ADES is lead by a small team of people: its two founding directors and a course coordinator, with the guidance of an international group of advisors - experts in areas starting from sustainability and education, to management of grant programs. We also work with volunteers who contribute with their skills and time in some of the tasks at ADES.

In addition, ADES holds affiliations to other organisations dedicated to design, arts and science.

The Institute of Advanced Design Studies is a non-profit and an independent educational organisation. Our funding model is based on tuitions, subsidies and donations. We work to complement existing education programmes and to increase educational diversity for sustainability across disciplines. Our profits are channeled towards funding new educational initiatives, researchers and research fellowships, and scholarships.
— Karina Vissonova, Founder
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founding director: Róbert Héjja, PhD

Róbert (b.1966) has an M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics and Ph.D. in Economics from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Robert is a private investor since 2010,  experienced in green investments, as well as private equity and real estate related transactions. As well as being a licensed financial broker, Robert is a registered chartered accountant in Hungary, and acts as board member for various companies, foundations, and non-profit organisations.


Founding director: Karina Vissonova, PhD

Karina (b.1975) is a design researcher, creative thinker, educator, author and an innovation strategist with extensive experience working within R&D, product development and business innovation. Karina attained her doctorate in Design with a focus on Philosophy of Design and Sustainability at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. Karina works on strategic development for various green innovation projects and initiatives, as a strategist, board member, and guest lecturer, primarily in the Nordic region.


course coordinator: judit boros

Judit is a product and service designer from an engineering background with expertise in user research and concept development for art&tech and biotech projects. Her expertise has engaged her in diverse design education activities, such as the Service Design Expert course at MOME (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design). Her practice involves strategic design consultancy for service/business development for large service providers, start-ups and NGOs. Since 2017, Judit is a Ph.D. candidate at the Environmental Sciences and Policy Department of the Central European University (CEU), investigating the role of design in integrating nature-based solutions (NBS) into urban environments.



Our prominent advisors are experts with decades of experience in areas of higher education, design, sustainability, multidisciplinary work, fellowship program building, founding of large research projects and heading thought-leading organisations in sustainability and design.

Each of the advisors is contributing to ADES with their specific knowledge and expertise. Together, we are developing the educational platform that is relevant for postgraduates in today’s world and prepares them for working with nature and human value driven design.

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Maria Aiolova, Arup University Leader and Co-Founder, Terreform ONE

Maria is an educator, designer, consultant and community builder in New York City. She is an innovator in ecological design, smart cities, and sustainable urban infrastructure. Maria is the Leader of Arup University in the Americas, where she directs learning, research, foresight, and innovation. She co-founded Terreform ONE, urban research, and foresight consulting group. (Read more)


Jonathan D. Trent, Ph.D., founder of UpCycle Systems and NAsa omega project

Currently a Distinguished Professor at Zhijiang College of Zhejiang University of Technology, founding director of UpCycle Systems, Adjunct Professor in BioMolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Fulbright Specialist, and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. After earning a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, he conducted research at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany, Århus and Copenhagen Universities in Denmark, University of Paris at Orsay in France, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale Medical School, and Argonne National Laboratory in the USA. As a NASA scientist (Read more)

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Karen Blincoe, DD, FRSA, founder of ICIs centre

Karen Blincoe is currently a consultant and lecturer in sustainability and the 17SDGs. She has for many years been working with sustainability and since 2016 her work has included the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Karen’s expertise covers leadership, organizational change, design and education within a sustainability context. She has headed a variety of organisations both education and design-orientated including Chora Connection, Schumacher College and ICIS Center. (Read more)


Steinar Valade-Amland, founder of three point zero

Steinar is an independent consultant since 2012, helping organizations to unlock their strategic and business development potential. He is dedicated to improving organizational performance and innovation capacity through stakeholder engagement strategies, design thinking, and building strong brands and vibrant organizational cultures. He has held leading export, product and marketing management positions primarily in design-based manufacturing companies, as well as, he was the CEO of the Association of Danish Designers, (Read more)

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Daniel I. Schwartz, CEO of Dynamica, Inc

Daniel is the CEO of Dynamica, Inc., a philanthropic foundation and multi-family office serving some of the world’s most generous and effective philanthropists. For over twenty years Daniel has been a leader in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and corporate sectors, specializing in donor collaborations, multi-stakeholder engagements, and public-private partnerships. He is the former CEO of Porticus, a philanthropic grant-making organization and strategic advisory consultancy. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, where he was responsible for the Conference of Nobel Laureates. (Read more)



The Laboratory for Artificial Biology: Hanczyc Lab

The Laboratory for Artificial Biology was established in 2014 by Martin Hanczyc, as part of the Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO) at the University of Trento. Their research seeks to integrate various functional aspects of artificial life, synthetic life, and natural life. Their expertise is in interfacial dynamics, modeling of complex chemistry, optimization strategies, robot-chemistry interfaces, fundamentals of intelligent materials, synthetic biology, and new bio-inspired materials for designs of architecture and engineering.


International Summer School of Design MAD

The name MAD is derived from the keywords describing the concept of the school—Man and Design.

MAD brings together designers, artists, craftsmen, and scientists – people who are unlikely to meet under different circumstances. Here, theories and hypotheses are tested in practice by creating new things and experiences. Philosophical foundation and realization of the works are evaluated equally and their realisation is made meaningful. MAD embraces soft definitions of design and art, by creating useful as well as aesthetic objects. Crafts play the central role in teaching activities at MAD. With the work with traditional materials such as wood, stone, clay and fiber, students experience the passion of creating, while being limited by the laws of materials and the discipline of the craft.


The Institute is based at Art Quarter Budapest, an international contemporary art centre dedicated to the development of art and new media. Located in the vibrant city of Budapest, it consists of several buildings with indoor and outdoor exhibition space, workshop studios, residencies and common rooms. Since its launch, The Art Quarter Budapest has become internationally known as a cluster for progressive art, media and the creative industries in Hungary.


ADES began its collaboration with Art Quarter Budapest in 2018 with a common goal of advancing knowledge in the fields of Art and Design. Our extra- curriculum workshops and short interdisciplinary courses are run in collaboration with the Art Quarter Budapest.


1222 Budapest, Nagytétényi út 48-50. HUNGARY



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