This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Designing Sustainability Transitions

Admission Requirements
There are no specific prerequisites for the attendance of the course

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student is able to:


  • Critically reflect on and synthesize theories and methodologies aimed at sustainable transition design
  • Account for methods aimed at visualizing and analysing complex socio-technical-ecological systems


  • Apply systems thinking perspectives in design processes targeting complex challenges
  • Analyse consequences of different design decisions in complex systems settings
  • Plan, organise and practically execute a project using appropriate methods, with a particular focus systems thinking and complex systems
  • Apply methods for the design, research, planning, execution, and evaluation of projects aimed at sustainability transitions


  • analyse and critically reflect on their own working process in relation to theories about sustainable transition design

This course gives insights in perspectives and approaches to support sustainability transitions in design. The course introduces design perspectives such as design thinking, transition design, more-than-human design, and circular product design, with a particular focus on practical explorations of contemporary design and development methods for sustainable design. A large part of the course is a design project with external challenge givers providing a challenge aiming for sustainable transitions.


Course Book Candidates

  • Escobar, A. (2018). Designs for the pluriverse: Radical interdependence, autonomy, and the making of worlds. Duke University Press.
  • Wakkary, R. (2021). Things we could design: For more than human-centered worlds. MIT press.

Research Papers

First, second and third order effects of ICT on the environment

Economic models

Leverage points  

More-than-human-centered design

Teaching Methodology
  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Project work

ECTS Credits
7,5 ECTS Credits

III semester

Examination methodology

Individual written assignment (40%)
Project report, with oral presentation (60%)

This course introduces methods and theories focusing on designing transitions in complex systems. The course is to a large extent a project course, making it possible for students in the programme to apply knowledge acquired in previous courses. The course complements the systems thinking perspectives in the programme, with a design thinking perspective, highlighting how to achieve transitions and change in complex socio-ecological systems.

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