This course will teach you to consider potential impacts from a life-cycle perspective and will help you ensure that the production of your ideas won't accidentally cause harm. Through it, you'll gain an understanding of the impacts of material processes, of different ways to reduce the use of global materials and of the ecological impacts our production and consumption choices cause. You'll discover techniques such as Design for Disassembly, Design for Longevity, Design for Reusability, Design for Dematerialization, and Design for Modularity and will learn to design approaches that minimize potentially negative social and environmental impacts, maximize the regenerative elements, and still maintain functionality, aesthetics, and practicality of products, systems, and services. Sustainable Design & Production isn’t limited just to people who are defined as ‘designers’; the course shares incredibly useful tools for anyone creating things in the world and the eco-design strategies can be applied to any production process.


  • Develop a thorough understanding of the eco-design and circular economy strategies sets and how to apply them.

  • Demonstrate the ability to identify potential impacts and design for minimization while increasing awareness of a variety of methods for evaluating environmental impacts in production.

  • Understand how to use Life Cycle Assessment and other techniques for reducing the impacts of produced goods and services.

  • Push the boundaries of new practices for sustainable production in order to integrate the techniques into your change making practice.


Certificates are issued by the UnSchool (using third party certifier upon successful and demonstrable completion of all course elements. Accredible uses bank-level encryption and blockchain logging to ensure legitimacy and verification, and offers easy to share credentials that you can receive as a downloadable PDF, share on LinkedIn and other digital platforms. Accredible also allows you to control your own data via their credential portal, accessible for free when you receive any certificates or badges.

Dr. Leyla Acaroglu

Instructor Bio:

Sustainability provocateur, award-winning designer, 2016 UNEP Champion of the Earth, and creative changemaker pioneer, Dr. Leyla Acaroglu challenges people to think differently about how the world works. As the founder of the UnSchool and creator of the Disruptive Design Method, Leyla weaves together her skills as a designer, sociologist, and social entrepreneur to create highly immersive educative experiences. She is a renowned international expert on systems thinking and sustainability, running workshops around the world and designing activating experiences, gamified toolkits, and unique educational experiences that help equip people with the tools to intervene and change systems to make the status quo obsolete. Sought after for her unique approach to activating positive social change by design, Leyla's main-stage TED talk on sustainability has been viewed over a million times, and she is the author of several handbooks, as well as an op ed contributor for major publications like the New York Times.

Dr. Leyla Acaroglu

UnSchool Founder + Global Change Maker


  • 01


  • 02

    Part 1: Introduction to the History of Sustainable Design

    • Read: Introduction to Sustainable Design and the Circular Economy

    • Watch: An Introduction to the History of Sustainable Design

    • Read: The Power of Design

    • Watch: Introduction to Sustainability and Circular Economy

    • Watch: Circular Design

    • Read: Eco-ReDesign 4 Step Process

    • Download: 4-Step Eco Redesign Worksheets

    • Download: Circularization of Scenarios Support Sheet

    • Read: The Precautionary Principle

    • Knowledge Check: Sustainable Design & Production

  • 03

    Part 2: Sustainable & Circular Design Methods

    • Read: Overview of Sustainable Design Methods

    • Watch: Sustainable Design Methods

    • Explore: Eco Design Strategies

    • Read: 10 Circular Design Approaches

    • Read: Nature-Based Design Solutions

    • Read: Biophilic Design & Biomimicry

    • Knowledge Check: Sustainable Design Methods

  • 04

    Part 3: Designing for the Circular Economy

    • Read: Overview of the Circular Economy

    • Watch: The Circular Economy

    • Explore: Technical and Biological Flows

    • Read: Circular Thinking

    • Watch: Designing for the Circular Economy

    • Explore: Circular Economy Strategies

    • Watch: Redesigning Disposability

    • Read: Eliminating Waste

    • Activity: Post Disposable Design Worksheet

    • Explore: Circular Economy Concepts

    • Download: The Circular Economy ReDesign Workshop Kit

    • Knowledge Check: Circular Economy

  • 05

    Part 4: Case Studies and Product Service System Models

    • Watch: Case Studies and Approaches to Sustainable design

    • Read: Product Service System Models

    • Explore: Business Case Studies

    • Read: Sustainable Supply Chains

    • Read: Mapping and Designing Circular Supply Chains

    • Activity: Reimagine Service Delivery Worksheet

    • Read: Industry Specific Recommendations

    • Knowledge Check: Examples of Sustainable Design

  • 06

    Part 5: Life Cycle Thinking, Materials and Waste Streams

    • Read: Life Cycle Thinking

    • Watch: What is Life Cycle Thinking?

    • Read: Life Cycles Stages

    • Read: Life Cycle Assessment

    • Read: Defining Functional Units, Goal and Scope

    • Read: Life Cycle Based Design Decisions

    • Read: Materials and Waste Streams

    • Explore: Materials and Waste Stream Considerations

    • Read: Environmental Product Declarations

    • Watch: How to Develop your Sustainable Design Practice

    • Read: Tips for Developing a Life Cycle Approach

    • Watch: Designing Interventions

    • Read: Online Life Cycle Tools

    • Knowledge Check: Life Cycle Thinking

  • 07


    • Tying It All Together

    • Additional Resources and Links

    • A Thank You Message From Leyla

  • 08

    Completion Certificate

    • Sustainable Design & Production Final Knowledge Check Quiz

    • Get your certificate of completion!

  • 09

    Next Steps

    • Continue Your Learning Journey!


“The UnSchool has had a profound effect on me, not only by redefining the way in which I view the world but also by altering my reflection upon past experiences. Throughout the fellowship I felt continuously stretched and challenge, but then ultimately transformed both personally and professionally. It has been the catalyst to inspire change in ourselves before we set out to change our worlds.”

Mohammed Bashkeel

“The UnSchool really changed my whole mindset and gave me so much energy and confidence to create positive change and self-belief.”

Souad Ghaffari

“The immersive experience of the UnSchool was engaging on multiple levels; mind, body and soul! The experiences were immaculately crafted. I’m now seeing my works and life in a more connected perspective and will continue spreading the passion and fire I gained from UnSchool moving forward.””

Xander Ong



Everything that is created requires something else be destroyed; it’s the egg expensed for the omelet, for example, so we need to be armed with the knowledge and techniques to predict and reduce the impacts associated with the things we are responsible for bringing into existence. 

When we create anything, right from the conception stage we must use a life-cycle perspective to consider the potential impacts that its form will have and then design approaches that minimize potentially negative impacts while maximizing the regenerative elements.

This class explores the history, theories, and leaders in sustainable design and production. You’ll learn a wide array of techniques and tools that producers and idea activators need to know when designing interventions that embrace low-impact outcomes, and you’ll be able to evaluate which of those techniques will best serve the project at hand. 

You may be aware of the impact that design has – intended or not – in the big three systems (ecological, social, industrial), and it's been estimated that the design phase impacts around 80% of products’ impacts. 

The ecodesign strategy toolset combined with the circular economy and a host of other thinking and doing tools presented in this knowledge session will help you create more sustainable products, systems, and services in your change-making practice.

Through a fascinating exploration of case studies,  you will learn how to implement eco-design strategies and sustainable production practices. 

We also take a deeper look at circular economy models and methods for evaluating impact, and then we’ll tie it all together by exploring how to use this knowledge for creative change making through the Products-Service Systems model. 

This knowledge session provides the framework for thinking through production and project evolution to build more sustainable solutions into the design of products, systems, and services. It’s an enrichment opportunity for change makers who want to better understand how to create interventions with a low-impact outcome. Let’s get started!