Ditte Lysgaard Vind is a practitioner of circular economy and design, particularly within the built environment, working towards how we can use circular economy as a tool to deliver value for people while staying within our planetary boundaries. Ditte is the author of the book called Danish Design Heritage and Global Sustainability (2023) and A Changemakers Guide to the future (2018).
“Science has very clearly told us what we need to leave behind, but we don’t really know what we’re moving towards. What might it look like? How might it smell? What might it sound like?”
Ditte Lysgaard Vind
Can design and architecture help solve major global challenges?
I think the key role of design and architecture in the future is the ability to shape something that we don’t know. Science has very clearly told us what we need to leave behind, but we don’t really know what we’re moving towards. What might it look like? What might it smell like? What might it sound like? It becomes less about sub-optimizing in the existing state and what we won’t have in the future and more about what it is that we actually want to move towards.
How can we get architects and designers to create responsibly?
What I see will be new generations of designers and architects working together combined with new regulatory requirements and an increase in demand. They will have to be mindful of doing something that is better than what we do today. I think for the coming years there will be some that are more focused on doing less harm and others that really see it as an opportunity for a design renaissance of doing good and finding new and better ways that are challenging how we produce today and the system from which we produce.
How can waste be used as a resource?
We have designed our society in such a way that we have no understanding of our materials’ values, which means we end up throwing away resources with great value. We see them as waste because we have structured our society in a very siloed way, which means if something is of no use in one industry we won’t see a use for it even if it could be of high value in another industry
A lot of what I’ve been working with is seeing that waste resources from other industries can become high value materials in the construction sector. The old saying of ‘one man’s trash is another woman’s treasure’ really comes to light. Whether it’s plastics or textiles, all of these different materials can be utilized much better than what we see today.
Cross-sector collaboration and global collaboration is at the essence because it’s the only way we can get there in time. Helping each other and learning from each other’s experiences, but also the sharing of resources across sectors. Understanding that what is waste to some is value to others and really working within that frame.