Compact Course: Social Design in Practice – Working with the Sustainable Development Goals

4-8 October 2021, 10:00-16:00

Emilia Knabe (Design Research Lab)
Ben Siegler (Design Research Lab)


Photo: Guillaume de Germain

Please register by 15. September 2021 with your name, field of study and matriculation number to Ben Siegler ().

Designers, artists and activists can play a vital role in shaping sustainable futures. But what are our means and methods in doing so? In this course we will take a closer look at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a set of 17 interconnected global goals agreed upon in the United Nation General Assembly in 2015. Their mission statement is to be „a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all people and the world by 2030“. While critics point out that the yearly cost it would take to achieve them would be too high, supporters put forward that the SDGs were drafted in a process including countries of the global south taking into account the complex structure of global poverty.

In times of overlapping crises, we want reflect upon these overarching goals and how we as designers can work with and relate to them: What are the assumptions and the systemic basis on which they were drafted upon? How can we contribute? And how does the concept of social design come into play here?

In this block-seminar we will critically evaluate the Sustainable Development Goals and discuss them together with other perspectives on digitalisation, sustainability and intersectionality. From this base we will move to the more practical realms of social and human centered design and look at design methods to work with the concept of the Sustainable Development Goals in a hands-on way.

This course will take place virtually but depending on pandemic regulations, we hope to have the chance to meet for prototyping.

UdK Berlin + TU Berlin / 2 SWS / 3 CP / UdK students can gain credits for this class in the framework of the module „Designmethoden“ or over the Studium Generale.