The Sustainable Summer School Designwalks actively promotes international network building for sustainable design. The aim is to foster inter and trans-disciplinary research in the field of resource-efficiency and sustainability. Emphasis is laid on developing and launching innovative and resource efficient Product Service Systems. For this purpose, leading design institutions, companies and research institutions meet and cooperate.
Educational institutions only rarely integrate ecological and / or sustainability aspects in design courses. Even when they are included, their integration remains peripheral. To close this gap, the Sustainable Summer School provides design students and those of adjacent fields the opportunity to learn about methods for successfully integrating ecological and / or sustainability aspects with their own design work. Furthermore, they have the opportunity to get in touch with experts. A Designguide, which presents theoretical background information as well as a toolkit for practical use, was developed for the methodological support of the participants.
Having been initiated by six institutions, the Sustainable Summer School took place for four times at different venues this year. It is an annual innovation campus for sustainable design every time focussing on a different topic.
Due to the help of all partners, a broad international network has evolved. The Summer School's website www.designwalks.org has become an international communication platform for sustainable design related issues. It also aims at providing designers with teaching and study material as well as examples and concepts related to the topic. Participants will soon be able to develop concepts in an interactive way and to get in touch with partners from adjacent design and research areas. The vision is to develop a "virtual campus" that is frequented by researchers and business partners alike.
In workshops, courses or seminars lasting one to six weeks or at summer/winter schools taking place at an innovation campus, students and professionals from general design and product design courses will create innovative and resource efficient Product Service Systems in an inter and trans-disciplinary fashion. Furthermore, students and professionals from other relevant disciplines such as engineering, business, and social sciences are invited to contribute to this process.
These concepts are then further developed in innovation workshops or "living labs" (www.livinglabproject.org).