Christian Tollestrup

Head of Section Industrial Design, Associate Professor

  • Rendsburggade 14, 5-444

    9000 Aalborg



Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research profile

I am en expert in design expertise and design education, especially how to stage the teaching of design expertise through the right challenges. I also have a keen interest in Design based entrepreneurship and promote entrepreneurial initiatives in our Educational programs.

I am part of the research group AAU Design Lab research group, led by Linda Nhu Laursen, and we are focusing on the role of design in the societal transition to a more sustainable lifestyle, design, and consumption of products. We believe that design and design expertise play a critical role in making the sustainable choice the desirable and preferred choice for consumers, organisations and users. We are currently working in three themes of research to support the mission. First, through the “Designed to last” theme we are investigating the longevity of products as a mean to slow down the consumption cycle.
Second, through the “Design Expertise” theme we are expanding and dissecting the expertise needed in design to make impact and create seminal products. Third, through “Design Experiments” we will create experiments together with stakeholders and partners that will expand our understanding of the impact and value of design. The research and teaching environment is dynamic and team-oriented, with a strong culture of collaboration between colleagues.

Teaching profile

Teaching philosophy
Constantly looking for opportunities to improve and innovate teaching, ranging from entire curriculum journey from students’ perspective to redesigning 5 ECTS course modules to improve learning and student engagement. Working with balancing push-pull pedagogical tools and approaches primarily targeting two stages of development of both the individual student and entire classes. First stage being the paradigm shift in novice designers (BSc students) from rational problem solving to abductive reasoning applied to wicked problems. The second stage is accelerating medium novices (MSc students) back into execution mode – reflection-on-action-mode, when they tend to slow down once, they realize the complexity of the design field, profession, and problem-solving approach.

Curriculum, responsible for revisions for Industrial Design BSc and MSc curriculums.

Co-founder of Entrepreneurial Engineering 2013-2021

Supervisor/Coordinator on 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th semester on Industrial Design BSc (2002-2022)

Supervisor/Coordinator on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester on Industrial Design MSc (2002-2022)

Supervisor on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester on Entrepreneurial Engineering (2013-2020)

Development of project modules 15-20 ECTS (currently running)

  • Product design 1 (3rd BSc)
  • Product design 2: Product and variants (5th BSc)
  • Business innovation driven by design (1st MSc)

Development of course modules (5ECTS), currently running:

  • Integrated Product development: User-oriented designmethods (4th BSc)
  • Integrated Product development: Product and System (5th BSc)
  • Advanced Integrated Design II: Business development (1st MSc)

Innovative teaching

Designer's Market (ADV II course), teaching design students entreprenurial approach. Combined with teaching book, videos and podcast (DK only)

Define fasen:
Design fasen:


Podcast (DK):


Administrative profile

Head of Industrial Design

  • Responsible for daily operations and strategy of the Industrial Design section
  • Responsible for staffing teaching tasks at Industrial Design Engineering BSc and MSc
  • Closely collaborating with AAU design lab for aligning teaching and research within design

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


  • Industry and Production
  • Design processes
  • Conceptualisation
  • Innovation
  • Facilitation
  • Framing
  • Education
  • Design expertise
  • Design Thinking
  • Designed to last


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