• Welcome to the Summer School - Circular Economy and Co-design! Our main focus here is to help you ‘learn how can circular economy and co-design come together to promote real positive change!’. This is a unique chance to learn and develop your ideas in an international, multidisciplinary context and experience hands-on work in high-quality workshops of Aalto University.​

    The Summer School will help you construct a systemic understanding of the change needed for transforming the current linear economy towards circular economy. Circular economy is a powerful way to address climate change, resource scarcity and biodiversity loss while also meeting critical social aspects of sustainable development. The focus of these learning activities will be on how to prevent waste and pollution, how to keep products and materials in use longer and how to regenerate the whole system towards a better balance.

    The content of the summer school courses was created in collaboration with academics from this year’s partner universities: Singapore University of Technology and Design, Tecnológico de Monterrey,  Parsons School of Design (the New School), The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Milano and Delft University of Technology. ​

    The initiative’s aim is to invite international students to the Aalto University in order to build capacity for collaboratively solving the big challenges of our time. Teaching will be implemented through co-teaching both on-site at the Otaniemi campus and online. ​

    The content of the course was designed around three core themes: the MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS in circular economy, the SYSTEM UNDERSTANDINGS of the circular economy and the role of future SCENARIOS. The Summer School aims to increase students' understanding of the importance of the transition to a circular economy, and the crucial role of design, designers and consumers in this change. 

    Credits: 6 ECTS = 162 study hours  
    • Pre-learning Task: the summer school was kicked off with a pre-learning task. Your statement posters will be exhibited at the Väre lobby.
    • Face-to-face teaching sessions: the mornings will be dedicated to lectures, workshops and seminars led by academics from the world’s leading design and technology universities.
    • Individual studies: individual studies are composed of course material such as video lectures, reading packages and offline activities to be carried out at you own speed and time.
    • Group Task - The Circular Economy Project: the main assignment of this course is a group project on circular economy. Most afternoons are dedicated to group work, production work at the ARTS workshops, tutoring and feedback sessions, which will finally lead to an exhibition at the Väre building lobby on the last day of the summer school. 

    For the
    TIMETABLE, please see the Course Handbook.
    P.S.:  there will only be one Zoom link for all activities - https://aalto.zoom.us/j/65270409557

  • Systemic understanding: what is wrong in the current linear economy?

    Frame your own statement as a response to the question above.  

    1. Reading:

    We have shared several resources to read in the folder 'Materials> Pre-task Readings'. Please select two texts that relate to your research interest and practice, and reflect on these texts to form your own statement.

    2. Poster: 

    You are expected to design a poster (A2 = 42cm x 59,4cm) that illustrates your statement. 

    3. Presentation:

    On the first day of summer school (1 August, Monday), we will construct an exhibition from these posters. Everyone will present their posters and pitch their statements (for about 2-3 min./person). 

  • This section is dedicated to in-class teaching sessions. It provides information about the professors, a brief description of each session and the resources and suggested readings related to the sessions. 

  • This section is dedicated to in-class teaching sessions. It provides information about the professors, a brief description of each session and the resources and suggested readings related to the sessions. 

  • This section presents the video lectures and reading seminars which you are expected to go through in your own time and speed before the deadline provided for each. Please mind that some independent study materials are prerequisites for in-class teaching sessions. 

  • Here are some online resources that you might enjoy reading or watching. 

  • During the Summer School you will attend lectures and be provided with additional video lectures and reading materials which target three different levels of Circular Economy: 

    • Scenarios 

    • Systems

    • Materials and products

    Then, combine these three levels as you please and decide what your group’s main focus will be for the project.

    Do you want to design products which fit into a circular system? Do you want to create a system which enhances product longevity through repair and reuse services? Or do you want to concentrate on scenario building and how our future living environment and product world could enhance more resource efficiency? 

    Even if you focus on one individual level, please consider and connect all these levels in your group’s work and reflect on them in your daily insights submission (within myCourses.aalto.fi). 

    • Please create your idea of the following scenario: How will circular economy work in 2035?

    • Form a concept you want to work with as a group

    • Form your approach to circular economy: 

    1. (discuss) what interests do you have in relation to circular economy?
    2. (frame) what is the problem you want to solve at the system level and/or on the product design level as a group? 
    3. (envision) Are you interested in including scenario building into your approach? Which futures and large-scale changes do you target in the long-term? 
    • Construct a system concept for a specific product, its production, use, and recycling within a certain geographical context.

    • Design a product suitable for this CE system and the scenario you have created. Your approach can be presented visually, and/or through prototype(s). Please remember that the most important aspect in product design for CE is to slow down (extend the use phase + new business models), close the material loop (recycling at the end), create a new system model and build products suitable for this new system. 

    • An exhibition will be assembled throughout the 2 weeks of the Summer School, it will present your group’s process as well as your final proposal. Each group will have enough space in the final exhibition to add insights, sketches, system maps and visions, which are the building blocks of your project’s solution. So, please, elaborate on your process and clearly present the problem you tackled, your approach to it, and showcase your solution.