ID Green – design perspectives on sustainability


About this course

Sustainability is one of the major topics of our age and the landscape of sustainability is huge, divers and complex. So, what is sustainability in the context of Industrial Design? Is there one answer to this question, or perhaps not? And how can you design for a sustainable future? These are the central questions for this course.

The structure of the course is a combination of lectures, self-study, discussions, groupwork assignments and individual reflections.

Through a series of lectures, self-study, discussions and 3 group assignments, we will explore various perspectives on what sustainability is and how you can design for sustainability. At the end of the course you will be challenged to translate your findings and reflections into a Manifesto that reflects your vision on (designing for) sustainability.

Perspectives on sustainability that will be explored may vary per academic year. In the academic year 2020-2021 the following topics were addressed in the course:

  • History – Terminology - Sustainable Development Goals
  • Materialization for a sustainable future
  • Bio Design
  • Practices-oriented design
  • Designing for behaviourial change
  • More-than-Human Design / Ethics
  • Sustainability as a transforming practice
  • Presentations on opportunities for students to join projects on sustainability

Lectures will take place on Monday (3rd and 4th hour), Group assignments will take place on Thursday (5th – 8th hour).

Within the three consecutive group assignments (aprox.4-5 students per group) three perspectives will be explored further in a hands-on approach through a two-week module. Each group assignment will be rounded off with a group report and individual reflection.

The 4th two-week module is dedicated to the team-assignment (2-3 students) on creating a Manifesto. This assignment will be rounded off with a Manifesto and presentation per team, and an individual reflection.

This course will not provide you with all the answers on how to design for sustainability, but it will challenge you to reflect on various perspectives on sustainability and your own role as a designer.
So, the course aims to provide guidance on how to include sustainability in your future development, enabling you to develop your own designers’ roadmap to contribute to our sustainable future.

Assignemnts and deliverables:
The course consists of 4 assignments; 3 group (4-5 students) assignments based on a specific design perspective and 1 team (2 students) assignment for creating a Manifesto including an individual reflection.
The deliverable for the group assignments is a group report including individual reflection. Requirements for the report may vary per assignment.
The deliverables for the team assignment are a Manifesto and an individual reflection.

Each group-assignment contributes for 20% to the end result.
The team-assignment (Manifesto + individual reflection) contributes for 40% to the end result.
A peer review may be part of the procedure.

Learning outcomes

Developing understanding of sustainability in the context of Industrial Design TU/e
Understanding the (historical) context of sustainability.
Identifying different perspectives on sustainability in design (What?)
Learning about different approaches on designing for sustainability
Gaining an overview of opportunities to develop further in designing for sustainability

Practicing designing for sustainability by implementing 3 different approaches/ perspectives in group assignments (How?).

Being able to (critically) reflect on sustainability from various perspectives.
Developing a personal vision on sustainability (Why?) and becoming aware how this relates to personal design work and development as a designer.

Required prior knowledge

You must meet the following requirements

  • Registered for a degree programme other than
  • HBO-TOP Applied Physics, Pre-Master, Fulltime

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of TU Eindhoven.


  • Start date

    22 April 2024

    • Ends
      23 June 2024
    • Term *
      Block 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment period closed
  • Start date

    21 April 2025

    • Ends
      22 June 2025
    • Term *
      Block 4
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment starts in 172 days
For guests registration, this course is handled by TU Eindhoven