Circular Design in the Built Environment (MSc)

Starting in 2019-'20, the Circular Design certificate takes an interdisciplinary approach to circularity, with a focus though on the Built Environment. It contains a theoretical course with lectures and assignments and an interdisciplinary research a/o design challenge. The Certificate program is initiated by Built Environment with Industrial Design and Innovation Sciences as partners, but we are looking forward to the participation of students from other disciplines and domains as well, since there are many sides to this ecological, technological, societal and economic problem.

7XC1M0 Circular Design in the Built Environment
The 5EC course 7XC1M0 Circular Design in the Built Environment in Quartile 1 introduces first of all circular ecology as the problem of planetary resource management, and the role of behaviour, technology, economics, politics in this bigger picture. Then we explore the idea of a circular economy, highlighting current attempts to redefine our economical system as one that should have ecological boundaries and social goals, and redefine outdated and narrow ideas of "costs", "value", "growth". After this broad introduction we move on to the built environment with its particular characteristics, challenges and stakeholders, and zoom in further from large to small. We first explore what could be meant and established by circular urban areas. Think optimized active land use, mobility, energy systems, biocycles, industrial ecology. Then we look into the design of individual circular buildings. What makes them low/no/positive impact and sustainable? And how do we deal with the countless buildings that were built before circularity became a design concern? Zooming in further we look into the circularity of elements, components and connections. How to find suitable existing parts and use them in new buildings? And how to design and connect new building parts as such that they can be reused later on? Finally we look into materials, their availability and restoration, and their method and impact of production versus recycling. Throughout the course we will also study, implement and reflect on various quantifying assessments on various levels (Life Cycle Analysis, Urban Harvest+, Flex 4.0, Maxergy, a.o.) as well as rating tools (C2C, a.o.). At the end you are asked to define research four questions in technology, economy, behaviour and society. This is the preparation for the subsequent Circular Research a/o Design Project.

7XC2M0 Circular Research a/o Design Project
The 10 EC 7XC2M0 Circular Research a/o Design Project in Semester B will take place in Innovation Space, where education is organized as a challenge that is addressed by inter-disciplinary teams, with contributions by societal/market parties. It builds on the knowledge that was acquired in the prior course. The challenge is the redevelopment of and addition to a large complex building and its direct environment (the case differs per year). The first phase is for explorative research, which you will do in mixed teams with students from a wide variety of backgrounds and with diverse interests. At this stage you will analyze the problem and briefly explore multitudes of alternative solutions for each part of it. We will introduce morphological charts as supporting multidisciplinary design method. In the next stage you evaluate the options and synthesize the best and most compatible or synergetic ones in a cohesive design concept for the building. Then in the second half of the project, the teamwork moves to the background and you focus individually on either a design challenge or research question that has your special interest. The entire project is coached by tutors from various relevant backgrounds. Societal/market parties will be invited as well. 

Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

The Certificate is issued by the Department of the Built Environment, and regulated by its Exam Committee and Regulations. The course (Q1) is prior knowledge for the project (Q3+Q4) and should be completed before attending the latter. The program is open for students with a BSc degree. Students should do 5EC on top of their regular program to qualify for receiving the certificate.