Sustainable Design and Social Impact



Start date

October 2024




On campus


8 Months


60 IED

Course Coordination

Markel Cormenzana, Jon Marín

A program to turn your personal talent as a designer into projects that make a difference, working for an enterprise, organisation, or as an activist.

In the transition to a circular economy we have to come up with new concepts, designing and developing new products and services that have a positive impact in a social, economic and environmental context.

This is our commitment, and this Master's Degree in Sustainable Design gives you the necessary skills to create sustainable designs. You’ll learn how to use critical and holistic thinking and acquire the specific tools and resources you need to make it your job to make a difference.

The program takes a skill-development approach to learning based on a number of challenges and projects. You’ll be working with local activists and associations on projects to find solutions to the challenges we face in modern cities today: housing, health, climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem resources, the social solidarity economy, taking action against waste, and more.

Information to decide

A comprehensive, project-based learning experience in sustainable design, to turn your personal interest into professional development in a field that needs new designers.

The Master's Degree in Sustainable Design is structured in blocks of related and convergent content to progressively acquire the necessary skills and know-how to meet the program goals.

Techniques and methods such as the flipped classroom or challenge-based learning, combined with theoretical and practical sessions, visits, workshops, round tables and lectures make it a dynamic, predominantly project-based learning experience.

Creative people interested in the potential of design as an instrument of change to find solutions to social and environmental challenges.

The Master´s degree is for industrial design engineers, product designers, fashion designers, textile designers or engineers who want to further their career in design. Architects and interior designers interested in sustainability-oriented product design and learning new creative methodologies will find the program both interesting and useful.

In this Master's Degree in Sustainable Design you’ll learn through challenges, developing projects with a competency-based approach. You’ll put the new skills and know-how acquired into practice in projects. And you’ll do so with the help of a teaching staff of professionals from all over the world who have already made their mark in the sector. You’ll study a wide range of subjects and disciplines, such as town planning, material experimentation, the social solidarity economy, biology, art, fashion, and more.

And you’ll use design as a vector of personal and professional transformation to create social, environmental and economic value.

Last but not least, studying at IED Barcelona is a unique learning experience in an international environment, where you’ll be rubbing elbows with people who have the same passion and vocation in a city leading the field in sustainable design and social innovation.


The program is based on challenge-based learning and is composed of a series of competency blocks that will be developed through five assessable challenges. The competency blocks are as follows:

  • Soft design skills and competencies
  • Design methodologies
  • Environmental and social sustainability
  • Technical skills and competencies
  • Economics and business

In turn, these blocks are distributed across different themes:

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN: Why do we say "sustainable design" when we mean "design"?

BASIC DESIGN TOOLKIT: What tools do I have if I want to design well?

DESIGNING SYSTEMS: What lies behind a design?

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AS AN ECONOMIC DRIVER: Can you be sustainable and profitable?

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS AND PROCESSES: Sustainability is not only about recycled materials.

COMMUNICATION: What abilities do I have to showcase what I've done?

QUANTIFICATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS: Can I really know how good my project is?

SERVICE DESIGN: Do I need a washing machine or clean clothes?

PROTOTYPING: We design, build, and, above all, test.

CREATIVITY: Pushing the boundaries of design.

DESIGNING FOR THE MANY: Investigating the capacity, strategies, and impact of design in shaping our society.


Markel Cormenzana

Course Coordinator

Jon Marín

Researcher and teacher in business sustainability and creativity

Course Coordinator

Andreu Belsunces

Researcher, teacher and consultant in design, technology and digital culture


Mercè Rua


Giulia Sonetti

PhD in Environment and Territory (Politecnico di Torino 2016)