Almost Risking It All

Non-calculable Risk-taking and Design Education


  • Bo Allesøe Christensen Aalborg University
  • Peter Vistisen Aalborg University
  • Thessa Jensen Aalborg University





design education, computational thinking, non-calculable risk-taking, risk society


This paper provides an argument against understanding risk-taking in design education as something ideally in need of only being calculable and formalisable. Using the German sociologist Ulrich Beck’s theory on risktaking combined with the current discourse on design thinking, together with an analysis of a three week-long interdisciplinary design workshop, we analyse and discuss how risk-taking - as a general concept - in design education is an inherent element of the education itself. We argue, however, non-calculable risks, like human-centred design concerns, like desirability of use, ethics of technology, are an equally important part of a modern-day educational skillset as calculable risks. The aim is arguing for the prospect of interdisciplinary design-based education models as one way of embracing the non-calculable elements of a problem space.

How to Cite

Christensen, B. A., Vistisen, P., & Jensen, T. (2021). Almost Risking It All: Non-calculable Risk-taking and Design Education. Cubic Journal, 4(4), 20–31.



Author Biographies

Bo Allesøe Christensen, Aalborg University

Bo Allesøe Christensen is Associate Professor, InDiMedia–Centre for Interactive Digital Media and Experience Design, Aalborg University, Denmark. Besides researching how aesthetics mediates relations between individuality and collectivity, he works on applying the social philosophical notion of recognition and new concepts of cognition to social media.

Peter Vistisen, Aalborg University

Peter Vistisen, PhD, is Associate Professor, InDiMedia–Centre for Interactive Digital Media and Experience Design, Aalborg University, Denmark. Peter has a research interest in the intersection between technology and the liberal arts. Peter’s research focuses on developing design approaches for early exploration of the viability, feasibility and desirability of technologies.

Thessa Jensen, Aalborg University

Thessa Jensen, PhD, is Associate Professor, InDiMedia–Centre for Interactive Digital Media and Experience Design, Aalborg University, Denmark. Jensen's research has the ethical considerations of Løgstrup's ontological ethics at its fulcrum. Her work ranges from understanding participatory culture and collaborative creativity on online platforms to the practical application of her findings in educational settings.


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