Mikal Hallstrup

Mikal Hallstrup – Founder and Global CEO of Designit

Mikal Hallstrup and Anders Geert Jensen founded the Danish design bureau Designit in 1991, and was joined by David Fellah in 1995. In 2015 the three of them sold the company to the Indian techonology giant Wipro for around 650 million DKK.

Designit started as a traditional product design bureau, with both Mikal and Anders being educated in architecture, but today the company’s activities are focused around strategic design and digital transformations of existing products and services. To Mikal, design is less about form and more about ideas and strategies – it is about more than just making things look good. Mikal wants to make the world a better place.

Designit works in many different sectors, the biggest ones being health care, finance, energy, automotive and consumer electronics. But in an ever more complex world, where technology and business is rapidly evolving, the need for strategic design will continue to grow, according to Mikal. To him, strategic desgn means also taking strategy and business into account, when designing – believing that business and design belong together.

The ongoing digitalization of our everyday life, where more and more things become connected to the internet, needs designers to steer the process. There’s no use in connecting two things – for instance an iPad to a fridge – if you don’t know why you need it, what you will be using it for. This “whydeology” as Mikal calls it, is one of the major areas in which designers can contribute to the technological changes going on around us, securing that the development will be taylored to real human needs.

In his talk, Mikal shares his vision of a world where everything is designed around real human needs, and invites us to join him on the journey getting there.