This course introduces to the concept of Circular Economy and makes students design their own ‘circular prototypes’. It seems that the ways we consume natural resources, particularly how we produce energy and organise space, are leading us towards disaster. The results are visible in the climate crisis that impacts ecosystems, economies and communities around the world. Therefore, it is necessary to take a new look at how we define value in our society and at potential alternatives to current economic standpoints. We will do so by exploring Circular Economy and its application in cities since urban areas are responsible for approximately 75% of the global CO2 emissions. The central question is: how can we live more sustainably by introducing circular urban systems?
We first offer an introduction to Circular Economy out of the perspective of different fields such as built environment, food & biomass, textile & fashion, and materials & products. In the second phase, students will apply the gained knowledge to prototype solutions with their own city as a case study. The goal is to get a profound understanding of the Circular Economy concept and to create ideas for circular solutions at either the household, product or system scale.
You will learn the most relevant theory behind Circular Economy, you will get an overview of a wide range of examples, you will get insights into current practices and learn how to transform them and finally, the students will be introduced to the lecturer’s research. The course is taught online only and will use a range of techniques such as webinars and online workshops including group work, live lectures, case studies, guided design as well as live chats and discussions. The course is open to students with different backgrounds ranging from design and engineering to social science.
Learning Goals and Syllabus
Students will learn about the trans-disciplinary nature of Circular Economy and they will get a good understanding of system thinking. They will get a sound overview of current application fields of Circular Economy and will explore practical examples. They will further learn how to synthesize and apply knowledge from different fields to design their own prototypes. Students will be able to exchange their knowledge and solutions in a multi-cultural group.
Reading week: August 9th - August 13th, 2021. Flexible, 5 hours preparatory work to be done on-demand.
Online course: August 16th – August 27th, 2021. Estimated session times are Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 2 pm CET for live lectures and group sessions, etc.
Please note that exact session times will be confirmed once registrations have closed (sessions will be scheduled according to the time zones of the registered course participants).
Should you have any questions regarding the course timetable, please contact us at email@example.com 
Please note this is a full-time, intensive course. Weeks 1 and 2 will involve approximately 30 hours of workload.
A detailed syllabus with information on the schedule will be made available to registered participants.
You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home university whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.
- [Webinars & Online-Workshops with breakout sessions & Discussion] Introduction to Circular Economy: roots, theory, concepts and definition
- [Webinars & Case Studies] Circular Economy best-practice overview in the following fields: built environment, food & biomass, textile & fashion, and materials & products
- [Live lectures] System Thinking, Material Flows, Urban Circularity
- [Guided Design & Live Chats & Group Work] Prototyping: tools, methods, co-creation, and presentation
- [Discussion] Lessons learned: evaluation of the course
This course is designed for current university students, working professionals and any individuals with an interest in furthering their knowledge about Circular Economy and urban resource flows such as water, energy, materials, food, and waste management.
Participants from the disciplines Architecture, Ecology, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Planning, Industrial Design, Material Science, Social Science, Sociology, Urban Design, Urban Planning are welcome.
Prerequisites and Technical Requirements
Participants of the TU Berlin Summer & Winter University must meet the following requirements: (i) B2 level English, or equivalent and (ii) at least one year of university experience. Working professionals are also welcome to take part in the program.
We will ask participants to fulfill the following technical requirements:
- Fully functional device (laptop, tablet, PC)
- Stable internet connection
- Software: Zoom (App installed on desktop or over browser. Participants are requested to use their real name as zoom account name)
- Recommended: external headset for better sound quality
Georg Hubmann is a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Chair for Urban Design and Sustainable Urban Planning at TU Berlin. His main interest lies in the nexus between climate change and the design of urban space. Georg’s work has a focus on urban metabolism and the circularity of urban systems. He has a background in urban design and political science and worked with districts and cities around Europe on climate action plans (i.a. Berlin, London, Paris, Utrecht, Helsinki, Malmö, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Valencia).
Course fees for Circular Economy: Introduction and Urban Prototyping are as follows:
Student: 720 Euro
Working professional/Non-student: 1120 Euro
The early bird discount is available for all participants until April 1st 2021.
Please note that students will be required to upload proof of their student status (student card/ enrollment information) during the registration process.