Future states: design and science for sustainability


  • Nicholas De Leon Royal College of Art
  • Qian Sun
  • Tuuli Utriainen
  • Markus Nordberg
  • Ronald Jones




Interdisciplinary Innovation, Design Thinking, Service Design, Seismology, Sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals, Muon Detection, Radon Detection


In 2017 CERN IdeaSquare collaborated with the Royal College of Art, London to explore how an interdisciplinary approach to innovation that combines science, technology, design and business might address the global sustainability challenges as embodied in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030. This collaboration examined how an interdisciplinary design led model of innovation that fuses design thinking with scientific discovery, could enable the innovative and potentially disruptive technologies from CERN to address the world’s most intractable challenges, and specifically the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In this paper we explore the nature of interdisciplinary innovation, recent trends in its approach, and describe the way this has been applied, through action research, to generate product service systems that address the UN’s SDGs. We describe not only the project outcomes that demonstrate the inventiveness of the CERN IdeaSquare/RCA teams, but also the new knowledge that can be applied to future interdisciplinary innovation projects




How to Cite

De Leon, N., Sun, Q., Utriainen, T., Nordberg, M., & Jones, R. (2018). Future states: design and science for sustainability. CERN IdeaSquare Journal of Experimental Innovation, 2(2), 15–24. https://doi.org/10.23726/cij.2018.765



Original Articles