Design for Sustainable Co-Creation, 7,5 hp

Back to the Land 2.0: Reconnecting Urban and Rural through Food Systems

Back to the Land 2.0 is an international multi-disciplinary design short course about re-connecting urban actives with rural actives as one way to enhance food culture and security. Using a collaborative creative learning platform for preparatory work, and in a live week together shaped by the Theory U process, students will learn together with local partners and communities engaged in food systems.

The on-site week-long program at Hjulsjö community offers hands-on experiences in which we craft and test small actions that can effect change in larger cultural, economic and ecosystems. Our work will touch on such as issues as soil fertility and biodiversity; new notions of ecological & economic value; tactile & haptic aspects of food experience design.

Practical lessons will include the social or economic actions that support sustainable hubs in rural and urban situations, and how we can engage and share in ecological location-based sensory experiences connected to meal experience. We will explore how aesthetic driven design activism can stimulate positive changes in ecological and social-cultural systems.

This course is a partnership between Konstfack DIV Design program and:

  • John Thackara, a world – known design expert on sustainability development and social innovation and the director of the organization Doors of Perception. Read more at:
  • Örebro University, Campus Grythyttan School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Sciences, with U-Theory leadership expert Annika Göran Rodell.
    Read more at:

With local partners:

Hjulsjö village community

Magnus Westling

Christine Schaffer

Corse Code: DIF004

Course content
The aim of this course is to introduce different approaches to design for sustainable development that address the live issue of food systems. The course will investigate ways to enhance food culture and security by supporting local food systems that connect aesthetic, social, ecological and economic factors. Design interventions will be developed collaboratively rooted in an understanding of local context and issues, and achieved with input from leading national and international experts /research leaders. The course includes a live workshop, in a rural region of Sweden, in which students, partners, experts and teachers from Sweden and internationally, share their experiences, and adapt models and approaches tested in local contexts. Leading up to this live workshop week, the course involves distance work through email and the course webpage, planned around three stages:

1) Preparatory individual work, go out and identify and mapping your own local food system with reference to course literature, video lectures and web links.
2) August 12th - 18th / Collaborative Workshop week on-site in the Swedish village Hjulsjö base on U -Theory. In co-creation you will investigate sustainability issues with local partners, meetings and tutorials, including making & sharing in collective meal experiences.
3) Distance/online assignment and examination in a multi media format that aims to re-connect the student with their own local real-life situation “back home” and their interest in bridging urban and rural life.

Intended learning outcomes
Upon completing the course, the student must:
- demonstrate an ability to clearly present and discuss their designerly ideas, activities, prototypes and personal standpoint in dialogue with different groups.
- work with “Theory U”, a social theory for leadership in a transforming process.
- be up-to-date on models and platforms being proposed to support the exchange between rural and urban constituencies.
- create a collective meal experiences with emphasis on haptic perception.
- propose future design interventions in a local community “back home”, on a short term and longer term scale.

Entry requirements
At least 150 credits in design, within the field of Arts, Crafts and Design, including architecture and culinary arts; or 150 credits in natural sciences/humanities related to the theme of the course, or equivalent professional experience related to the theme of food systems and sustainability.

And proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary school course English 6.

Selection: The selection is based on an overall assesment of the applicant´s letter of motivation, previuos academic qualifications, workexperience within sustainable development and design/fine art.
To upload to (
CV and a letter of motivation (maximum 2 pages in A4 format)

Course period:
week 11 June  - 19 August 2018
(August 12th - 18th on site in Hjulsö)

Study pace:
50% of full time studies

Course syllabus: DIF004 Design för sustainable co-creation 7,5 hp.pdf

Language: The course is taught in English

Maximum amount of participants: 30

More information about the course:

Course leader:
Cheryl Akner Koler, Professor in Theoretical and Applied Aesthetics in Design program at Konstfack.

How to apply to Design for Sustainable Co-Creation!

When applying to Konstfack you submit an online application to the Swedish central application website ( for Swedish speaking applicants), and send qualifications to support the entry requirements to ( for Swedish speaking applicants).

For the selection: upload CV and a motivational letter (maximum 2 pages in A4 format) to ( for Swedish speaking applicants).

Applications for 2018 are closed


Important dates 2018

19 February: Online application opens ( / for Swedish speaking applicants).

15 March:
Application deadline ( /

3 April: Qualifications to certify the entry requirements, and payment of application fee or certification of fee exempt status must have reached University admissions/Antagningsservice ( /

Deadline to upload CV and letter of motivation for selection to /

2 May: Notification of selection result ( /

Tuition fees and studying in Sweden
Students with citizenship in countries outside of the EU/EEA or Switzerland are in general required to pay tuition fees. Read more about application and tuition fees here.

For information on studying in Sweden please visit

Please note that late applicants are ranked by application date only.

More information

If you have questions about applying, please contact the Student Office at:
Protected address

Course leader: Cheryl Akner Koler, Professor in Theoretical and Applied Aesthetics in Design program at Konstfack

Department: Department of Design, Interior Architecture and Visual Communication

Updated: 15 February 2017
Author: Pia Schenkmanis Rämö