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Personal profile

Research and development areas

Affiliated with the following Centers of research at VIA University College; Center for Creative Industries and Sustainabble Development and Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Member of the Nordic Initiative for Circular Economy, the Union of Concerned Fashion Researchers.

My concern is the connection and challenges between the present transition of the industry(ies) towards sustainable development, the current employable practices and the need for transition of the teaching of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Circular Economy (CE). Editorial positions in "Mulighedernes Didaktik", 2021, Building Better Business-Designing New Futures, 2021.   

Areas of Research:

1. (Design)Educations for sustainable Development, (ESD, UNESCO)

2. Design Educations for Sustainable and Circular transition, (Design for Change), Sustainable Business Innovation and Circular Economy.

Present projects;

A: Going Round in Circles (1+2)

Examination of obstacles to the implementation of circular and sustainable transitions in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Fashion and Lifestyle industry with fellow-researcher, Cristina Dan, Malmö University. Collaboration and research performed together with members of the Lifestyle and Designcluster, Dansk Mode og Tekstil, Ellen MacArthur Foundation as well as many small and medium-sized companies. Publishing activities; 1. "Circular fashion: the new roles of designers in organisations transitioning to a circular economy , (article, accepted in The Design Journal Spring 2021);2. "Circling Round Circular Change" (conferencepaper accepted in the International conference on engineering and product design education, 2021) and 3. "From Vision to Practice in Design Educations for Sustainable Development", (Bookchapter, accepted in the Building Better Business, Designing New Futures Publication, 2021). 


B: Decoding Sustainable Creative Skills

Affiliated Researcher, (DECS)Decoding European Creativity Skills, Elisava School of Design & Engineering, Barcelona, 2019-2021. (1+2):

Mr. Østergaard participated in the EU based “Creative Decoding Project” and developed new ESD (UNESCO) methods for assessing creativity, as well as we continuously work with establishing new collaborations, platforms and labs trying to analyze, practice and research on roles, methods and materials in our Futures Now and DESIS research programs. Mr. Østergaard participate in and study these methodological, didactical and research practices, by following and interviewing students, professors and researchers in the challenges of implementing new didactic methods, (labs) research models. 

Responsible Research leaders: Dr. Danae Esparza and Head of PhD-School, Laura Clèries Garcia. This collaboration has led to several articles and publications in both the DECS projects and with other researchers from ELISAVA:T. Østergaard; "Revising Creative Sustainability-competencies in Design Educations: The Future of Design" (article in the DECS-publication, 2019) Abella, A & Østergaard, T; 2020: Emotionally Durable SDG Designers" (Poster presentation at the UNESCO GUNI Conference 2020) "Design Sustainable Enterprising Didactics in Design Educations", (Bookchapter in the new series on Design Research for Change, Routledge, Francis & Taylor, 2021) Østergaard, T, Abella, A, Araya, M.J; "Emotionel og entreprenant didaktik i bæredygtige designuddannelser: emotionel og entreprenant designdidaktik" (Bookchapter in "Mulighedernes Didaktik", 2021), "Emotional and Entrepreneurial Didactics for Sustainable Design Educations" (Bookchapter in the UNESCO FECUN Journal, 2021, and presentation at the Learning to Become Conference, April 2021). 

C: Learners Learning to become (1+2)

Co-leading and developing ESD competencies-courses among educators across VIA University College from 2017 - 2021, and participating in strategical UNESCO-School, Erasmus+ and EU Center of Vocational Excellence projects; Østergaard, T., Nielsen-Sack, T. 2020, "Teach the Teachers CE and SDG's" (Poster at the UNESCO GUNI Conference) Østergaard, T.,Nielsen-Sack, T, Woge, B., Helbæk-Markussen, B, Frederiksen, K.; "Learners Learning to Become" (Bookchapter in the UNESCO FECUN Journal, 2021, and presentation at the Learning to Become Conference, April 2021). 


Education/Academic qualification

Master in Creative Process, Master in Creative Process, Elisava, Escola Universitaria de Barcelona, Disseny i Enginyeria

1 Jan 201925 Jul 2019

Award Date: 25 Jul 2019

Associate Professor, Associate Professorship, VIA University College

1 Jan 2014 → …

Award Date: 14 Aug 2017

Master in Experience Management, Master M.A., Roskilde University

1 Jan 20041 Jan 2006

Award Date: 1 Jan 2006


Affilieret Forsker, Elisava, Escola Universitaria de Barcelona, Disseny i Enginyeira

1 Jan 201930 Dec 2019

Ekstern Lektor, Roskilde University

1 Jan 20121 Jun 2016


  • learning, educational science and teaching
  • management, organizational development and innovation
  • construction, environment and energy
  • business community, trade and economy
  • aesthetics, design and media