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.


Day: 2017-08-21
Start time: 10:00
Duration: 02:30
Room: Zelt 17 / tent 17
Track: Kurse / Courses
Languages: en

Concurrent Events

Zelt 21 / tent 21
Die Revolution ist weiblich. Die kurdische Frauenfreiheitsbewegung in Rojava und Nordkurdistan
Zelt 1 / tent 1
A.1 Klimawandel und Strukturpolitik
Zelt 2 / tent 2
A.2 Neue Ideen für das Rheinland
Zelt 3 / tent 3
A.3 Just Transition
Zelt 4 / tent 4
A.4 Corporate power, Fossil fuels and the Energy Transition:
Zelt 5 / tent 5
B.1 Psychologie im Umweltschutz
Zelt 6 / tent 6
B.2 Creating a Climate for Change
Zelt 7 / tent 7
B.3 The Psychology of Degrowth
Zelt 8 / tent 8
B.4 How to face the perfect problem?
Zelt 9 / tent 9
C.1 Gemeinsam aktiv
Zelt 10 / tent 10
C.2 Utopische Wissenswerkstatt
Zelt 11 / tent 11
C.3 Limits and potentials of social movements for socio-ecological transformation
Zelt 12 / tent 12
C.4 Activist Research in and for Degrowth
Zelt 13 / tent 13
C.5 Von den Sustainable Development Goals zu einer sozial-ökologischen Transformation
Zelt 14 / tent 14
C.6 Experiences of skills for micro system change and projection’s path to a macro system change
Zelt 15 / tent 15
C.7 Naturverhältnisse und Degrowth im Staatssozialismus
Zelt 16 / tent 16
C.8 Kurswechsel 1.5 Grad
Zelt 18 / tent 18
C.10 Transformatives Organizing
Zelt 19 / tent 19
C.11 SoftwareFreedomyourway
Radio-Zelt / radio tent
C.12 Rheinland Resistance Radio
Zelt 23 / tent 23
Mit der Care-Revolution zur klimafreundlichen Postwachstumsgesellschaft
Zelt 24 / tent 24
ver.di-Studie zum sozialverträglichen Ausstieg aus der Kohleverstromung
Zelt 22 / tent 22
Back to the future: Rätedemokratie als Alternative für (Re-)Produktion und Politik
Zeit, Beschleunigung, Klimawandel, Entschleunigung