Design for Sustainable Co-Creation, 7,5 credits (Summer course 2022)

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

We would like to welcome you to this international course about reconnecting Urban and Rural communities by exploring Food Systems through sustainable Co-Creation. The course will investigate ways to enhance food culture and security by exploring local food systems that connect aesthetic, artistic, social, ecological, and economic factors together.

During the course, you will be introduced to different design approaches that focus on food and relationships.  The sustainable leadership methods from 'Theory U' (Scharmer, 2016) are applied throughout the entire course both on-line and on-site with an emphasis on care and the aim to transform complex social contexts towards a more resilient state that celebrate contact between generations and cultural diversity.

Course content
As a student you will be introduced to different approaches to design for sustainable development that address a live issue regarding food systems. Students will investigate ways to enhance food culture and resilience by supporting local food systems that connect aesthetic, social, ecological and economic factors.

With the help of leading international and national experts and research leaders, you will be given the opportunity to develop various design collaborative initiatives with due regard to local contexts and issues.

The course includes a live workshop in a rural local community in Sweden. Students, teachers, experts and other participants both from Sweden and abroad share their experiences and apply different models and methods that have been tested in local environments.

The course is planned around three parts:

  • Part 1. Start up meeting on-line June 21 at 16:00 - 18:00. Five on-line preparatory session from 10:00- 13:00 will be given that explore the theme “soil to soil”. The sessions are on the following dates June 27th , June 29th , July 1 st , Aug1 st &  Aug 3 rd.
  • Part 2. A collaborative workshop week at Hjulsjö. The workshop includes exploring the local environment, engaging in cooperation with local partners, creating collective meals, meetings, walks and tutorials.
  • Part 3.  Individual reflection on what you will do ”Back Home” with the aim to connect people living in cities with those in rural countryside. There will be two on-line sessions after the workshop on Aug 22nd and Aug 25th.


The course includes a live workshop week, in the rural village Hjulsjö in the middle of Sweden where students, partners, experts, and course leaders from Sweden and abroad, share their experiences and adapt models and approaches to the situation at hand. Bring a tent and sleeping bag for camping (there is also a Food plan for the week that is optional to join). The course leaders represent these 4 clusters; 

Food Systems / Place  
Aesthetics / Haptics / Food waste
Sustainable leadership / Social Field practice
Arts / Biomymicry

Before and after the live workshop week, the course involves distance work through WorkPlace (WP), zoom and MIRO and the course webpage.

Course leaders:
Cheryl Akner Koler professor in Aesthetics in the design program will lead the course in collaboration with:

  • John Thackara, a world - known design expert on sustainability development and social innovation.
  • Annika Göran Rodell, lecturer at Örebro University, Campus Grythyttan School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Sciences expert U-Theory leadership methods.   
  • Corina Akner, industrial designer and founder of VÄRT food labs in Goteborg, expert in food waste.
  • Anna Maria Orrù, associate professor in design ecology and expert in biomimicry.  

Entry requirements
– At least 150 credits in design, within the field of Art, Crafts and Design (including architecture and culinary art), or
– At least 150 credits in natural sciences/humanities related to the themes of food systems and sustainability,
– Equivalent professional experience related to the themes of food systems and sustainability.

Additionally, proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary school course English 6, is required.


The selection between eligible applicants is based on applicants' letter of motivation and an overall assessment of the academic qualifications and work experience within  sustainable developement and the field of design / art.

Academic qualifications and design related experience, experience of interdisciplinary projects, food related projects/work experience are assessed.

Course period: 20 June - 28 August 2022
Study pace:
50% of full time studies
Corse Code: DIF005
Course syllabus: DIF005 Design för sustainable co-creation 7,5 hp.pdf
Course syllabus in Swedish:
DIF005 Design för hållbart samskapande.pdf
Language: The course is taught in English
Maximum amount of participants: 24


How to apply!

When applying to this course at Konstfack you submit an online application to the Swedish central application website ( for Swedish speaking applicants), and upload supporting documents.

- submit qualifications to support the entry requirements, to ( for Swedish speaking applicants).

For the selection you should upload:

- 1 CV where you list your education and experience related to sustainable development, design and the theme of the course, such as; experience in interdisciplinary projects, food related projects/work experience (maximum 1 A4 page).

- 1 Letter of motivation (maximum 1 A4 page) to ( for Swedish speaking applicants).