The social design research group was established in 2015 at the Department of Design & Communication / SDU

The group has a keen interest in how people can be involved in participatory design processes leading to social value for the individual and society at large. By social value, we refer to changes at a human scale that is felt to be beneficial for marginalized or vulnerable societal groups and communities.

Design research practice is essential for our work

We use design methods to make sense of wicked problems, as a way of engaging and co-designing with people and as a process of making artefacts or services enabling people to cope with difficult situations in life.

Through a number of research projects we have documented our ability to evaluate social design outcomes by bridging disciplines from the human and social sciences.

In order to secure meaningful implementation of our design, we work with organizations within the public and private sector from the earliest developmental phases.

meet our people and partners


In our social design unit we are concerned with the urgent societal need for rethinking core services of the Scandinavian and European welfare states. In particular, our research projects lies within the following four areas:


Innovation prize 2021

November 8th, 2021|

Social Design Unit awarded the Innovation Prize 2021! Friday the 29th of October, the Social Design Unit were awarded SDU’s prestigious Innovation Prize 2021, for our work [...]

Thomas Markussen

thma@sdu.dk +45 93507196

Eva Knutz

evak@sdu.dk+45 93507135

University of Southern Denmark

Department for Design and Communication Universitetsparken 1 6000 Kolding, Denmark