Research

ICIS has been engaged in developing and running research projects since 2004 with a focus on education, sustainability and design. As it is an area we find important we will increasingly be focusing our efforts in this direction.

The projects ICIS has developed and lead can be seen as subsections under this heading: The latest ICIS developed was the DEEDS project (design, education and sustainability) (see paper in writings).
Previously we have been engaging in the development of a Masters in Sustainable Design (SUSDES) ( see attached file) with the University of Lund, Helsingborg Campus, an Interreg II project with financial support from Helsingør Kommune, Helsingborg Stad, Frederiksborg Amt, Univesity of Lund and ICIS.  CPD (Continuing Professional Development) programmes for designers and related professions with support from DD, the Association of Danish Designers and EBST, Erhvervs- og Byggestyrelsen, Socialfonds projekter.

The latest development is Karen Blincoe studying for a Phd at the University of Brighton in England on sustainable utopias.
The context in which this study should be seen is the following:

Why investigating established utopias?
Having worked professionally with sustainability for many years mainly with a design focus and lately in a wider multidisciplinary context, and having lead, worked with and visited a number of sustainable communities i.e.
Schumacher College in Devon, Findhorn in Scotland, the sustainable island of Samsø in Denmark, the Western Harbour in Malmø, Sweden, all of which are founded on idealistic principles of sustainability, I have become curious about and interested in how sustainable utopian communities are established, how they evolve, and what makes them succeed or fail. What can be learnt from them and most importantly whether lessons learnt can be transferred to the design of future societies in the contemporary world wanting to address climate change and environmental problems. 
 
The wider context
Seen in a wider context this research project addresses the current debates and discussions related to climate change and sustainability (Stern Review, 2006 and UNFCCC: COP/CMP 5 Decisions, 2010), and investigates whether utopian thought can inspire or present us with possible scenarios or elements, which can be transferred to future designs of sustainable communities or cities and contribute to showing a way forward (de Geus 1999, Bookchin, 1974).
 

The research
The research will critically engage with the notion of parameters for sustainability in the context of utopias at a community/urban scale. The research will include 2 case studies of established utopian communities, that have succeeded to a greater or lesser degree: Findhorn Foundation in Scotland and the island of Samsø in Denmark as well as examine the parameters of 2 cases of future utopias: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Moreland in Australia. In doing so the research aims to compare and examine the similarities and differences between the

parameters of the 4 cases (David and Sutton 2009), consider to what degree the parameters applied in the established communities have influenced the outcome and level of success or failure, and the extent to which the lessons learnt can be applied to new the larger-scale utopias in the contemporary world.                                                                                                                                                                     

 


From the SUSDES seminar

From the DEEDS project: Erica Torres Luquin, Karoline Tylka, Henriette Henriksen                                                  

Alastair Fuad-Luke, Manager of the DEEDS project

Emma Dewberry and Karen Blincoe
on SUSDES