An icon of the Anthropocene, shaped under the weight of human impact

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By Vittoria Casanova

With the work-from-home policy still in place in many countries, I took the chance to spend a few weeks in my homeland; in a city that I always admired from afar and dreamed about living in: Venice.

I’ve been here for just two weeks, and every time I go outside my apartment, I’m mesmerised by the decadent and fascinating beauty I see everywhere. Since Covid-19 restrictions in Italy are still quite strict, one of the most iconic destinations and most emblematic cases of over-tourism has almost no guests from abroad or other Italian regions.

These days, just…

Why jumpstarting creativity is essential in a world full of change

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Image: Bernie Almanzar

By Christine Niewöhner, Senior Project Manager at Siemens Stiftung

Every day, we’re confronted with the challenges and rapid changes that have come to define our world.

Disruptive technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and algorithms are already encroaching on our lives and will have a huge impact on the job market of tomorrow. The effects of climate change and the depletion of natural resources require immediate action and adaptation. Add the pandemic to the mix, and we’re confronted by new detriments to our health systems, economies, societies, and political and education systems.

It can feel overwhelming, if not downright…

How are designers helping smooth our transition from young confused adults to (even more) confused newborn mothers?

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By Pernille Brun Andersen

Dear reader,

When you read this, I will no longer be at Index but will have gone into maternity leave. With a cheesy brain (forgot my keys and locked myself out twice this week) and an aching, heavy body, my mind has started to prepare for this big change of life and the baby that I’m somehow supposed to keep alive. Many questions and emotions pop up. What kind of mother will I become? Who is that person inside my belly? What is an enema? …

How nature helped the human world innovate

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Image: Kris Mikael Krister

By Simone Søgaard Jacobsen

If you’ve watched documentaries such as ‘A Life On Our Planet’ or ‘My Octopus Teacher’, I would assume it made some sort of impression on you. Yes, pathos was high, but the truth is both David Attenborough and Craig Foster report on a beautiful reality only a few of us have had the fortune of experiencing.

I’m of course referring to the overwhelmingly fascinating natural world, the place where it all began, even before human beings came to be. …

Solving overwhelming tasks from the backseat of a car

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Image: Moheb Anwari

By Abelone Varming, CEO of Design denmark

“I’m happy; I don’t have to build a crane”. The statement comes from my 17-year-old daughter, from the back seat of our car. It’s autumn, and we’re on our way to Helsingborg in Sweden on holiday. We pass a construction site, where an in-progress office complex is materialising by the waterfront. At this moment, nothing could be more distant from this poetic soul than having to build a crane. Fair enough.

But I’m quiet for a while. I wish for my daughter and all youth that they’ll continue to believe they can do…

Why knowing your colleagues, clients or stakeholders is only half of the equation

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By Liza Chong

In the past few weeks, months, years we’ve been building up our investment funds and growing our capacity as investors — in this process we’ve learnt new terminology, regulations, and industry best practice to understand what framework we’re working within.

As part of getting to know our investors and our founders, the process entails a lengthy ‘KYC procedure’ (kay-why-cee stands for “Know Your Client” ). It’s got me thinking about how this might correlate to a personal leadership checklist because is it always about your customer? Can it be other things that guide us personally and professionally?

Why breaking the “paradigm of specialisations” is creating a better generation of designers

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By Laura Novik, Professor in Marketing & Communication at Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina.

Since its origins, Latin American design schools have developed a tradition strongly dependent on European models. Particularly the Ulm School of Design and Bauhaus School in Germany has served as inspirations.

But by the beginning of the new millennium, design transitioned into a new phase. Sparked by the successive crisis in society, it became — along with other disciplines — an instrument of social, cultural, environmental, technological and political learning.

This new context led to the emergence of hybrid design careers, where specialisation wasn’t the…

Becoming aware of your personal space can spark change

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Image: João Jesus

By Lise Damsager Hansen

In our latest blog post, Jana Rudnik describes how “our political, working and private lives are again starting to be concentrated mainly within our own four walls.” This will very likely be the situation on and off in the coming years with the pandemic forcing us to stay in our home and expand its functionality. It’s shaping our personal lives in various positive and negative ways.

For the lucky few, who can work remotely and pursue tasks from home, our home is also our office. For the unlucky ones who got fired, forced into retirement or…

As the season change descends upon us, how can we prepare ourselves for new challenges?

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By Jana Rudnik

As we’re still doing our best to soak up the sunshine in Copenhagen, the misty bike rides to work in the morning indicate that we’re rapidly approaching fall. In Denmark, for those who are unaware, this largely means darkness.

In any year, staying upbeat at this time of year is a challenge, in 2020 it’ll take some extra work and dedication. We all have our personal ways to navigate in times of crisis of any sort, but collectively sharing the experiences of the past months have made some coping mechanisms stand out. …

Why we all need to regain our childlike curiosity

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Image: Bantersnaps

By Billy Maddocks & Luke Jermy, Founders of Elsewhere

Putting people first has been the mantra of human-centred design since the 1990s, long before many of us at Elsewhere were old enough to understand it. Now we completely subscribe to its values: It’s essential to involve the human perspective in all steps of any problem-solving process.

Before Elsewhere began, we helped bring a human perspective to all types of businesses. Our overwhelming experience was that human-centred design is applied to a business at the product/service level, long after the business model has been defined. This can lead to a retrofitting…

The Index Project

We celebrate people, from far and wide, who use design to change the world. We call it #designtoimprovelife

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