Duration: 6 weeks, 1 module/week (2h lecture + 2h seminar per module / 24 hours total)


Cost: 1.500€


Dates: every Wednesday from 8th November to 13th December 2023


A SOS certified course for those who want to acquire the necessary practical skills to becoming circular economy expert in the fields of design, architecture and engineering.
By successfully completing this course you are eligible for becoming a Circular Economy Consultant(Basic Level).

Course Introduction

The current economy, constantly polluting and extracting from the earth, is the result of a system based on the linear “take-make-waste” model.

The extraction and the processing of natural resources are responsible for over 90% of the loss of biodiversity and the water-shortages in the world. Furthermore, over 45% of global greenhouse gas emissions derive from the ways in which we produce and use goods, grow our food and manage the earth’s resources.

With this situation, the circular economy becomes a necessary tool for renewal.

The aims that lie at the very foundation of the circular economy – eliminate waste, allow all materials to flow in a circular fashion, regenerate nature – mean it can offer a new code of practice on the route to a model of resilience, which benefits companies, people and the environment.

But we must intervene urgently and transform ambitious ideas into concrete actions if we are to bring about a positive and swift impact. With this in mind, today more than ever, designers can and must play a key role in the creation of the new consumables and services. It is estimated that as much as 80% of the circular value of a product is determined during the design process.

Indeed, the world of design can lead production systems towards a true ecological transition.

Course Objectives

The main aim of the module is to understand the principles, strategies and practicalities of ”circular design” as applied to concrete examples of various scales.

Students will study how to move away from a product-focused design approach to a process-focused one, by examining the wider context and considering how partners or suppliers might be brought into the project and enhanced, whilst bearing in mind the principles of the circular economy and therefore eliminating all processes which may be potentially damaging for the environment, treating waste as a resource which must be kept in circulation for as long as possible and aiming to regenerate nature.

Not only can the design process for the circular economy become a force for environmental regeneration, it can also drive social revitalization. We will analyze the impact that strategies to eliminate pollution and to increase the value of waste can have within smaller and larger communities and in various economic contexts.

The module comprises theoretical training and practical activities: by studying processes for transformation, recycling and regeneration and the most important national and international eco-design case-studies, students will apply theoretical concepts to practical exercises. They will be introduced to the Circular Economy and its applications in the world of design and will then design domestic and urban furniture. They will develop the skills necessary to transform their own creations into a force for positive action and acquire the knowledge fundamental to becoming a Circular Design Consultant.

After two weeks of full integration, study groups will present a project that aims to resolve a specific problem or to satisfy a particular need without using virgin resources whilst also maximizing the aesthetics and the value and prolonging or improving its life-cycle.

The Structure

Classes will last 4 hours (2 hours of frontal lesson + 2 hours of workshop activities) divided in 6 modules as below.

The working groups generally consist of 3/4 students.
CE01 - Circular Economy today: an introduction ( 1 Unit - 4 Hours Lecture + Workshop)

8 November 2023

What is the circular economy and on what principles is it based? An introduction to the circular economy and how many professionals are already integrating it in their creative design projects.

Workshop: An introduction to Project Design: “Circular Economy for Public Furniture and social application”
CE02 - Green Procurement and Circular Supply Chain (1 Units - 4 Hours Lecture + Workshop)

15 November 2023

For an eco-sustainable design project to be succcessful it is necessary the right supply chains and distribution channels.

By studying the flow-chains of raw materials and resources, we will be able to come up with design projects that create less waste, more value and benefits for their own eco-systems.

Understanding how to become part of a “virtuous cycle” or being able to find or design new ones are skills which any professional must acquire if they are to work successfully in the circular economy and have a real environmental and economic impact.

Workshop: Focus on sourcing raw materials from the circular economy.
CE03 - Additive Manufacturing for the Circular Economy (1 Unit - 4 Hours Lecture + Workshop)

22 November 2023

Additive manufacturing and 3D printing are ideal for testing materials and shapes in the world of design but have now also become production tools for both furniture and architecture.

An introduction to how 3D printing and computational design are revolutionizing project design.

Workshop: Tools and strategies for computational modelling and slicing.
CE04 - Service Flip - Transforming a product into a service(1 Unit - 4 Hours Lecture + Workshop)

29 November 2023

More and more companies are moving away from the simple sale of a product towards the provision of a service based on that product.

Why? How can this effectively make an organization more efficient and circular?

Change can begin once we understand the real needs of customers and come up with creative ways to meet them, whilst simultaneously generating value.

Workshop: Case study on public utility services that also enhance urban furniture.
CE05 - Regenerative Thinking and NID (1 Unit - 4 Hours Lecture + Workshop)

6 December 2023

Can we regenerate nature through design or even through certain products? Can we benefit from emulating or using a natural process?

How nature can provide inspiration for professionals involved in the design process and the choice of how products are made and discarded?

Workshop: In-depth study of surfaces and textures that can improve and enhance the value of products.
Conclusion of group projects.
CE06 - Business Models, Circular Economy and Social Economy (1 Unit - 4 Hours Lecture + Workshop)

13 December 2023

How the circular economy can have a positive impact on society?

Inviting associations and local communities to play an active role too, takes any project to a higher level and can attract potential investors to circular economy initiatives.

Students will look at how to incorporate into design projects various strategies to promote joint-project developmentand to generate social value.

Final Group presentations

Course Outcome

After weeks of full integration, project teams will produce comprehensive documentation that demonstrates an advanced application of use-inspired practice-based research, and holistic systems approach.

Course Leader

Stefano Giovacchini - Designer and Circular Design Consultant

In 2001 he graduated with honor at Accademia of Belle Arti di Firenze in Design with a thesis in design entitled "Color-design", then he participated in the European project "Leonardo" with a post-graduate internship in communication at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels and then attended a course at the Indigo department of the Politecnico di Milano dedicated to color design for the city.

In 2003 he opened the studio Disegno Colore ed Interni, focused to interiors and colour design whit natural finishing.

In 2017 he set up a company dedicated to produce large 3d printed objects made with recycled plastic from urban waste. He has from 2018 a partnership to research and development with Revet, the biggest Tuscan multi-utility.

In 2022 he designed and realized public furniture for Municipality of Lucca, using for the first time ever a polymer made from recycled tetra pak inside 3D printer.

Since 2018 he has been an external lecturer for SOS - School of Sustaninability.

He has a focus on sustainable design, additive manufacturing and creative design processes. His objects are exposed in several international design exhibitions.

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