Certificate in Sustainable Design Innovation - Ireland


TEPUI has co-developed with IT Carlow and the Design Ireland Skillnet a certificate course in Sustainable Design Innovation. This module has now been accredited as an ECTS 10 credit Level 9 module (post- Masters Degree) by the Irish Higher Education and Training Awards Council, HETAC.


This 15-week course ran for two consecutive years, with students coming from a variety of backgrounds, most being mid-career professionals. They included architects, landscape designers, graphic designers, fashion designers, industrial materials designers, planners, industrial product designers, design managers, marketing managers and other business managers with responsibility for new product development (NPD), company strategy and design. In other words, representation was broad, and this served to enrich the exchange of ideas and experiences in the class.


In 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, the program consisted of........................ <--break->

  • Introduction to Sustainable Design

  • Introduction to Biomimicry

  • Design Activism and Social Design

  • Permaculture Principles

  • Practical sustainable design innovation strategies

  • Social and environmental legislative considerations

  • Lifecycle Thinking, Simplified LCA (Lifecycle Analysis)

  • Materials selection and procurement

  • Corporate and Social responsibility

  • Packaging and waste considerations for designers and business

  • Marketing sustainable design

  • Sustainable Design for competitive advantage 

  • Presentation skills

  • Accelerated creativity techniques

The SDI course is focused around continual development of an Applied Research Project, with visiting lecturers representing the cutting edge of their fields.

Because the course seeks to position students at the leading edge of an emerging industry, all content is "live" and subject to change as times and needs suggest.

The course is blessed by a broad network of sustainability practitioners, many of whom presented lectures over the period from 2008-2010. These included:

Mark Bennett, Green Business Officer, Dublin City Council: Social and Corporate Responsibility

Paul Butler, Snr. Commercialisation Specialist at Enterprise Ireland:  Materials selection and procurement/ Lifecycle Thinking, Simplified LCA (Lifecycle Analysis)

Jonathon Crinion, Holistic Design Ecology: Design Ecology and Paradigm Shifts/ Intro to Cradle to Cradle Strategies/ Environmental impacts, supply chain and end-of life considerations

Adam de Eyto: Introduction to Sustainable Design, Product Life Cycle Analysis Lab (Adam is a co-developer of the SDI course)

 Denise de Luca, Project Lead Swedish Biomimetics 3000 and Outreach Representative The Biomimicry Institute: Basics of Biomimicry

Alastair Fuad-Luke: Design Activism and Slo Design
Mike Haslam, Solearth Ecological Architecture: Eco Architecture

Dorothy Maxwell, Global View Sustainability Services Ltd: Evironmental Impacts of Products - The Big Three: Carbon, Energy and Water Footprints Plus
Kate Nolan, ReDress.ie: Sustainable Fashion Design

Brian O'Brien, Solearth Ecological Architecture: Eco-Architecture
Frank O'Connor, EcoDesign Centre Wales:Sustainable Design for competitive advantage  / Marketing sustainable design (Frank is a co-developer of the SDI course)

Paul O'Connor: Why Sustainable Design?, Accelerated Creativity Techniques

Simon O'Rafferty, EcoDesign Centre Wales: Incentives and Support for Sustainability in Design / Social and environmental legislative considerations

Rosie O'Reilly, ReDress.ie: Sustainable Fashion Design

Simon Stringer, Leaf Environmental Ltd :Packaging and waste considerations for designers and Business

Erik van Lennep: From Eco-Design to to Sustainable Design, Presentation and Communication Skills (Erik is a co-developer of the SDI course)

Richard Webb: Permaculture and Landscape Design


National and institutional funding issues did not permit running the course in 2010/2011 as designed and produced by TEPUI, although the need for this training is stronger and more relevant than ever. If you would like to speak with us about running an equivalent training programme for your company, institution or local authority, let us know.


Here's what some of the students and guest lecturers had to say about the course:

  • The Sustainable Design Innovation course content is one of the most well thought out I have seen. It gets the balance and depth just right on key sustainability and design know how to enable professionals to practically apply sustainable design in their areas of expertise. -Dr. Dorothy Maxwell (Technical Director, Global View Sustainability Services; previously, Senior Environmental Specialist for Enterprise Ireland)  
  • This course is not about the plethora of 'Post -It' type solutions available today, It is about fundamental philosophy and knowledge to see through the volumes of misinformation and dubious solutions used to 'Greenwash' products , processes and companies, Outstanding.- David Mavroudis (Architect)
  • There are so many buzz words around sustainability these days. A course like this goes back to first principles and gives foundation to an understanding of what they actually mean and represent. Putting the theory into practice is the place that a course like this can be a catalyst for any person across different disciplines.- Patrick Shaffery (Architect)
  • I would say that sustainability is the way of all future living and that it is really important that we get involved now and at all levels. The SDI course is a fantastic course to get you thinking of moving forwards.- Fiona Lynch (Graphic Designer with Irish Life)


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