Designing Sustainability Transitions


About this minor

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.

Political leaders (agreed, not all), business leaders and members of society recognize the sustainability crisis that we are in; climate change, loss of biodiversity, the threat it poses to societies, economies and our individual well-being. This minor will help you understand the way of thinking that is needed to establish change and the part you can play in responding to the challenges in front of us and ahead of us.

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.

You will learn about different topics and concepts that are central to designing sustainability transitions, such as societal change, transition management, complex systems, design approaches, systemic design, social design, the circular design strategies, design for behaviour change, futuring, materials, values and ethics, sustainable entrepreneurship and co-creation.

This minor provides an opportunity to experience real interdisciplinary teamwork as you will work together with fellow students from other faculties and universities. Teams will be able to think beyond their field of expertise, acquire creative design skills while sharing their disciplinary knowledge. You will critically reflect on the ethical considerations of design for sustainability and gain an unique experience working on leading topics with some frontrunner companies and larger organisations.

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse the different elements of complex sustainable systems, in the context of the challenge of addressing societal needs within our planetary boundaries.
  • Evaluate processes of change towards a sustainable future at different scales, from individual users to complete societal systems.
  • Form arguments for your own perspective on how transitions could take place.
  • Work with at least three different design approaches for sustainability.
  • Select from a wide range of state-of-the-art design tools and techniques, introduced by experts in guest lectures and workshops.
  • Apply different design approaches, tools and techniques in practical projects.
  • Gain experience in carrying out project work in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Apply communication, entrepreneurship, and collaboration skills towards sustainability challenges in the real world.

Good to know

Registration for this thematic minor is on a first-come, first-served basis and available places. (No lottery draw).

This minor is open for students from all faculties within TU Delft, as well as external students from Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University and international students. Check all entry requirements before registering.

It is a full time minor. This means that you have to spend 40 h/week and attendance on campus is required on most of the days because of collaborative workshops.

Student at Leiden University, TU Delft or Erasmus University Rotterdam?
Check the eligibility matrix to see if your bachelor’s degree programme offers access to this and other minors at

Student at another educational institution?
External students cannot register via EduXchange. Interested in this minor, read the whole registration procedure at

For information about the courses, visit the TU Delft study guide.
For additional information on this minor, visit the TU Delft minor page.

Teaching method and examination

The minor consists of different courses all tested separately. The courses consist of project work in groups, lectures, expert talks, workshops, group discussions and field trips.

Check the detailed overview of courses, learning activities and study load at

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 30
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection minor
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