Danish Centre for Design Research
Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup
Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup
Associate Professor
Architect, Ph.D.

Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup is an associate professor in the Institute of Design and Communication at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture.

Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup’s field of research is design theory and design history. Her particular focus of interest is the designer’s role in the creative process. This includes studies of the relationship between artistic methods and design. There is a reciprocal process of inspiration between the fields of art and design, and in certain stages of a design process designers may benefit from applying artistic points of view and approaches.

Another focus area is the design process and its element of dialogue involving the designer, manufacturer and user. This is an essential aspect in the project How to build the Future. Here Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup explores the designer’s role in democratic urban development processes. User involvement in urban development is increasingly common all over the world, as it offers a means of achieving superior quality and a stronger popular basis for the renewals.

How to build the Future takes place in an exchange between teaching, research and practice. The project has a rather long time horizon because it is essential to collect knowledge, for example about which of the good ideas prove viable in the long term. What lives up to the expectations, for example five years after the physical implementation of an urban renewal project? The intention is to publish the experiences from the project in a book.

The project 40/4 is also intended for a book publication: a book for designers about how to develop the perfect chair – and about what happens next. 40/4 is the world’s best selling chair. Designer David Rowland took almost ten years to develop this famous stacking chair, but it was worth the effort.

This interest in the creative process and in the designer’s relationship with contemporary art and social conditions was also present in Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup’s Ph.D. project Meningen med materialet. Mies van der Rohe og den radikale kunst (Meaning and Material. Mies van der Rohe and Radical Art). 

Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup holds a number of public positions, including as president of the board for the Danish Architectural Press and for the theatre Das Beckwerk.

Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup graduated as an architect from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in 1988, where she also earned her Ph.D. in 2001.

Key words

Design theory, design history, art theory, art history, architectural theory, architectural history