Sustainability is now a significant concern for creative professionals in the design industry (industrial designers, graphic designers, photographers, and interaction designers) who seek to have a positive impact on consumption patterns and the environment. The Sustainable Design module is an introduction to responsible design that aims to respond to the current ecological context (climate change, resource limitations, technological developments). By raising awareness around the challenges of sustainable development, this module offers an opportunity to rethink project design and implementation with an ethical perspective centered around the issue of sustainability.

This module provides general knowledge on sustainability as it applies to the field of design. Over 5 weeks, the participants will obtain the theoretical basis to then develop a critical approach to design. They will discover practical methods and tools (circular economy, environmental footprint, product life cycle, participatory approach) essential to the integration of responsible design in project development.

At the end of this module, participants will be able to develop a project based on a responsible design strategy that responds to the ecological issues that are omnipresent in the world of contemporary design. 



Qualification issued

Certificate of course - 1/5 Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)


CHF 1 200.-, Alumni EXECAL CHF 1 000.-




4h for 5 weeks, Friday afternoon 2pm - 6pm

Registration deadlines

Sold out

Date of course

April 05, 12, 19, 26 and May 10, 2024

Useful links


Course format

Hybrid teaching (real-time online and on site at ECAL)

Learning Objectives

We give you the keys to
  • Master the key concepts of sustainability in the context of your practice.
  • Understand the different logics that structure the principles of sustainability and the challenges that arise from them.
  • Acquire tools and work methods and their specific application in various contexts.
  • Develop design project strategies.
  • Improve your practice by meeting professionals who integrate the notion of sustainability into their work.

Course program

This section presents the courses detailed by week.
Week I
Basics of sustainability
  • Evolution of sustainability
  • Key concepts of sustainability
  • Sustainability issues (impact and positioning)
Week II
Challenges of a sustainable project
  • Actors and drivers of sustainability
  • Sustainability opportunities (materials, UX footprint diagnosis etc.)
  • Conducting a sustainable project
  • Implementation challenges (constraints, regulations, barriers to change)
Week III
Sustainable design methods
  • Tools and methods
  • Choice of tools/methods according to the context
  • Communicating the process
Week IV
Sustainability strategies
  • Project Strategies for Sustainability
  • Company practices
Week V
Practical application
  • Work on a real project of your choice
  • Return on your approach

Lecturers & speakers

Marius Aeberli

Designer and lecturer in design and sustainability at EPFL and ECAL

Christian Paul Kaegi

Industrial designer and co-founder of Qwestion

Nicolas Lantheman

UI & Visual designer and sustainability specialist, :Ratio

Maxwell Ashford

Industrial designer and sustainability specialist

Murphy Padraig

Design for Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Lead, Logitech

Samuel Perret

Head of Sustainable Development at Milani Design

Jane Withers

Design Consultant and Curator