Designing the irresistible circular society: Transformation through symbiotic relationships.


DESIRE is part of the European Commission's "New European Bauhaus" initiative, which aims to bridge the worlds of arts, culture, and education with the worlds of science and technology as part of the green transition - among other things, to involve the new generation of artists and creative actors. DESIRE is one of six lighthouse demonstration projects funded by the EU.

DESIRE experiments with creating sustainable, attractive, and inclusive urban spaces with respect for the planet's limited resources in collaboration with citizens, architects, urban planners, designers, entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions, and other relevant actors.

Purpose and Procedure

The project partners have developed a manifesto with five design principles for the green transition: Circularity, Belonging, Biodiversity, Movement and Aesthetics.

The principles are tested at eight demonstration sites: three in Denmark (Herlev, Høje-Taastrup and Kalundborg), two in Italy (Milan and Turin) and one in each of the following countries: the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Slovenia (Ljubljana), and Latvia (Riga).

DESIRE works under the following headlines:

  • Creating social and inclusive housing
  • Transformation through symbiotic relationships
  • Reconciling cities with nature.


At Knowledge Hub Zealand - and in Kalundborg - we explore what creates an irresistible community through symbiotic relationships starting from the relationship between Kalundborg and the Copenhagen-based Royal Danish Academy, which welcomed the first class of architecture students in Kalundborg in 2023.

The purpose of the project is to develop an irresistible circular campus in Kalundborg.

We use digital collaboration tools to collect ideas, images, and impressions from people who are connected to the area in different ways.

The proximity of large companies, vocational schools, and not least the Kalundborg Symbiosis, where one company's surplus product becomes a resource in another, helps younger generations get involved in co-designing their own future context.

Expected results

With the DESIRE principles in hand, an expected result is not predefined. Instead, we are open to exploring and letting the learning process unfold for Kalundborg and the new campus to evolve with the surrounding community.

In addition, by the end of the project, we will have developed a "learning kit" based on principles of sustainability, inclusion, and aesthetics to support policy makers in making sustainable decisions, support companies in developing their business, and support citizens' involvement in the green transition.

Funded by

The European Union

Project period

Oct. 1, 2022 - Oct. 1, 2024

Project partners

Danish Industry
University of Aalborg
Technical University of Denmark
Danish Architecture Center, DAC
Royal Danish Academy
Knowledge Hub Zealand
Danish Design Center
Danish Association of Architectural Firms
Politechnico di Milano
Citta di Torino
Riga Municipality
Samen Wonen Leven
The Beach
Plus Value
Consorzio Kairos
The Really Regenerative Center (CIC)
Dark Matter Labs


Pernille Bech, Knowledge Hub Zealand

Aase Højlund Nielsen, Project Manager, BLOXHUB

Relevant links

DESIRE web page: