My name is
Lene Tanggaard.
For me, design is

action —

Design is present everywhere in my everyday life. I’m rector of Design School Kolding where we have the ambition to become Denmark’s leading design university. So not a day goes by that I don’t talk about design. I’m also very privileged to be surrounded by tomorrow’s design talents, which is stimulating and makes me hopeful about the future.

Design is about formgiving with emphasis on aesthetics and function. Traditionally formgiving relates to products, but today it also relates to services and processes, which can make public and private organisations and companies more well-functioning, more beautiful and more innovative and creative. Design is a highly practical and at the same time visual discipline, and it is especially the ability to address specific problems and make visualisations, which designers can apply to a multitude of contexts.

As rector of Design School Kolding design is a world that keeps revealing itself to me. There is so much unresolved potential in design to help make the world a better and more beautiful place. I believe design can help teach us to fall in love with the world all over again, and that’s what design means to me. Every day.


Design is Denmark’s trademark. It’s our history, our culture and our way of being in the world. Design promotes democracy, equality and so it holds some of the values that we like to boast of to the world around us. Designers are trained to consider human needs and contexts and to create everyday aesthetics in a train station. Design means something in people’s lives every day, in Denmark and in the world, and we will see an increasing global demand for the qualities of life that design represents.


Design is fundamental to the transformation that the world is going through. For instance, design plays a key role in 80 % of all decisions regarding sustainability. Design can create better, more functional and aesthetic solutions to some of our most important problems, and design can point to new practices where we currently lack the imagination and creativity to envision the world differently.

The design talents we have now will challenge our current perceptions of design. Based on that I believe we will see design really moving into areas where we didn’t used to think design would be of relevance. At the same time we will see a closer connection between craftsmanship and design, qua regionalization, the sustainability agenda and how we question the pace of the modern world. In the future we will have a broader and more fragmented understanding of design, which, if we go about it wisely, can ultimately strengthen the field of design.

  • Rector Design School Kolding
  • MSc in Psychology, PhD and Professor since 2008
  • Author of more than 30 books and a large number of research papers
  • Speaker and board member at Gyldendal publishing house, Danish Design Centre, and Lifestyle & Design Cluster, among others