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University of Colorado Denver

Study Abroad/Global Education

Scandinavian by Design

Summer 2014

Perhaps more so than in any other region, the practice of design in Scandinavia is deeply embedded in the cultural identity of the place. Innovative design in Scandinavia is a highly valued part of daily life, persisting ingeniously in the most commonplace of conditions. Design is apparent in every facet of their culture—from print media to city planning. Our current digital era has propelled Scandinavian art and design into the homogeneous stream of the global image—yet it remains a model to emulate. Scandinavian design culture and practice is dedicated to design that can improve the quality of life both locally and globally and is based on the participatory (collaborative) design model. The participatory design model that asks that designers, architects, scientists, businesses, government and social institutions, collaborate and co-design with local and global communities to solve human need design problems.


Through intensive participatory workshops, study tours, studio visits and lectures this class examines the advantages of interdisciplinary community-based collaboration. Students are expected to use multiple modes of inquiry to expand individual and group knowledge base. The class also examines the complexities and challenges of cross disciple collaborations including multiple professional agendas, collision of discipline, political and business establishments and the needs of the community.

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Costs and dates tentative and subject to change.

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