RSDL: Kolding Design Camp 2014

For my RSDL week, I attended the Kolding Design Camp held annually at the Design School there. Each year they invite thirty Masters students from around the world to attend the camp. I was nominated for the scholarship and thus attended this prestigious camp.

The Design School Kolding International DesignCamp is an annual, recurring event. For two weeks the Camp joins Danish and international students, companies, designers, researchers and others with an interest in design in addressing a current challenge that relates to society.

DesignCamp2014 is a two-week camp for invited students from all over the world. They encounter a number of companies that have accepted an invitation to engage in a close collaboration with groups of students. After two intense weeks the students present qualified proposals for what types of welfare products and solutions the companies should consider pursuing. StudentCamp ends with a presentation that is open to the public.

The Design Camp is one of several key points of areas of improvement but overall had the most fantastic opportunity available.


Over the ensuing two weeks of long days & nights, amazing food, organisation to the minute and projects that were completed in the last minute. It was an experience that I will never forget.


The two weeks consisted of 9 days of project work as we progressed our way through Cordy Swope's innovation thinking methodologies. The one day in the first week was a day of conferences that were wide and diverse, these presentations were all around the subject area of the Design Camp. Welfare was our topic of conversation and this was coupled with "side-stepping". We were helping 10 different companies take their core beliefs and transfer them into the aged care industry.

Cordy Swope is an ex-IDEO design thinking specialist and innovation strategy thinker. There were 59 students from around the world, 29 from different countries and 30 from the Kolding Design School. It was an amazing opportunity to network and discover other people's ways of thinking about design and how their ways of thinking differed from my own perspective. Coming from uLab with Joanne Jakovich, both Baptiste and I had experience with interdisciplinary teams and tight deadlines, but it was different for me to do it across 2 weeks instead of the usual 1 week which I was used to. This difference was an exciting opportunity to discover as it placed more pressure for the final products to be well thought out and finished.

The areas of improvement in the future should be the creation of the groups. The groups were apparently split and divided as to divide all the students equally so that we were not placed in groups with people that we knew or had worked with before nor should we be in groups with others with the same skill sets. This however was not the case in my group. I was in a group with three other Danish students, all three were girls who all do Visual communication. The entire time we were trying to come up with ideas or solutions for the project we as a collective group could not make a single decision together. This however by the end of project was overcome and we were able to create the poster, prototype and video that was well received by our client.


In this regard, the project from my point of view wasn't a total failure but more of a learning experience. What I got out from the two weeks was how to motivate myself and others in the team when all seems lost as well as how to deal with others who have a different way of thinking and how to mesh these into a single idea. Over the two weeks, I have created friends in countries all over the world and look to the future to explore other design thinking opportunities.

Dylan Mighell  ||