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Design for Sustainability II (EPFL)

  • Teacher(s):   M.Laperrouza   M.Aeberli  
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Spring Semester 2021-2022, 3.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • Related programme: Master of Science (MSc) in Information Systems
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This course aims to explore and practice some of the fundamental tools of designing for sustainability with a focus on the desirability and economic viability of interventions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Apply an iterative prototyping approach to test the sustainability, desirability, economic viability and the technical feasibility of your idea(s)
  • Develop an innovative and sustainable intervention through ideation techniques

Transversal skills

  • Communicate effectively with professionals from other disciplines.


See the full description in the autumn semester course Design for sustainability - I - EPFL.

During the spring semester, sessions are devoted to the prototyping of an intervention through a project-based approach.

Lecturers provide guidance on semester projects on a regular basis.

Teams will be made up of engineers (EPFL), social scientists (UNIL) and designers (ECAL).

As part of the TILT program, some of the course sessions will be given in the form of workshops aimed at strengthening professional competences (communication, interdisciplinary work, open-ended problem solving, project management, etc.). Students will be asked to keep a logbook as a basis for their individual reflexive note.

Expected student activities

  • Work in interdisciplinary teams
  • Attend regularly project consultations
  • Design an intervention through prototyping
  • Document and valorize the processes of designing for sustainability


  • Bhamra, T., & Lofthouse, V. (2007). Design for sustainability : a practical approach. Aldershot, England, Burlington, VT: Gower ; Ashgate Pub.
  • Ceschin, F., & Gaziulusoy, I. d. (2020). Design for sustainability : a multi-level framework from products to socio-technical systems. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Manzini, E. (2015). Design, when everybody designs : an introduction to design for social innovation. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
  • Nova, N., L., L.-H., & M., C. (2016). Beyond Design Ethnography. Geneva: HEAD.
  • Papanek, V. J. (1972). Design for the real world; human ecology and social change. New York,: Pantheon Books.
  • Thackara, J. (2015). How to thrive in the next economy : designing tomorrow's world today. New York, New York: Thames & Hudson.
  • Thompson, P. B., & Norris, P. E. (2021). Sustainability : what everyone needs to know. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Verganti, R. (2016). Overcrowded : designing meaningful products in a world awash with ideas. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
  • Vezzoli, C., Ceschin, F., Diehl, J. C., Moalosi, R., M'Rithaa, M. K., Nakazibwe, V., & Osanjo, L. (2018). Designing Sustainable Energy for All : Sustainable Product-Service System Design Applied to Distributed Renewable Energy. Cham: Springer.


Design for sustainability - II - EPFL

Registration for this course/exam should be made by MARCH 2, 2022 (at the latest) through


First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  
  • Project and documentation: 80% (groupwork)
  • Reflexive note: 20% (individual)


Without exam (cf. terms)  

Written report

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