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Improving higher education on Design for Sustainability

LeNSin, the International Learning Network on Sustainability, is the project aiming at the promotion of a new generation of designers (and design educators) capable to effectively contribute to the transition towards a sustainable society for all. The project created an international network of more than 100 universities aiming at developing, promoting and diffusing the teaching of Product-Service System design for sustainability (with a focus on distributed economies) in design schools through a decentralised and collaborative production and fruition of teaching contents.

During the three years of operation, LeNSin project activities involved five seminars, ten pilot courses, the setting up of ten regional LeNS Labs, and a (decentralised) open web platform, which can be accessed by students/designers and teachers aiming to download, modify/remix and reuse open and copyleft learning resources, i.e. courses/lectures, tools, cases, criteria, projects.

LeNSin also promoted a series of diffusion activities targeting the design community worldwide. The final event, a decentralised conference in 2018, based simultaneously in six partner universities, was organised together by the 36 project partners from four continents.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Fabrizio Ceschin - I am a Reader in Design for Sustainability, coordinator of the Design for Sustainability research group and member of the Design for Sustainable Manufacturing research theme. I worked in the Design and Innovation for Sustainability research unit at Politecnico di Milano for six years before joining Brunel University London in 2012. I carry out research in the area of: - Design for Sustainability and Circular Economy, and in particular in developing principles, strategies and tools to innovate and design products, services, product-service systems and business models integrating environmental, socio-ethical and economic sustainability; - Co-design, and in particular on how to support multi-stakeholder and participatory design processes. Over the past years I have been involved in several international and national research projects, funded by the European Commission, EPSRC, Innovate UK, the British Council, SMEs and multinational enterprises. My research projects have resulted in more than 50 journal and conference publications and 4 books. I have been teaching in the area of design for sustainability over the past 15 years. I am currently teaching modules on Environmentally sensitive design (BA and BSc) and Sustainable design (MSc), and I am director of the MSc Integrated Product Design. I am member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, the Design Research Society and the British Industrial Design Association, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Education I obtained a BSc and MSc equivalent degrees in Industrial Design awarded by Politecnico di Milano in Italy. In 2009 I started my doctoral research in design for sustainability at Politecnico di Milano, which was completed in 2012.

Related Research Group(s)

Printer 3D

Additive Manufacturing and 4D Printing - The Additive Manufacturing and 4D Printing Research Group seeks to understand the fundamental aspects and applications of programmable materials through layer-wise methods of production.


Design for Sustainability - We focus on developing the theory and practice required to design solutions that foster environmental, socio-ethical and economic sustainability in areas ranging from materials and manufacturing to products, services, business models, bottom-up initiatives and socio-technical systems.


Digital Design Lab - User-centred research, innovation, consultancy and knowledge transfer aimed at design, development and evaluation of innovative digital and digital-physical systems, products, services and experiences.

Partnering with confidence

UKRI Research England

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 09/09/2022