Global design publication Core77 honors 3 CIID projects in its 2020 Design Awards

Friday, 19th Jun 2020

From an interactive exhibition about the future of energy to a service designed to support caregivers’ emotional well-being, the three CIID projects recognized in the 2020 Core77 Design Awards convey the breadth and impact of our work. Below, a deeper look at each project.

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Escaping the Strange Loop
Runner Up, Speculative Design Award
Notable, Strategy & Research Award
Notable, Design for Social Impact Award

CIID Team: Annelie Berner, Cyrus Clarke, Peter Kuhberg, Calle Nordenskjöld, Raffaella Róvida, Monika Seyfried, Joshua Walton


Embrace complex futures. Make data tangible. Uncover diverse futures. Explore deep time. These were the key principles of the design process behind Escaping the Strange Loop, a traveling exhibition about the future of energy that was created as part of EUROfusion—a consortium of national fusion energy research institutes in the European Union and Switzerland.

Designed for three visitors at a time, the exhibition is an immersive, participatory experience that showcases diverse scenarios about the role of energy in near and far futures by exploring its unpredictable impacts on real-life problems. Participants learn about different kinds of futures they could create through their group decision-making by moving through various scales of impact in multiple missions, each representing a different level of society and timespan. After experiencing each mission, the participants discuss and decide which path they will continue to follow. Their decisions are fed into the system, which outputs custom stories (told through videos, objects, and sculptures) according to the team’s trajectory through time. At the end of their missions, participants observe the results of their choices and reflect on how they impacted the world. Once they leave the game space, the players can access a website that shows the many possible journeys they could have taken and welcomes their input.

The goal of the CIID team was to concept and prototype an interactive, transmedia, participatory game that would allow for exploring a tree of possibilities of the future by moving through the physical space of the installation. Each participant plays a different role, learning about and challenging one another’s preconceived ideas or opinions about the impacts of energy, sparking a lively discussion throughout the experience. The spatial design was inspired by the feeling of being stuck in a strange loop. Visitors navigated through time scales and societal levels while moving in a circular path around the room in a meditative, reflective way.

“This was a great example of an immersive experiential future that gives some agency to the audience.”
—Robert Bolton, Foresight Strategist at From Later and Core77 Jury Member

Vote for this project in the Community Choice Prize until July 7:



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The Ethical Stack
Runner Up, Strategy & Research Award
Notable, Design for Social Impact Award

CIID Team: Annelie Berner, Francesca Desmarais, Blair Johnsrude, Peter Kuhberg, Calle Nordenskjöld, Raffaella Rovida, Monika Seyfried


It’s not easy to “be ethical”—and even harder when it comes to new technology, which when embedded in consumer products has deeply complex political, social, environmental, and legal impacts.

Created as part of the collaborative project VIRT-EU, the Ethical Stack is an interactive website and service designed to guide creators of new technology through a series of exercises to practice their ethics in their product development. It supports creators of new technology to prepare for and reflect upon the unpredictable ethical and social impacts their product may have. 

Participants begin by making an overview of their product’s layered impacts and aligning with their team about shared ethical values and vision. They then connect the materials of their product with these values and are prompted to consider and re-think the social and ethical impacts of their product. The Ethical Stack gives feedback in the form of ethical challenges in relation to the product’s values and materials. Finally, participants can try out a variety of paper-based tools (built through co-creation and iterative design) to further understand the ethical challenges and address them in a practical way.

The Ethical Stack allows for an ethical evolution over time, pushing participants to question “flat” values that are not attached to actual product choices. It gives feedback as participants progress, with targeted critiques of each value’s connection to its materials. The feedback, accompanied with scenarios of conflicts, helps simulate issues before they may actually arise. Through the accompanying paper-based tools, participants are able to rethink their technologies and guide them through alternate decision-making processes.

“The research methodology was very thorough and impressive, but so is the result—not only a web platform but talks, workshops, and other touchpoints.”
—Maria Silva Mora, Brand Strategist at Mucca Design and Core77 Jury Member

Vote for this project in the Community Choice Prize until July 7:




Student Runner Up, Service Design Award

Honoree: PJ Teh

Aging is a demographic trend affecting many countries across the world. In rapidly aging societies such as Denmark, the demands on institutional caregivers of elders will increase, worsening the stress of an already-demanding job in a talent-crunched profession. This is reflected in the high annual turnover rates for professional caregivers of the elderly. Caregiver burnout also causes a loss of empathy, which in turn creates downstream problems of “bad elderly behavior.”

How might we help institutional carers of the elderly in Copenhagen to maintain their empathy & energy to care for 5, 10, 20 years? 

The solution strategy behind Stille is to recharge the energy and empathy of the caregiver by appreciation and gratitude (which are positive expressions of empathy), either through individual mechanisms of care, mindfulness, and reflection, or through appreciating their co-workers. The positive empathy would then cascade through the eldercare institution. 

Co-worker Care Module

This module allows co-workers to boost each other’s morale through audio messages of verbal appreciation, systematizing the current ad-hoc emotional support they get. Subtly, it also shifts the co-worker’s mindset from one of fault-finding to that of gratitude, which also helps them be more mindful of the positive than the negative. This service module is delivered digitally via a mobile app, allowing co-workers to record and send audio messages after their shifts.

Self-Care Module

This module supports caregivers’ self-care by allowing them to reflect individually. The module allows caregivers to view their recent moods and microbreaks history with a dashboard; track their moods; reflect on prompt questions, curated to help them process their emotions (based on their moods); and record an audio journal.

Microbreak Station Module

This module augments the caregivers’ existing rest areas in the nursing home, with a “phygital” vibrating “chestnut”* that helps take their mind away from their stress. It is activated by the caregiver surrendering their phone to the station, and by picking up the “chestnut”; this also logs the microbreak in the dashboard.

Core Design Principles

  • Address the stress: create a break.
  • Focus on the emotional, not the physical.
  • Reinforce social bonds and support among co-workers. 
  • Tactile interactions to calm and soothe.
  • Non-written reflection mechanism. 

Vote for this project in the Community Choice Prize until July 7:


Digital Learning Launches Summer 2020!

Thursday, 14th May 2020

CIID Summer School goes online

Tuesday, 31st Mar 2020


We’re excited to announce the first digital edition of CIID Summer School—a remote learning experience designed for peer-to-peer learning and live collaboration.

Join us April 20–May 1 at GMT-6 for our highly interactive online workshops on Design Thinking, Design Across Biological Scales, and Designing for Behaviour & Impact.

Enrol here.

A Note to the CIID Community

Tuesday, 17th Mar 2020



Like any responsible organisation, CIID’s first priority is to ensure the health and safety of its team, students, and faculty. But as an entity whose purpose centers on building positive social impact and finding solutions to critical global challenges, we believe our actions must reflect our duty to the greater good of society. It is this principle that informs our decision to run all our work remotely: Our full-time team is adapting to smart working, while we are shifting all our educational programmes to a remote learning format. We plan to return to an in-classroom experience as soon as it is safe enough, based on the guidelines from government authorities. We will evaluate this decision and its execution at multiple stages, with input from students, faculty, staff, and all the stakeholders.

While there are still so many unknowns about the global coronavirus pandemic, the data from numerous countries around the world is indisputable: Social distancing, particularly when adopted as early as possible, can dramatically slow the exponential spread of the virus through a population. Our responsibility is clear—not only to our students, faculty, and staff, but also to society at large. We must play our part in protecting the most vulnerable among us by following government guidelines to avoid gathering in groups and to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from the general public.

We hope you will join us in creating new ways of learning and collaborating online. We thank you for your patience and send you wishes of good health.

IDP 2020 in Costa Rica

Friday, 21st Feb 2020

IDP 2020 in Costa Rica

The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design amplifies Costa Rica’s reputation as a global laboratory for life-centred innovation and marks a significant investment in the country’s human capital.

The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design has chosen Costa Rica for its first permanent expansion outside Europe and the new location for its acclaimed Interaction Design Programme, chosen by Business Insider as one of the world’s leading design educations.

The presence of CIID will bolster Costa Rica’s growing reputation as a center of disruptive innovation in Latin America, in conjunction with its rapid economic development and its status as a world leader in progressive environmental policies. The country of 5.05 million inhabitants was recently named a 2019 Champion of the Earth, the United Nations’ highest environmental honour, for its bold plan to decarbonise its economy by 2050.

“We are excited to bring our Interaction Design Programme and valued global network to Costa Rica, a country with enormous talent and interesting challenges to work on,” says Simona Maschi, CEO and co-founder of CIID. “Our vision for CIID in Costa Rica is to create a living lab of sustainable solutions and opportunities to practice life-centred design and innovation, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

The founding partner for CIID’s expansion in Costa Rica is The Costa Rican USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA). As part of its strategic plan to develop the country’s human capital and invest in its communities, CRUSA is partnering with CIID on a multiyear scholarship initiative for Costa Rican citizens applying to the institute’s Interaction Design Programme, as well as CIID’s short-term training modules, a continuing-education platform that is offered throughout the year. Two successful editions of CIID Summer School held in Costa Rica in 2018 and 2019 provided the springboard for the institute to implement a full-scale launch in the country.

“We are very happy to be founding partners of the establishment of a permanent Costa Rican presence for CIID,” says David Gutierrez, Chairman of the Board of the CRUSA Foundation. “This project represents a milestone in our scholarship programs and strengthens our support for the formation of Costa Rican human talent, especially in the development of innovative skills and abilities in harmony with the environment, an aspect that is fundamental for competitiveness in the era of the fourth industrial revolution.”

CIID’s 12-month Interaction Design Programme (IDP), which began in Copenhagen in 2008 and has galvanised the careers of numerous prominent design, technology, and innovation professionals, will be based for most of the year at the institute’s new studio in the Costa Rican capital of San José. The studio, housed in a historic building in Barrio Escalante that was the site of the 1948 Pacto Ulate-Figueres (Ulate-Figueres Pact), is being reimagined by global design firm Gensler and features dedicated space for workshops and community events, as well as a state-of-the-art digital fabrication lab. The vision for the studio is to serve as a hub for individuals from around the world who share a passion for learning and practicing skills, tools, and methods in the context of interaction and service design.

For part of the year, the programme will take place at Las Cruces Research Station run by the Organization of Tropical Studies, a context in which life-centred design takes on particular urgency and relevance.

With its expansion to Costa Rica, CIID has an opportunity to move from a human-centred approach to interaction design to a life-centred one. Interaction design applies a cross-disciplinary approach to the creation of products, systems, and services based on prototyping and learning by doing.

“A society should have the capacity to imagine futures that do not yet exist,” says Luis Javier Castro, president of leading private equity firm Mesoamerica and a key partner to CIID’s expansion in the region. “The presence of CIID in Costa Rica gives us a great opportunity for a mindshift.”

Founding partner CRUSA, a private independent nonprofit organisation, supports projects within its strategic area of focus while also furthering long-term initiatives, partnerships, and cooperation networks. Over the past 23 years, it has donated more than $70 million in Costa Rica with the goal of supporting the country’s sustainable development and an improved quality of life for its citizens. The CRUSA-CIID partnership aims to boost education in strategic areas within the fourth industrial revolution—design, innovation, technology, and fields in the “orange” or creative economy, which are widely considered to be the jobs of the future. Other aspects of the partnership include the funding of industry projects with local organisations, further positioning Costa Rica as a hub for sustainable solutions that build positive impact toward the UN SDGs.

Support for CIID’s expansion also comes from the Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), a private nonprofit organisation whose mission is to bring foreign direct investment to the country, and the Alianza Empresarial para el Desarrollo (AED), a group of more than 140 businesses formed to promote sustainable business development in Costa Rica.

The presence of CIID in Costa Rica is particularly timely given the institute’s alignment with the country’s key priorities and its growing reputation on the world stage. In October 2019, the Costa Rican Ministry of Technology announced an action plan to promote the development of new technology-based companies and strengthen the capacities of national incubators. And in 2020, the Interaction Design Association—a global network of more than 100,000 members—will hold its Latin American conference in San José, further spotlighting the country as a rising leader in design and innovation.

CIID is coming to Japan!

Thursday, 3rd Oct 2019

Postcard SS-TYO 2020

Transformation. It’s not just a trendy buzzword; it’s the result of a growth mindset and a capacity for lifelong learning. At CIID, transformation is at the core of our participants’ experiences.

Join us this February in Tokyo and be the catalyst for creating the change you seek in your own life and career.

This is the premise of CIID Summer School: Give people with varying levels of design expertise the tools and skills needed to prototype new ideas for a fast-changing world. Our curated workshops on life-centred design and innovation, led by world-renowned faculty, focus on making impact toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Hands-on learning and collaboration are central to the curriculum. Workshops are taught by professionals who practice their craft daily. Participants come from all around the world and from all walks of life—chefs and bankers, students and pharmacists—to learn everything from life-centred research to how to control objects using Arduino.

At the end of the programme, participants head home with much more than increased insight into user needs or the knowledge of how to prototype a new service. They come back with a deeper understanding of how to work differently—the ability to make a difference.

“There were things I learned that changed my career and my life,” says one recent participant. “Had I not joined CIID Summer School, it would not have been possible.”

Enrol in our upcoming Summer School workshops here.

Want to be part of our success in Tokyo? Get in touch:

CIID @TechFestival

Thursday, 22nd Aug 2019

Unforeseeable Futures, Ethics and New Technologies

Join us in this session to create a space and a structure for people to talk with one another about ethics, and to share practical viewpoints on ethics as it relates to new connected technology.

We aim to enable our participants to question assumptions of what ethics means and how it relates to their life and work and to share our work on project VIRTEU. It combines research and design in new technology and ethics, as well as our project’s framework for thinking about ethics in relation to building new technology. For example, the use of futurescaping to imagine unpredictable impacts.

Saturday, Sep 7
13:00 — 15:00

Meatpacking District

Interaction Design Programme in Costa Rica

Thursday, 1st Aug 2019

We have chosen Costa Rica as the first location for our 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.

It’s effectively the same programme we run in Copenhagen: same faculty, same network – different context.

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.

The CIID Studio will be based in the neighborhood of Barrio Escalante and we’re working directly with architects at Gensler to create an amazing learning environment. 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.

Find out more about the programme and apply here:

Webinar – IDP in Costa Rica (Aug 1st)

Thursday, 1st Aug 2019


Alie Rose, Head of Education at CIID – will be doing a webinar (on Aug 1st) and answering questions about our full-time, one year Interaction Design Programme due to start in Costa Rica in February.

We’re really excited about the prospect of CIID landing in San Jose and we’re looking for amazing group of multi-disciplinary, international people to join us.

If you’re interested in finding out more, sign-up here and we’ll see you on zoom.

IDP in Costa Rica from CIID IDP on Vimeo.


Friday, 5th Apr 2019



Transformations in design practice between the Dotcom Crash and the rise of machine intelligence.

As technology becomes more complex and opaque, how will we as designers understand its potential, do hands-on work, translate it into forms people can understand and use, and lead meaningful conversations with manufacturers and policymakers about its downstream implications? We are entering a new technology landscape shaped by artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and synthetic biology.

Historically, design has transformed and generated new disciplines during times of fast technological change. Through conversations led by Tellart, this project explores and documents transformations in design between the Dotcom Crash and the rise of machine intelligence. Through reflections on key projects from this period and interviews with a community of today’s top design practitioners, Design Nonfiction explores the future of design practice. It emphasises the timeless need to make the invisible visible and the immaterial tangible, in order to sketch and build with emerging technologies.

CIID’s Simona Maschi is one of the amazing group of people interviewed for this series. Tellart will initially release 7 interviews: Kevin Slavin, and then Rory Hyde, Daisy Ginsberg, Molly Steenson, Casey Reas, Aaron Koblin and Matt Jones.

These will go live when they have a launch event at MU in Eindhoven on 18 April. The launch party will have Jack Schulze, Daisy Ginsberg, Tea Uglow, Zaza Zuilhof and Matt Cottam giving short presentations followed by an hour of panel discussion moderated by Rory Hyde. Please join if you can!

There will then be 3-4 more interviews per month all year — people can subscribe at to receive them for free, each month (all CC license).


Exhibition runs 22 March – 22 April

Launch Event is 18 April, 2019
arrive at 19:30
Introduction/Presentations/Panel: 20:00
Drinks: 22:30


MU artspace
Torenallee 40-06
5617 BD Eindhoven
The Netherlands