Article by Ida Kamilla Lie in Design and Culture

The BaSF team member Ida Kamilla Lie’s article“‘Make Us More Useful to Society!’: The Scandinavian Design Students’ Organization (SDO) and Socially Responsible Design , 1967-1973” has now been published in Design and Culture.

Nordic design students gathered at the Soumenlinna Island outside Helsinki, 1968. Photo: Kristian Runeberg, courtesy of Yrjö Sotamaa

Download the article here


The article explores the breif but ardent history of The Scandinavian Design Students’ Organization (SDO) in the late 1960s. Dissatisfied with the contemporary design practice and education, a group of students aimed to reposition design, both in its method and purpose, bringing it more in line with what they perceived to be the urgent challenges of society. The article focuses on the three summer seminars organized by the SDO as well as the two published issues of the members’ magazine &, and places them in a broader history of social design, co-design, and participaroty design. The study also reveals the mutual influence between Nordic design students and Victor J.Papanek and places this co-operation in a broader geographic context.