cool, same to you. No matter the context, it’s always positive and you'll hear everyone saying it everywhere.

LIFE IN COSTA RICA

‘Pura Vida’ is the tropical equivalent of Danish ‘hygge’! It can mean hello, goodbye, everything's cool, same to you. No matter the context, it’s always positive and you'll hear everyone saying it everywhere.

CIID Studio

The CIID Studio will be based in the neighborhood of Barrio Escalante.

We’re working directly with architects to create an amazing learning environment and we will publish some images of how it will look soon. It’s being designed specifically around the needs of our collaborative, hands-on approach education including the digital fabrication lab which is intrinsic to the work we do.

Barrio Escalante is one of the most interesting and popular neighborhoods amongst artists, musicians, tourists and students. Filled with dozens of restaurants, cafes, bakeries and bars within walking distance, it offers a unique experience to anyone who visits it. From art, music, and food, this guide will give you a good overview of what Escalante has to offer.

Read more about Barrio Escalante

Right next to Escalante is the neighborhood of Aranjuez which has increasingly gained its popularity for hosting one of the best farmer’s market in San José. Each Saturday you will find dozens of local farmers selling their organic produce, and offering a selection of exquisite breakfast options.

While the main CIID studio will be in San Jose, we plan to run one or more courses (possibly Designing with Biology, Machine Learning or Immersive Experiences) at the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) - Las Cruces’s biological research station. We believe it is the perfect location to prototype around life-centred design.

The OTS is a consortium of about 50 universities, colleges, and research institutions from seven countries on four continents whose purpose is to sustain the tropical ecosystems by driving scientific discovery and knowledge, by enriching human perception of nature and by enhancing worldwide policy actions in the tropics.

Las Cruces Research Station and the Wilson Botanical Garden protects one of the largest remaining fragments of tropical wet Forest in the Southern part of Costa Rica. It has one of the most important plant collections in Central America and it is a hub that brings together scientists, artists, outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers - and soon designers from CIID.

OTS Las Cruses Research Station

CIID Studio

The CIID Studio will be based in the neighborhood of Barrio Escalante.

We’re working directly with architects to create an amazing learning environment and we will publish some images of how it will look soon. It’s being designed specifically around the needs of our collaborative, hands-on approach education including the digital fabrication lab which is intrinsic to the work we do.

Barrio Escalante is one of the most interesting and popular neighborhoods amongst artists, musicians, tourists and students. Filled with dozens of restaurants, cafes, bakeries and bars within walking distance, it offers a unique experience to anyone who visits it. From art, music, and food, this guide will give you a good overview of what Escalante has to offer.

Right next to Escalante is the neighborhood of Aranjuez which has increasingly gained its popularity for hosting one of the best farmer’s market in San José. Each Saturday you will find dozens of local farmers selling their organic produce, and offering a selection of exquisite breakfast options.

While the main CIID studio will be in San Jose, we plan to run one or more courses (possibly Designing with Biology, Machine Learning or Immersive Experiences) at the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) - Las Cruces’s biological research station. We believe it is the perfect location to prototype around life-centred design.

The OTS is a consortium of about 50 universities, colleges, and research institutions from seven countries on four continents whose purpose is to sustain the tropical ecosystems by driving scientific discovery and knowledge, by enriching human perception of nature and by enhancing worldwide policy actions in the tropics.

Las Cruces Research Station and the Wilson Botanical Garden protects one of the largest remaining fragments of tropical wet Forest in the Southern part of Costa Rica. It has one of the most important plant collections in Central America and it is a hub that brings together scientists, artists, outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers - and soon designers from CIID.

OTS Las Cruses Research Station

A little about San José

  • 6000 international students

  • 1 million inhabitants

  • 28C Constant average temperature

  • 51% of the population speaks English

San Jose is technically in the middle of a tropical rainforest. Go outside the city for a few miles and you’ll soon encounter trees, and all those animals you’d expect to find in Costa Rica’s rainforests.

Read more about San José

Explore historic neighborhoods such as Barrio Amón, where colonial mansions have been converted into contemporary art galleries, and the area directly surrounding CIID - Barrio Escalante, which foodies consider to be the pinnacle of gastronomy. Explore the farmers market, and the country’s largest park - Parque La Sabana  There are a lot of bars to relax with friends over a coffee of beer, night owls can dance to live music at one of the city's vibrant clubs, or for a more sedate experience, visit the museums of gold, jade, art and natural history.

San Jose has a lot to offer. More information about the city and its offerings can be found on the Lonely Planet.

A little about San José

Explore historic neighborhoods such as Barrio Amón, where colonial mansions have been converted into contemporary art galleries, and the area directly surrounding CIID - Barrio Escalante, which foodies consider to be the pinnacle of gastronomy. Explore the farmers market, and the country’s largest park - Parque La Sabana  There are a lot of bars to relax with friends over a coffee of beer, night owls can dance to live music at one of the city's vibrant clubs, or for a more sedate experience, visit the museums of gold, jade, art and natural history.

San Jose has a lot to offer. More information about the city and its offerings can be found on the Lonely Planet.

  • 6000 international students

  • 1 million inhabitants

  • 28C Constant average temperature

  • 51% of the population speaks English

  • San Jose is technically in the middle of a tropical rainforest. Go outside the city for a few miles and you’ll soon encounter trees, and all those animals you’d expect to find in Costa Rica’s rainforests.

Living costs

Here is a rough budget for the cost of living in Costa Rica as an Interaction Design Programme participant. You can use the guidelines below to assess your expected monthly spend.

The information below is based on desktop research and statistics since it’s the first year we launch the education in Costa Rica.

There are some one-off costs at the start of the year, laptop, camera, insurance etc. so please take that into account if you don’t already have the required items.

Read more about living costs

  • A single person monthly costs is
    $800 without rent.

  • Cost of living index in San Jose is
    36.38% lower than in Copenhagen.

  • Cost of living rank 226th
    out of 447 cities in the world.

  • San Jose has a cost of living 
    index of 54.42.

On average, most people live comfortably on around $1500 - $2000 per month but that amount varies greatly from person-to-person according to lifestyle choices.

An apartment (1 bedroom) in San José will cost you around $1100 a month. You can rent a two-bedroom apartment outside of San José for around the same amount. A 2-3 bedroom apartment in the city in case people want to share would be approx. $350-$600 per person (these prices don’t include utilities).

CIID provides the materials and tools required for prototyping. You will also have $75 allocated per group, per class. Any extra material costs are optional and will be covered by you.

Regarding CIID studio/lab/workshop there is no cost to use any of the machines (laser cutter, 3D printer, bandsaw etc.).

Eating out can be inexpensive in San Jose. A dish from a typical soda will cost some $3–7. A cappuccino will cost you around $3 and a Coke/Pepsi around $2. Beer $3.5 (local, mid range bar). If you enjoy home-cooked meals, the best deals on fresh produce can obviously be found at the local farmer’s markets. Supermarkets are widely popular, but also more pricey.

Uber is used pretty widely around the city and there are buses. One way ticket bus costs $0.5

Most students manage to keep this low by using whatsapp, Skype or Google hangouts to communicate with friends/family. Monthly cost estimated around $20. (This is an example of a phone plan: $20 a month for 150 sms to any network in CR, 5GB capacity, 12 Mbps speed with 4G navigation. Free whatsapp)

Living costs

Here is a rough budget for the cost of living in Costa Rica as an Interaction Design Programme participant. You can use the guidelines below to assess your expected monthly spend.

The information below is based on desktop research and statistics since it’s the first year we launch the education in Costa Rica.

There are some one-off costs at the start of the year, laptop, camera, insurance etc. so please take that into account if you don’t already have the required items.

  • A single person monthly costs is $800 without rent.

  • Cost of living index in San Jose is 36.38% lower than in Copenhagen.

  • Cost of living rank 226th out of 447 cities in the world.

  • San Jose has a cost of living index of 54.42.

  • On average, most people live comfortably on around $1500 - $2000 per month but that amount varies greatly from person-to-person according to lifestyle choices.

Housing

An apartment (1 bedroom) in San José will cost you around $1100 a month. You can rent a two-bedroom apartment outside of San José for around the same amount. A 2-3 bedroom apartment in the city in case people want to share would be approx. $350-$600 per person (these prices don’t include utilities).

Mobile Phone

Most students manage to keep this low by using whatsapp, Skype or Google hangouts to communicate with friends/family. Monthly cost estimated around $20. (This is an example of a phone plan: $20 a month for 150 sms to any network in CR, 5GB capacity, 12 Mbps speed with 4G navigation. Free whatsapp)

Socialising

Eating out can be inexpensive in San Jose. A dish from a typical soda will cost some $3–7. A cappuccino will cost you around $3 and a Coke/Pepsi around $2. Beer $3.5 (local, mid range bar). If you enjoy home-cooked meals, the best deals on fresh produce can obviously be found at the local farmer’s markets. Supermarkets are widely popular, but also more pricey.

Books, Tools and Materials

CIID provides the materials and tools required for prototyping. You will also have $75 allocated per group, per class. Any extra material costs are optional and will be covered by you.

CIID Studio & Lab Access

Regarding CIID studio/lab/workshop there is no cost to use any of the machines (laser cutter, 3D printer, bandsaw etc.).

Getting around

Uber is used pretty widely around the city and there are buses. One way ticket bus costs $0.5

A little about
Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica has a population of 4.906 million and Greater San José has over one million inhabitants.

  • The country abolished its army in 1948 and today reinvests that money in welfare and education.

  • 13,000 expats live in Costa Rica.

  • Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “Ticos” (males) and “Ticas” (females)

  • Costa Rica has its own currency (the Colon) but many stores list prices in terms of US$.

  • Monkeys are one of the most common mammals in Costa Rica – next to bats. The four common species are the Howler, Spider, White-Faced and Squirrel.

  • The life expectancy is almost 77 years, one of the highest in the world. Costa Rica is considered to be a “Blue Zone” - a region of the world where people commonly live past the age of 100 years.

  • 170 days of rain - the same as Denmark!

A little about Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica has a population of 4.906 million and Greater San José has over one million inhabitants.

  • The country abolished its army in 1948 and today reinvests that money in welfare and education.

  • 13,000 expats live in Costa Rica.

  • Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “Ticos” (males) and “Ticas” (females)

  • Costa Rica has its own currency (the Colon) but many stores list prices in terms of US$.

  • Monkeys are one of the most common mammals in Costa Rica – next to bats. The four common species are the Howler, Spider, White-Faced and Squirrel.

  • The life expectancy is almost 77 years, one of the highest in the world. Costa Rica is considered to be a “Blue Zone” - a region of the world where people commonly live past the age of 100 years.

  • 170 days of rain - the same as Denmark!

Is it safe?

Costa Rica is largely a safe country. However, petty crimes (bag snatchings, pickpockets, car break-ins) do happen. Compared to its Central American neighbours it is the safest. Nonetheless, being vigilant and listening to your gut will go a long way when avoiding danger.

Scores 43 on the Safety Index (similar to Paris or London)

Scores a ‘high’ of 33 on the Peace Index (higher than the UK, Italy, and USA)

We recommend that you follow some basic guidelines:
  • Avoid walking alone at night,
    take an Uber or a cab

  • Don’t leave your bags unattended, hanging on the backs of chairs
    or inside a parked car

  • Avoid wearing expensive accessories

  • If in doubt, ask CIID staff for advice if you have concerns about where to go and what would be the best way to get there.

Is it safe?

Costa Rica is largely a safe country. However, petty crimes (bag snatchings, pickpockets, car break-ins) do happen. Compared to its Central American neighbours it is the safest. Nonetheless, being vigilant and listening to your gut will go a long way when avoiding danger.

Scores 43 on the Safety Index (similar to Paris or London)

Scores a ‘high’ of 33 on the Peace Index (higher than the UK, Italy, and USA)

  • We recommend that you follow some basic guidelines:
  • Avoid walking alone at night, take an Uber or a cab

  • Don’t leave your bags unattended, hanging on the backs of chairs or inside a parked car

  • Avoid wearing expensive accessories

  • If in doubt, ask CIID staff for advice if you have concerns about where to go and what would be the best way to get there.

GET IN TOUCH

Apply for IDP in Costa Rica