Photo: Agnete Schlichtkrull

DTU graduate wins prestigious design award

DTU graduate Mads Bonde is one of the creators behind Labster Virtual Laboratories, which, on Thursday, 7 April, won a prestigious Danish Design Award in the Better Learning category.

Mads Bonde and his partner Michael Bodekaer are the creators of Labster Virtual Laboratories—a laboratory simulator that, by means of a new virtual reality technology, provides students access to fully-equipped and highly specialized laboratories, to which they would otherwise rarely have access in the real world for financial and safety/security reasons.

On Thursday, 7 April, their invention was honoured with a prestigious Danish Design Award in the Better Learning category. Danish Design Awards are given to value-creating Danish design solutions in a total of 11 categories across companies, society and individuals as well as four special awards.

Mads Bonde holds a BSc in Biotechnology and an MSc in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology from DTU. He is very grateful for the award:

“The award is very special for us. First of all, it’s been fantastic to get this recognition here in Denmark. We have many users at foreign educational institutions such as Stanford and Harvard, but we would also like to work more with the Danish university and school system, and that’s why it’s so nice that our invention is also put on the map in Denmark. In addition, design is also important for the product development of Labster, as we would like to promote education through design. Our product must be fun, attractive and easy to use. So it’s also a huge compliment to win a design award. We’re very proud,” he says.

He and his partner join a coveted list of Danish Design Award winners, as previous winners include, among others, Skype.  Again this year, the awards were given to innovative solutions of a very high standard:

“This year’s winners really show the breadth of Danish design today and demonstrates an innovation power, which we as a design nation can be proud of: A veritable catalogue of ways in which design can tackle the most pressing issues—of future growth and welfare, sustainability, and a better working life,” says Morten Grøn, CEO of Design Denmark.
Allowing students to carry out scientific experiments, Labster Virtual Laboratories can be used in all web browsers and on any tablet or virtual reality platform.

The jury's comments:
“Labster Virtual Laboratories is an ambitious and perfect illustration of how new technology can create a link between physical and digital learning. At the same time, it introduces new touch points in connection with the lecturer’s opportunities for engaging and involving the students and taking teaching to new heights. It is innovative and overcomes both the challenge of providing a large number of students access to highly specialized lab lessons and points out how learning can be boosted by combining theory and experiments.

Interview in Technologist

Photo: Technologist
Read the interview with Mads Bonde in the latest issue of Technologist.