KADK seeks to help achieve the UN's global goals - and drive growth in the sustainable design sector

Cooperation and business

KADK will devote the next three years to developing design and architecture that can contribute to a more sustainable world. In collaboration with Mandag Morgen Sustainia, KADK intends to show how the UN global goals can be realised in practice, whilst creating the basis for a new era of growth within Danish design driven by innovative solutions that respond to national and global problems. 

The demand for sustainable solutions is growing throughout the world, and architects and designers possess the creative and innovative skills needed to accommodate this trend. That is why KADK is leading the way in Denmark and devoting the next three years to developing innovative ideas for a better world.  

A collaboration with Sustainia Living

The initiative came about as a result of close collaboration with Mandag Morgen’s green innovation centre, Sustainia. The project will be launched under the joint title of Sustainia Living.

For KADK, this is the next step:
“Given our responsibility for the education of future generations of architects and designers, we feel compelled to ensure our graduates are equipped with the competencies to contribute to a more sustainable world. KADK aims to be a laboratory for the development of new, sustainable solutions and products. Hopefully, we can thereby also inspire the business community. That is why we are also aiming at closer interaction with interested companies to create discussion and collaboration for new solutions and opportunities,” says the Rector of KADK, Lene Dammand Lund. 

The UN Global Goals chart the course
KADK’s students are already working on projects that relate directly to the UN’s global goals, when they develop designs and architecture, which, for example, can enhance health and welfare, create sustainable urban development and reduce pollution.     

One example is ‘Chemo To Go’: a specially designed bag, complete with chemotherapy solution, pump and catheter, which makes cancer patients more mobile and thus enhances their welfare and health. The streamlined design of the ‘Elmo Electric Moped’ appeals to style-conscious, green consumers and paves the way for less contaminating transport. A ‘sustainable brick’ has also been developed. Based on sand from China’s Gobi desert, it can be used as an alternative to the environmentally unfriendly concrete buildings in the region. 

“For us, by focusing jointly on the UN’s global goals, we can refine and systematise this work and show how our academic programmes are able to produce specific solutions to create sustainable societies,” says Lene Dammand Lund. 

Isabel Aagaard og Rie Maktabi: 'Chemo to go', 2016
Kasper Jensen: 'ELMO', 2016
Gabriele Selmistraityte: Brick made of desert sand and a natural binder, 2016

A world of potential growth
As well as coming up with creative solutions for the 17 global goals, the Academy’s initiative also paves the way for exciting growth opportunities. This is the opinion of Erik Rasmussen, CEO of Mandag Morgen:

“Denmark is already known for its green way of thinking and as the happiest country in the world. So there’s no doubt that our take on a healthy lifestyle - how our day-to-day consumption and actions can build the sustainable society of tomorrow - will attract international attention. This opens an exciting window of opportunity for Danish companies.”

The new sustainable solutions, strategies and products will later be presented and expressed on a digital platform, constructed as a global marketplace for the best solutions for a sustainable lifestyle, and to global and climatic challenges.


This is how KADK will tackle the UN’s global goals:

  • Between 2016 and 2019, all degree projects in the architecture and design programmes will relate to the global goals. This will also contribute to closer dialogue across institutes and disciplines at KADK.
  • Workshops and activities across KADK to support the students’ work on relating their projects to the UN’s global goals.
  • During 2016 and 2017, we expect 150 degree projects to focus on the 17 global goals.
  • We will establish a digital platform, where new sustainable solutions, strategies and products can be presented, paving the way for collaboration with businesses and industries.

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