Learning Factory Ecodesign

Next ecodesign trainings will take place on the 19th of April 2018 in Dessau, Germany

and 9th of May 2018 in Kaunas, Lithuania  


  • General Information


    How to develop circular economy systems? Our training is based on learning by doing. You will practice circular system thinking in order to solve a complex ecodesign challenge in a multi-disciplinary team. This means that you will use effective ecodesign methods and practices to develop a meaningful product or service for users, while minimizing its environmental footprint and developing a sustainable circular economy business model for it. On top of this you will get some insights into manufacturing processes in order to find out, how you can influence the environmental impact in production through your design decisions.

    Whom is it for?


    The Learning Factory Ecodesign targets at working product designers and developers, engineers, teachers, design lecturers, start-ups, SMEs, business model developers – in general, actors who are interested in learning how to adopt ecodesign practices and profit from the opportunities arising around the circular economy.

    What happened so far?


    The training was developed within the EU-project EcoDesign Circle by ecodesign experts from Fraunhofer IZM and Circular Devices during 2016 and 2017 commissioned by the German Environment Agency.
    In 2017 two test runs took place at the Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin. At the first one, we invited students for a one-day Ecodesign Sprint where we successfully tested new tools and methods for generating environmentally friendly innovations. The second pilot trianing, with a duration of two days, took place in October 2017 with professionals. There we gathered more in depth feedback of the participants, to improve the training furthermore. The teams created impressive results by prototyping circular systems by using a circular lifecycle canvas. Based on this they developed circular business models to maximize the business impact and customer value of their systems.

  • IMG 7723

    During the training, the participants will go through an Ecodesign Sprint. The Ecodesign Sprint is a process that marries the best of user-centered innovation and design thinking with sustainable design practices - divided into the five distinct phases Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver and Validate. We have adapted the Design Sprint methodology and integrated ecodesign practices and lifecycle thinking. Design thinking was developed by IDEO and Stanford’s design school and utilized by Google Ventures Design Sprint Methods.

    IMG 7846 Heller

    Ecodesign basics and craft a challenge to provide focus to the rest of the sprint.
    Understand the needs and challenges.
    Define the problem: Translating research insights into opportunities for Design.
    Ideate: Generate ideas for solutions for the problem.
    Prototype it in the Circular Lifecycle Canvas by looking at the whole system. Build the solution.
    Track learnings and validate it. Build the Circular Business Model.

  • IMG 7947 Zuschnitt

    Since the training is called Learning Factory Ecodesign, there will be also a tour to our on-site small scale “factory” – the so called Start-a-Factory. This is a modularly structured development and manufacturing laboratory for startups and SMEs. The tour should help participants to understand ecologic impacts during the manufacturing phase. The idea is to link the theoretical ideas, gathered during the training, with practical insights.


    Start-a-Factory is a new laboratory complex of Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin. It is largely aimed at smaller companies and start-ups from the area of highly miniaturized electronics and sensor technology.

    Interested companies will be guided through all stages, from specifying an idea to development, manufacturing test samples and prototypes, right up to the finished product. Then, statements can be made about feasibility, the technologies used, ecological impacts and the estimated manufacturing costs, which will be a big help to the remaining planning.

  • Opinions from the test run, June 2017

    »... really loved the tools like interviewing, individual brainstorming etc. ...

    »... It was really good insight into design process. Also looking at business model / environmental impact etc. was good because it is so important to look at different angles ...

    »... Really needed it to start a project. Awesome insights ...

    »... The training gave some good guidelines but also showed how complex the process is. The topic was totally new to me so it was quite overwhelming ...

    »... The final sprints were very interesting because they made me aware of all the aspects that should be considered when doing Ecodesign ...

    Opinions 2

    » ... understanding the whole creative process all the way to the final business model ...

    » ... A lot about Circular Economy, team work, developing ideas together ...

    »... Key learning for me is: An ecological idea which improves sustainability needs also to have a business plan ...

  • Oct 2017

    Upcoming trainings in the baltic sea region are planned for 2018.

    Until now, workshops in Lithuania, Poland and Sweden are in the making. As soon dates are set, we will publish further details here.

    Other trainings

    In case you are interested in an individual training for your company, your organization, your association or other interest groups, feel free to contact us and we can discuss the content and conditions.

  • Contact
    Any more Questions? Get in touch with us!

    Max Marwede, PhD
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    +49 (0)30 46403 7989

    Tapani Jokinen
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Christian Clemm
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    +49 (0)30 46403-7983