Copenhagen: Sustainable by Design

Practice Area


West Chester University

Project Vision

Eleven students and 2 professors traveled to Denmark in order to learn — and learn from — Danish Design. Sustainability and Climate Change are issues that have been on the rise for some time now. Copenhagen became the site of study for 9 students and 2 professors from the West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Having spent 21 days visiting 3 castles, a type foundry, probably the best internationally famous beer brewing company’s, an image design team and 3 very sophisticated artsy museums the class of ART 350 is ready to share the essence of Danish Design.

For this three-credit course, we were tasked with creating an exhibit where we could share our summer study abroad experience in Denmark with the university community. This interactive exhibit would be installed in a small gallery in close proximity to the art and design building on campus. While abroad, the focus of our study was Denmark’s role in shaping classic Scandinavian design traditions, as well as their leadership status in sustainable initiatives. With little to no environmental graphic design experience, and nearly no budget, the greatest challenge by far was to come together as a team, learn some fundamental exhibit design practices, and accomplish all of this in five weeks-worth of time.

The fully immersive exhibit included a variety of interactive experiences that incorporated low to semi-high technology. These experiences were interpreted in the thematic zones by the design of simple panels printed on paper fastened to the wall with paper clips framed with repurposed cardboard. When all of these elements were paired together in the gallery’s space there was a visible positive impact on the visitors by the way they interacted with each component. The student-professor team was pleased to see how many people expressed their gratitude for the exhibit and what they had learned from their visit. A favorite response was, “I learned a lot in a small amount of time and space. Thank you for bringing these great ideas back from your trip.”

Project Details
Design Team

Karen Watkins, David Jones (professors); Carlea Stremme, Brie Moriarty, Andrew DePompeo, Abbie Murdock, Kelsey Mountford, Rebecca Lormeus, Abbey Kostyal, Claire Wade (designers)


Dr. Bradley Flamm (director of the office of sustainability), Heather Sharpe (chairmen of art+design department), Dr. Jen Bacon (Dean of the college of arts & humanities), Dr. Hyoejin Yoon (senior associate dean of the college of arts & humanities)


Karen Watkins, David Jones (art directors); Carlea Stremme, Abbie Murdock, Kelsey Mountford, Rebecca Lormeus (installers); Brie Moriarty, Andrew DePompeo (installers/builders)