Nikoline Dyrup Carlsen on the confidence to ask dumb questions
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Nikoline Dyrup Carlsen on the confidence to ask dumb questions

Conversations on the Contrary
STIR presents a series of unboxed conversations from the Kyoorius Designyatra 2019, discussing contrarian thinking in design, its challenges and potential rewards.

by Zohra Khan Oct 30, 2019

For Nikoline Dyrup Carlsen, the confidence to ask dumb questions and present dumb ideas - an attitude she refers as 'dumbfidence' - is one of the four key ingredients that make the recipe of her Copenhagen-based cross-disciplinary architecture studio, Spacon & X.

The other three churning in equal measures are: 'personal investment' - seeking ways for a project to resonate both with the designer as well as the world at large; 'diversity' of working with individuals from an array of backgrounds; and 'disruplomacy' – a combination of disruption and diplomacy, where disruptive ideas are knitted together with logic to make them more powerful.

Spacon & X, short for Spatial Conversion & Cross-functionalism, under her leadership, strongly advocates the need to rethink the way we consume space and encourage better use of the already existing building mass of our urban areas. The studio, with a team of 20 disruptors, takes on work in a wide range of scales – from product design, interiors to larger building projects alongside developing concepts and ideas to optimise space and provide spatial identities across all shapes and sizes.

Carlsen emphasises on the potential of every square foot that we inhabit and discusses the need for architecture to involve other competences so as to ensure it leaves a lasting impact. A free spirited design contrarian, she advises young designers to follow their gut and ask a lot of dumb questions, and for contemporary architects and designers to foster collaboration across allied fields.

(Watch out for more design contrarians in the series, 'Conversations on the Contrary')

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About Author

Zohra Khan

Zohra Khan

A formal education in architecture combined with an avid interest in architecture journalism and design criticism led Khan to professionally venture into writing and research. She has worked in design communication for more than two years, generating content for mondo*arc india journal. When not writing, she kicks back by dabbling on social media for STIR.

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