Become an ecological designer with a new online course starting January

27 November 2017


© Gaia Education


Gaia Education, a Key Partner of the UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP), is to start the Ecological Design section of its Gaia Education Design for Sustainability (GEDS) course on 2 January 2018.

The online course provides students with design skills, analytical abilities and a wide range of methods and practical tools to create and ensure sustainable and regenerative ways of living that take the least toll on ecological systems.

Gaia Education is a leading-edge provider of sustainability and regenerative education that promotes thriving communities within planetary boundaries.

The programme, offered in English, Spanish and Portuguese, has four dimensions: Social DesignEcological DesignEconomic Design and Worldview, all seeking to help students reinvent ecological living from the ground up and including aspects such as sustainable production and consumption, regenerative agriculture and food production, appropriate technologies for water and energy systems, green and sustainable building and construction.

The Ecological Design dimension, can be completed as a stand alone-course, or part of the full 10-month course and there are a limited amount of places left for this year. You can sign up here.


The Ecological Design dimension covers:


Module 1: Whole Systems Approach to Ecological Design

What are the historical roots of ecological design thinking? How do whole systems thinking, permaculture, ecological economics and engineering, industrial ecology, ecological engineering and cradle-to-cradle/circular economy, and environmental restoration and regenerative design work and contribute to an integrated co-design approach?


Module 2: Appropriate Water Technology

What do you need to know about sustainable and ecological engineering, water resources, systems and watershed management, rainwater harvesting, compost toilets, biodigesters, constructed treatment wetlands, lagoons and tanks, as well as the fundamental processes of biological wastewater treatment - such as anaerobic and aerobic digestion, nitrification and denitrification - in order to take informed design decisions for sustainable water systems at any scale?


Module 3: Local and Sustainable Food Systems

How can we use fungal mycelia, activated bio-char, Terra Preta and other carbon farming techniques to build healthier soils and respond to the threats of climate change? How can we harness permaculture and regenerative agriculture design approaches for organic production, food forests, agroforestry, holistic pasture management, aquaculture, environmental restoration and many other regenerative methods to create a local, responsive and sustainable food system for all.


Module 4: Appropriate Energy Technology

What should we consider and how when we have to choose between wind power, solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, renewable biomass, biofuels, hydroelectric, marine wave or current and geothermal energy systems, as well as, efficiency measures taking into account embodied energy, energy return on energy invested, to design with local conditions and ecosystems in mind and integrate it into the overall design?


Module 5: Green Building and Retrofitting

How could we aspire to co-creating sustainable and ecologically designed buildings (new or retrofitting existing) that function like an ecosystem and help to regenerate health and wellbeing for their residents and the ecosystems within which they are located including carbon and energy positive developments?


Further information can be found here.