1_out_of_head_into_bed_smallNadia Hansen’s final thesis project was about sleep. She writes: Often overlooked, sleep is crucial for our good health and well-being. For those who struggle with sleep, there are few drug or guilt free solutions available. I wanted to collaborate in designing holistic solutions, that allow the needs of our nature and body to be met in a modern setting.

In the spring of 2017, we sat down at a volunteer center in Helsingør, a diverse group of people, all struggling to get adequate sleep. We wanted to fi nd out why it was difficult, and how you can change it with design. We observed ourselves, shared insights and explored solutions, utilizing a design-anthropological approach and dialogue tools. We found out that that settling our racing thoughts and gearing down in the evening requires focus and that it helps to share.


The concept we created is based on three primary topics; diversion of thoughts, evening routines and the sleep environment. It takes physical shape in a night routine kit which includes a “sleep-muff”, a “thought diversion tool” and social sharing in the form of “notes in evening snacks”. The muff has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, as it encloses and changes the weight around you, creating an intimate space. In the muff, there is a thought diversion tool, which can be changed according to your mood and needs. The constructed example is a simple game, just enough to refocus one’s attention, and still simple enough to avoid overstimulation. The evening snacks draws on the collected para-ethnographic observations, to synthesize suggestions for guilt-free analogue sleep routines, avoiding the digital distractions that swamp the modern mind.


By having a designed artifact in our sleep routine, we get a remedy, mental and physical, for channeling our consciousness on the path to sleep. The kit facilitates an instinctive journey to a place where we can sleep with both body and mind.

In this project, co-design concepts such as material mediation and social interaction have proved their relevance, not only in relation to the project’s process and outcome, but also intrinsic to the development of a physical concept that might have relevance for humans with health-related issues. In an age where our relationship to technology is evolving rapidly, there is a growing space for more co-designed products, which can function as better and more sympathetic mediators between ourselves and the outside world, if we observe what we really need.


Nadia Hansen in collaboration with Helsingør Volounteer Center and The Sleep-group.

Contact: natdyt@gmail.com

Nadia has been working with UN goal 3.

Learn more about the thesis project at the Design and Architecture Graduation Exhibition 1/7 – 13/8 2017 from 11.00 – 18.00 at KADK, Udstillingen and Festsalen: Danneskiold-Samsøes Allé 51-53. 1435 Copenhagen K.

About Eva Brandt

Eva Brandt is Professor in Social Design at Design School Kolding since May 2019. Eva is scientific leader of the Lab for Social Design. The main part of her research is about how designers can stage open design processes (design labs based on participatory design/codesign) with many participants who both can inquire into existing practices and explore possible futures in common. She also contributes to theorizing about experimental design research driven by programs and experiments. She has been contributing to several books such as Design Spaces (IT Press, 2005), Rehearsing the Future (The Danish Design School Press, 2010), XLAB (The Danish Design School Press, 2011), Facilitating Change – Using Interactive Methods in Organizations, Communities and Networks (Polyteknisk Forlag, 2011), and Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design (Routledge, 2013). Practice Based Design Reseach (2017). Ledelse og samskabelse i den offentlige sektor (2018). Eva has been chairing the Nordic Design Research Conference in 2013, and are chairing the Nordes 2021 too.
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