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Design for Sustainability Online Short Course

Course description

Design for Sustainability is a course for designers and people who work with design, and offers a hands-on introduction to integrating sustainability within the design process. It is multi-disciplinary, and so is applicable to all design disciplines (fashion, product, service, business model, architecture, UX, strategy, etc.).

This four-week course will introduce practical ideas, concepts, and processes through which designers can create more sustainable outcomes at all levels. Design for Sustainability takes you through the basic tools of designing for sustainability: Systems mapping, design thinking for sustainability, circular economy and an understanding of impacts. All aimed at defining and integrating sustainability in your work and you taking ownership of “sustainability”.

You will learn through a combination of discussions, short lectures, inspirational case studies, introduction to tools, and practical application of tools through hands-on assignment briefs.

Who is Design for Sustainability Online Short Course for?

This is a course for designers and people who work with design, seeking an introduction and experience in working with sustainability in the design process. Design for Sustainability is suitable both for experienced professionals and for recent graduates wanting to make the sustainability agenda their own, as well as for both sustainability novices and sustainability passionistas, who have already taken the first couple of steps.

Level: All levels welcome

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course you will:

  • Gain an overview of the main drivers of sustainability, internationally and cross-sectoral
  • Know the main strategies for sustainability
  • Explore the sustainability potential in your work
  • Establish fluency in the jargon jungle
  • Understand the sustainable impact in your own value chain
  • Have insight into designing processes for sustainability
  • Understand the tools to advocate sustainable design and create better or more sustainable designs yourself
  • Work on a live project of your choosing, designing for sustainability
  • Present your design for sustainability to the group and receive tutor feedback

All our Online Short Courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes
  • Lesson recordings, for review
  • Access to VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 2 weeks online access
  • Certificate upon completion

Further details about preparing for your online course, and the equipment you need, can be found here.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here.

Available dates

Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.


Online short course materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Chrome)
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended. The built-in microphone in your device would also be fine)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection - we recommend a minimum of 2 Mbps download, and 1 Mbps upload, faster if possible. You can test your network speed here -

Please bring for the first session:

  • notebook and pen


Topics covered

  • Introduction to sustainability in design, why, how and what
  • Strategies for sustainability
  • Design thinking for design for sustainability
  • Introduction to design for sustainability tools
  • Exploration of systems thinking and systems mapping
  • Introduction to circular economy concepts
  • Circularity of materials and waste
  • Waste as a resource
  • Redesign processes for sustainability
  • Life cycle analysis and impact measurement
  • People centred design
  • Learning from nature: Permaculture principles, biomimicry
  • Transition design



We're working through our student reviews and will add to this section shortly! In the meantime, why don't you check out our stories where you will find out lots about our students and their experiences.
Meet the Tutor:

This online course is an introduction to the tools and processes required for sustainable design practice, including systems thinking, circularity, stakeholder evaluation, co-creation, and more.

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