Designing Sustainability Transitions


What would a sustainable future look like? How do we get there? And how can we design for it? Developing your own answers to these three questions will be the core of this minor.

Sustainability will be approached from both environmental and social perspectives. The underlying philosophy of this minor is that, in order to design for sustainability, you need to consider the whole system and go beyond resource efficient products and services.

Picture by The Ocean Cleanup

For whom?

Engineering, architecture, and design students from universities worldwide on a level comparable to that of the TUDelft.

What will you learn?

You will learn about advanced topics of sustainability and explore different perspectives on how to enact societal change, including the framework of a circular economy. You will explore different design methods and their effects on sustainability. You will be given many opportunities to develop specific technical and professional skills and will critically reflect on the ethical considerations of design for sustainability.  

Throughout the semester you will work in teams composed of students from diverse educational backgrounds. The minor will be a combination of project work in groups, lectures, expert talks, workshops, group discussions and field trips. You will apply what you learn in a concrete design challenge for an external client (companies, charities, municipalities, etc.).

  • You will gain a thorough understanding of the different elements of complex sustainable systems, and the transdisciplinary challenge of addressing societal needs within our planetary boundaries.
  • You will evaluate processes of change towards a sustainable future at different scales, from individual users to complete societal systems.
  • You will form arguments for your own perspective on how transitions could take place.
  • You will work with 3 state-of-the-art design approaches or techniques, introduced by experts in studio or lab work. Experts will give guest workshops and you will be given the opportunity to apply the methods in practical labs.
  • You will gain unique experience in carrying out project work in multidisciplinary teams for external, real-life clients.
  • You will apply communication, entrepreneurship, and collaboration skills towards sustainability challenges in the real world in your presentations to the clients.

Course overview

The minor Designing Sustainability Transitions comprises the following courses:

Register for this minor

Minors of the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering are open only for students from academic programmes in the third year of their Bachelor studies.