C.9 Design Thinking for Sustainability

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Design has a long history of sustainability and social justice. There have been many designers creating solutions throughout history that create value and health for people. Unfortunately, the design profession has also released egregious things that waste resources, harm people (mostly unintentionally, but not always), make people fell awful about themselves, and cater to the worst of our natures.

Design thinking is a movement and set of principles to reset this approach and use design to the best extent of its abilities. At its best, human-centered design (design thinking) takes great care to differentiate between wants and needs, with the former being surface-level objects of convenience and the latter being underlying desires one cannot easily articulate but get to the root of what is actually needed. Good design thinking processes aim to uncover unmet needs as opposed to simply catering to the “easy wins.”

During these 3 days we will talk about Life cycle/circular, human-centered and biomimicry design and planing (using Stanford, IDEO, cradle to cradle and design inspired by nature methodologies). Practically, we will use design thinking, theater/role playing, games, nature observation and multidisciplinary research - based teaching techniques in order to develop new human and nature centered solutions (ideas, products, projects and so on). At the end of the course, participants will develop and present their solutions.


  • To build understanding, awareness, and comfort using design thinking methods and tools.

  • To build experience in developing relevant "need" product and service solutions.

  • To hone presentation skills, design skills, creativity, playfulness and critical thinking skills.