Design for Sustainability Online Course - Ecological Dimension

Gaia Education

Programme Description

Design for Sustainability Online Course - Ecological Dimension

Gaia Education

We are all designers since our actions and inactions are responsible for shaping the world around us. If you are ready to become a conscious designer to create a better world for yourself and your community, then our unique Sky Programme is what you have been waiting for.

Ecological designers ensure that life-supporting natural functions are not only preserved but regenerated whenever possible. They work with Nature rather than against her. They understand that sustainable settlement design is the creation of self-reliant, self-maintaining, self-regenerating ‘living systems’ that can support thriving community life for all their inhabitants. They know that Ecological concerns are fundamental to the design and development of ecovillages and sustainable intentional communities as a whole. Learn to become an active change agent to design better homes for yourself and others.

Commencing on the 2nd of January, this 8-week programme, with 80 hours of study time will equip you with the understanding and abilities to become a confident action taker within this crucial area. This Ecological Dimension can be taken as a stand-alone programme or as the starting point for our more extensive Sky Programme. This will enable you to boost your credibility for ongoing work while giving you the option to continue with our 3 other Dimensions and Design Studio in our 10 month Sky programme to obtain a full certificate in Design for Sustainability.

After completing this Dimension you will have the confidence and ability to start positioning yourself in the Ecological Design & Sustainability field. Graduates of our programmes have gone on to contribute to sustainability projects, build communities, become social entrepreneurs, partaken in permaculture projects & bio-dynamic farming, supported transition movements and much more.

"Let us be good stewards of the Earth we inherited. All of us have to share the Earth's fragile ecosystems and precious resources, and each of us has a role to play in preserving them. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it." Kofi Annan

Course Content

World Leaders have committed to 17 Global Goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change. The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people. If the Goals are going to work, everyone needs to know about them. It is why the Ecological Dimension is one of the 4 key components of our Sky Programme and to your own personal development. Dimension is authored by Michael Shaw, Daniel C. Wahl, Ezio Gori, and Lisa Shaw.

Module 1: Whole Systems Approach Ecological Design

Starting from the concept of “Building Cultures of Sustainability”, this section covers the “big picture”. It looks at some broad philosophies and principles of ecological design. We look the whole system within which we carry out our lives and affect the world through the specific design decisions we take and implement.

Module 2: Appropriate Water Technology

The link between fossil fuel reserves and war has been a clear pattern for decades, yet equally many violent conflicts and wars have already been fought over the access to water. Water is a very scarce resource and yet is wasted and contaminated at a gigantic scale there is still a seventh of the world’s population without access to a safe water supply. Learning to create more efficient systems to care for the world’s water is critical.

Module 3: Local Food Systems

Healthy local food is one of the best entry points into building a sustainable community, whether in a newly built ecovillage or in the transformation of a village or town. Food invites us to think about our health, our local economy, our relationship with the land. As a basic need making sure we design resilient, productive, and regenerative food systems is the basis of a thriving community and region.

Module 4: Appropriate Technology

Deals with appropriate technology for the generation and use of energy. Looks at the sustainable design of carbon-neutral energy systems Looks these energy technologies as part of a resilience strategy for sustainable communities and ecovillages. Scaling and scale to suit various types of developments, locations and bio-regions.

Module 5: Green Building & Retrofitting

The challenges inherent in ‘modern’ building and construction techniques, green building techniques, more energy efficient and less environmentally damaging structures. Discriminating the choice of building materials, architectural styles depending on the region, retrofitting poorly designed structures, and suburban patterns.

"We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet." Thich Nhất Hạnh

What you will receive

  • A handout with the latest research and additional resources
  • A Student Guide: description of each dimension's learning outcomes, objectives and timeline, plus a set of activities for each module of the learning journey
  • Access to the virtual campus, where you join our classrooms, forums, design teams, direct communication with tutors, sample materials, all learning materials and activities for certificate, and social media related to the course
  • Orientation to the virtual campus, e-learning tools and the Moodle platform
  • Full technical and academic support to go through the virtual course and achieve all the learning outcomes
  • A Certificate of course completion from Gaia Education
  • Earn credits to continue onto our flagship certificated programme in Sustainability & Design
  • The ability and practical skills to take active steps in the strategic area of Design for Sustainability
  • Paving the way of joining the Gaia Education Learning Journey

Your investment

The cost of this unique and exciting course is £297 GBP. It may be the best investment you ever made in yourself. The Course begins with an Orientation on the 17th of October for a duration of 8 weeks, encompassing approximately 80 hours of study time.

Upon completion, you will be equipped with the understanding and skills to become a confident change maker in social issues of sustainability. It will also qualify you to go on to study in our full certificated programme in Design for Sustainability and join a Design Studio after completing the four dimensions of the course.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
Gaia Education

Last updated January 18, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Jan. 2019
Part time
Full time
297 GBP
United Kingdom - Forres, Scotland
Start date : Jan. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Jan. 2019
United Kingdom - Forres, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info