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Institute of Advanced Design Studies Course: Advanced Design for Sustainability virtual studies
Institute of Advanced Design Studies

Course: Advanced Design for Sustainability virtual studies

Budapest, Hungary

1 Months


Part time

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EUR 400 *

Distance Learning

* 400 EUR / module 1-2; 800 EUR / module 3-4-5


The Advanced Design for Sustainability (ades4s) course is a uniquely built transdisciplinary programme training students to bridge scientific and technological discoveries and developments with the needs in society and the environment through design. Our students deep-dive into researching across disciplinary boundaries, acquiring knowledge from multiple scientific and humanities fields, and through their own skill base producing innovative contemporary solutions to the complex multilayered challenges of today. We have adapted the ades4s course 2020/2021 to the current global circumstances and from October 2020 our programme is also available in virtual studies.

The virtual programme features our five Modules:

  1. ‘Thinking Design’,
  2. ‘Sustainability, Resilience and Ecology’,
  3. Artificial Life & Sustainability,
  4. Tribalism & Future Social Structures, and
  5. Biodesign: The World of Growing Things.

The five modules together form the full one year course. It is, of course, possible to participate in the Modules separately based on individual preferences. For example, one may select to join only one module or three modules, or the full course.


ADES virtual studio structure and details

Module 1 and 2 are offered only in virtual study mode. Module 3, 4, and 5 are available both in virtual and in-studio study mode. Naturally, the virtual study model is based on 100% live lectures, but all class materials are recorded and are made available for students to facilitate flexibility.

Modules in the virtual classroom:

  • 4 days per week activities, including:
    • Live-streamed lectures, discussions, and workshops with prominent moderators
    • Virtual studio and research work in groups
    • Individual and group tutoring with ADES facilitators
  • Total recommended engagement: 16 hours/week
  • The maximum student number is 25 students per module

Course Requirements

We invite individuals of various cultural and disciplinary backgrounds with MSc (upon selection BSc) degrees in for instance - but not restricted to - product-service design, architecture, technology, engineering, also graduates of applied sciences, artists, anthropologists and philosophers. All applicants will be required to attend an online interview as part of the application process, where English language proficiency will be assessed (so no need to submit official certificates).

Why study with ADES and why NOW?

We place a high emphasis on student and moderator interaction, collaboration. The Modules are designed for students to work together in framing challenges within the given theme, focusing on sustainability. Through substantial design research, students learn to apply the generated knowledge across disciplines and industry practices, in the form of the module studio projects. The best module projects are published by ADES at the end of each Module. Additionally, we offer participation in extra-curricula activities like short courses and study trips organised by ADES. For students following the virtual study programme and who would like to join ADES studio in Budapest, we will open our studio doors to students from January 2021 (subject to safety and travel restrictions).

The focus on sustainability today is enormous. The efforts around the world are timely, as climate change and human footprint in the environment are manifesting themselves on a scale we simply are not prepared for. The call to “act now” is urgent, indeed. ADES was built to respond to this urgency. But not with more green products, systems, and services, but with an idea that we need “heads-on before our hands-on” to arrive at truly radical solutions. The idea that we cannot solve our problems with the same tools that created them. New Design Thinking for Sustainability is needed that informs the action so urgently called for.

Benefits of Studying With ADES virtually

  • One-on-one tutoring: ADES experienced tutors are always available for discussions and for providing guidance to individual students as well as groups. The ADES virtual studio functions are akin to any small product design studios, co-labs, or think tanks where students, moderators, and tutors have equal access to knowledge-generation activities and where the goal is the co-generation of knowledge.
  • Specialists in Design for Sustainability Studies: We are a pioneering, independent school of design dedicated to guiding our students towards becoming Thought Leaders in Sustainability.
  • World-class guest moderators: ADES students work with widely recognised scientists, scholars, designers, and innovators who are at the forefront of changing our society through their work.
  • Creative, Inclusive Learning Environment: Being a truly transdisciplinary education, ADES learning environment allows experimentation, creativity and radical innovation within the study methods as well as outputs, while being open to cultural and disciplinary diversity that accompanies multi-disciplinary groups.
  • Reality-Focused: Our role in global education is to pioneer in design education for sustainability. We work multi-disciplinarily, to complement existing education programmes and to increase educational diversity for sustainability across disciplines. In our courses students learn beyond making greener design; they research how to adapt our current organisations and systems to a world lead by principles of ecology, sustainability, and resilience.
  • International Student Community: Our students are creative and curious, already have a skill base and a degree in a discipline, and are looking to advance their skills and specialize in Sustainability. Our classes are formed of individuals of all cultural and disciplinary backgrounds, for instance in product-service design, architecture, technology engineering, also graduates of natural sciences, as well as artists, anthropologists, and philosophers.
  • Publishing: ADES courses present multiple opportunities for students to develop individual and group projects where they can demonstrate their acquired insights, personal and inter-disciplinary development, and the ability to apply their knowledge. ADES will help then with publishing and other communications.
  • Design thinking skills for radical sustainability: ADES students will be able to move beyond applying business-as-usual design solutions for human desirability and think not in human-, product, or business-centred ways, but they will understand that the most critical constraint in all design endeavours begets from radical sustainability, as in sustaining our existence together with the existence of our planet. Our mission is to transmit a transdisciplinary design education so that our students can contribute to a thriving environment.
  • ADES e-learning certificate: Our students are awarded a graduation certificate from the Institute of Advanced Design Studies, Budapest. The certificate is awarded after the completion of the module project.

About the School

The Institute of Advanced Design Studies (ADES) is an independent school of design offering study programmes in sustainability for postgraduate students and professionals. Our programme is based on a transdisciplinary approach to sustainability and we accept students from all backgrounds. We recognise the complexity and multi-disciplinarity of the challenges we face today with climate change, environmental degradation, work-life and the changes in the global society and that a new type of expertise is needed to tackle these challenges. ADES is built to train a new type of designer, equipped with Design Thinking tools and design process tools, versed to work in transdisciplinary teams, while empowered to employ their own discipline, be it in design, chemistry, or bioengineering, to solve the multi-disciplinary problems of today. Instead of having a traditional faculty, ADES works with guest moderators who are global thought leaders from a diversity of disciplines, from designers to biologists, engineers, and philosophers, to achieve holistic approaches appropriate to solving the problems of today.

ADES virtual study programme 2020/21

ADES in-studio (virtual and in-studio mix) study programme 2020/21

About the School