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Design for Sustainable Transitions


Design for Sustainable Transitions is a fashion design-led study and practice to envision and realise transitions to sustainable futures in the fashion field. Starting from an overview of design for sustainable transitions and the study of social practices, students will be trained in building innovative design scenarios to rethink emerging lifestyles as to facilitate sustainability within societies.

Students investigate the challenges, conditions and possible transitions for the fashion field. The main goal is to experiment and simulate co-design activities to allow them to validate skills, knowledge, techniques and tools previously learned. 

This unit expects to initiate an understanding of fashion in the public realm and the notion of ‘living with’. In doing so, it facilitates students’ ability to work in a systemic way, considering the ecology of the fashion system as a complex system, including actors such as NGOs, charities, representatives of specific or marginalized social groups, people with special needs, etc. We encourage an interdisciplinary approach, including students from different backgrounds than fashion to deliver more efficient results in building transitions and more sustainable scenarios. The outcomes may consist of workshop planning, scenario building boards, design studio projects.

  • Design ethnography

  • Future anticipation

  • Participatory design

  • Scenario building

  • Social sustainability

  • Sustainable transitions

Student’s Pre-Requisite Skills and Knowledge

Basic knowledge on social sustainability; cooperation

Learning Goals


Understand the complexity of social challenges, knows design methodologies that enable overcoming social challenges.


Social sustainability, interdisciplinary learning, systemic thinking, envisioning.

Pedagogical Approaches

Informed decision making; future thinking; participatory learning; learning through making; interdisciplinarity

Key Resources
  • Gaziulusoy, I., Erdogan, E. (2019) Design for sustainability transitions: Origins, attitudes and future directions. Sustainability, 11(13), pp. 1-16

  • Brand, Stewart (1999). The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility. New York: Basic Books

  • Irwin, T. (2015). Transition Design: A Proposal for a New Area of Design Practice, Study, and Research, Design and Culture, 7:2, 229-246, DOI: 10.1080/17547075.2015.1051829

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