Karina Vissonova PhD

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Portfolio in brief

Since 2018, I am the Founding Director of the Institute of Advanced Design Studies, Budapest, Hungary. For some 25 years, I have worked with game-changing R & D, product and business innovation, education, community development and multidisciplinary design projects in capacity of a developer, manager, strategist and board member, collaborating with a wide range of manufacturers, architects, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs. I am also a guest lecturer and an author. My focus is Sustainability and Philosophy of Design.


Art display in an urbam community space. Sao Paolo, Brazil.

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Urban waste picker's daily tool. Sao Paolo, Brazil.

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Experience/ education
























In 2018 I founded the Insitute of Advanced Design Studies, Non-profit Kft. in Budapest, Hungary. The institute offers advanced education in design for post-graduates. The full study programme begins in 2020 and it is a 1 year multidisciplinary theme-based programme for discovering how science and technology can be best applied to benefit the humanity and the environment.

Another of my present occupations, alongside my husband, is managing our winery, its vineyards and our home restaurant, "PAP wines", created by us in 2014 in North-West Hungary by the lake Balaton. I am also a practicing permaculture gardener, growing vegetables and herbs for our home restaurant.

I attained my Ph.D title at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Institute of Product Design (2012-2016). My field of research is Philosophy of Design with the focus on Sustainable Design.

In 2014 and in 2015, I was a guest PhD at the Delft University of Technology, Ethics/ Philosophy of Technology section.

The Ph.D. project was under the Danish State Industrial Ph.D program, partnering with "Business Centre Bornholm" and "Green Solution House". Hence I also hold an Industrial Ph.D certificate. Under this program, my role was to work with the two partners for a sustainable regional development on the island of Bornholm.

During the period, I was on the advisory board to Nutrient Retrieval from Seabeds project, a collaborative project in R&D by Teknikmarknad and Östergötland regional government, Sweden, where I advised on Circular Economy principles (2014-2015).

I was also on the advisory board to the Eco Island Global Summit - Bornholm 2013.

During 2012, I worked on a strategic development of a design think tank The Club of Helsinki, together with Design Studio Suppanen, Finland and a strategy agency Imaginary Life, Stockholm. The pilot project launched together with the design faculty at University of Sao Paolo, in Sao Paolo, Brazil, with the focus on a sustainable community development, improving conditions for an urban waste collective.

From 2007 to 2010, I developed and managed several business and product development projects at VELUX Xlab, Denmark’s longest surviving Innovation Lab. I co-managed a product development project with Foster + Partners, UK, and a concept for sustainable urban living VELUX House, a pavillion exhibited at COP-15, Copenhagen. I developed VELUX operations in radical innovation, ran a project portfolio and facilitated ideation workshops for international cross-disciplinary teams.

I graduated Copenhagen Business School in 2007 with MSc majoring in Intercultural Management.

lecturer/ facilitator

















  • Creative Week for architect students of Hungary and ARCHIP (Prague) at Széchenyi István University of Győr (2017/2018). Tutored international architecture and design students in concept development.

  • Systems thinking in design seminar “Design and Living Systems”. Taught a 1 week workshop on design impacts for MA design students at the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design within the framework of Xskool; in collaboration with Sustainability Festival Future Perfect Sweden, John Thackara ‘Doors of Perception’, and Konstfack School of Arts, Stockholm. Aug 2013, Denmark and Sweden.

  • Sustainable Development “Waste and Design”, co-developer of a PhD student and faculty workshop within Philosophy of Design, University of Sao Paolo, Brazil, Dr. Maria Cecilia Loschiavo Dos Santos USP, Ilkka Suppanen Aalto University, and Tanya Kim Grassley Imaginary Life, Sweden. Aug 2012, Sao Paolo, Brazil.

  • Urban Design Summer Studio “Redesigning Public Spaces”, Guest Teacher for MA students of Architecture and Civil Engineering Technical University of Nis. Focused on exercise for creative problem solving. Key lecture on Design Research and Philosophy. Jul 2012, Nis, Serbia.

  • Education project on “Sustainable Urban Development” and “Alternative Energy Solutions”, co-designer and co-facilitator of a two-week seminar in interactive design product development at the ‘Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design’, CIID. Focused on innovation in product development and ethical design solutions. Apr 2010, Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Biomimicry & Connectivity arts and design co-lab, lead organiser, speaker and panel moderator, in collaboration with Art Quarter Budapest, Budapest Design Week Oct 2018, Hungary. The workshop results are published in “Biomimicry Budapest Perspective” (forthcoming 2019).

  • RIBOCA International Biennial of Contemporary Art, presenter on Sustainability - Critical View. Aug 2018, Riga, Latvia.

  • Service Design workshop at the Latvian Academy of Arts summer school, Kuldiga, presenter on Sustainability and Design. Jun 2017, Kuldiga, Latvia.

  • Cumulus Association conference “In a planet of our own” at Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay, presenter on Sustainable Design. Dec 2015, Mumbai, India.

  • Seminar “New Business Models in Changing Economy: focus on Circular Economy”, organiser and keynote speaker. Nov 2015, Bornholm, Denmark.

  • Regional Innovation conference Ecoislands Global Summit 2013, Bornholm, an advisory board member and workshop leader. May 2013, Bornholm, Denmark.

  • Design Boost Stockholm Design Week, participant and ‘booster’, “Design Beyond Design” 2010, and “Design Intelligence” 2011, Sweden.

  • Sustainable urban design prototyping for the City of Stockholm “Connecting Stockholm”. Collaborator at a 1 week workshop with the architect studio ‘Urban Nouveau’ and hand-picked international architects, designers, and ideators. The project exhibited at the Stockholm Museum of Architecture. Mar 2011, Sweden.

  • Innovation methods and rationale behind business diversification strategies, keynote lecturer in Innovation Day at SAS headquarters Stockholm 2010, Sweden.

  • Sustainable community development - mapping methodologies, collaborator at ‘Clear Village’ foundation workshop as one of the 100 hand-picked international experts. Sep 2009, Barcelona, Spain.