Why Design Matters More Today Than Ever Before

Håkan Edeholt


Sciences have certainly done their best to blow the whistle, warning for an escalating climate disaster. And today seemingly powerful leaders also start to talk boldly about the present need of profound and radical changes. Still, too little seems to change in the directions proposed and if it changes at all, these changes seem to be far too small, far too inconsistent and far too slow to meet the requirements specified by the scientific community. Why is this so? And what could design and design research possible do about it?

This explorative article gives an outline of the matters underpinning two initiatives (D-side and Shaping Futures) taken at the Institute of Design at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) in Norway. It is an illustration on the importance of utilizing design competences in what sometimes is labeled Discursive Design by merging different design methods with Foresight and Radical Innovation. The intention with the article is to call out for a long overdue debate about- and actions that urgently needs to be taken towards the seemingly pretentious, but still designerly, vision of a different, prosperous and ‘better’ future world.


Innovation; Foresight; Sustainability; Discursive design;

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