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Circular Economy: Introduction and Urban Prototyping

Winter University Online: January 11th - 29th, 2021

5 ECTS credit points, max. 20 participants

Registration is now closed



The 2022 winter program will be published soon!

This course introduces to the emerging topic of Circular Economy and allows students to design their own ‘circular prototypes’. With the effects of climate change starting to surface more rigorously, moving away from a linear economy becomes ever more important. Therefore, the focus will be on urban resource flows such as water, energy, materials, food, and waste because the way in which we manage the resources consumed and produced in cities is critical for the future development path. This online course will give participants an opportunity to rediscover their own city by making material flows visible and understanding relevant infrastructures as well as socio-economic processes. 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.  


Course Structure:

Reading week: January 4th - January 8th, 2021. Flexible, 10 hours preparatory work to be done on-demand.

 Online course: January 11th - January 29th, 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

Please note this is a full-time, intensive course. Weeks 1-3 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.


Course Components:

  • [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] The complex nexus of urban planning and design, material flows and climate change
  • [Guided Design & Live Chats & Group Work] Prototyping: tools, methods, co-creation, and presentation
  • [Discussion] Lessons learned: evaluation of the course

Target Audience

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.

Technical Requirements

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’s main research interest lies in the nexus between climate change and urban design. His work focuses on urban metabolism and the integration of urban systems, user driven data innovation and community participation. He studied urban design and political science in Berlin, Madrid, and Shanghai. Georg holds a M.Sc in urban design from TU Berlin, a M.Arch from Tongji University Shanghai, and a B.A. in political science from FU Berlin. Since 2014, he is a research associate and since 2018 a doctoral candidate at CHORA, TU Berlin where he is contributing to the chair's teaching and research agenda. He was leading several projects on community participation in Berlin (Moabit, Schöneweide, Buch) and worked with districts and cities in Europe on climate action plans (i.a. London, Paris, Utrecht, Helsinki, Malmö, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Valencia).

Course fees

*Registration for this course has now closed*

Course fees for Circular Economy: Introduction and Urban Prototyping are as follows:

Student: 920 Euro

Working professional/Non-student: 1320 Euro

The early bird discount is available for all participants until November 1st. Registrations open in October 2020.

Please note that students will be required to upload proof of their student status (student card/ enrolment information) during the registration process.

5 ECTS credit points

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TU Berlin Summer & Winter University
+49 30 4472 0230