My name is
Vanessa Julia Carpenter.
For me, design is

meaningfulness —

Founder & Design Researcher, PhD, Kintsugi Design


Design is about understanding how we impact others, both people and planet. It can be a catalyst for critical thinking about purpose, identity, relationships and time. I developed a methodology called “Designing for Meaningfulness” which examines these values, because I believe that if we develop as individuals, we can identify our values, and work together to have a greater positive impact on the planet.

As a founder at Kintsugi Design, I prototype emerging technologies and design how people interact with technology in their lives, and in their futures. We embrace the philosophy of kintsugi, the Japanese traditional craft of repairing broken ceramic with precious metals, whereby the resulting piece is more precious due to its imperfections. This metaphor applies to design, we seek to understand the imperfections and using thoughtful measures, aim to create something worth keeping.

Before moving here from Canada, I associated Denmark with furniture design or architecture. After a decade in Denmark and becoming a Danish citizen, I think Danish design is unique because we think about things holistically; we have the luxury of free education so we can learn and digest what we’re educated in, and we have a high quality of life so we can truly take time to think about the impact of design.

In my perspective, this is our advantage, and as Danish Designers, there is so much we can bring to, and learn from the world; gaining an even greater global perspective on design and what it means to design in places that don’t have the same opportunities or contexts as us.

Vanessa Julia Carpenter is Founder and Interaction Design Researcher at Kintsugi Design. PhD in Designing for Meaningfulness in Future Smart Products (Aalborg University). Jury member, Danish Design Awards. Founder of the Nordic Women in Hardware Network. Writer at Artist at illutron. Board member. External Lecturer.