Course: Design of Products and Systems for the Circular Economy


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description


5 months, full time in teams


The objective is to train designers capable of delivering sustainable solutions with the broadest positive impact on the environment, the society and the economy, in a variety of fields and at different scales, and to allow companies and professionals to work together to the definition of a new set of goals that facilitate the transition of design to a new ethical dimension where the challenges related to the effects of a growing world population on the ecosphere, are tackled in a systemic way. To achieve these ambitious goals, the promotion and development of innovative materials, processes, and products that can foster a Circular Economy will be pivotal.


The demands for “Rebuilding the Universe” according to a human-centered, nature-based design approach are so compelling, shared politically and urged socially by so many as to call for the development of a new design methodology fed by a multi-disciplinary set of skills forged at the crossover of education, research, and professional practice. The participants in this project track will be partnered by researchers, innovators, professionals and industry leaders in a collaborative commitment to revolution the creative process by linking it on the new founding values of Design for Disassembly, Cradle to Cradle, Materials passport, and by making the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda relevant at every stage of our design practices.


A research-driven approach to design for inclusiveness, societal awareness, value creation, community empowerment, carried on through a real project for a real client, with the support of tutorials, workshops, and lectures in collaboration with Mario Cucinella Design and that will provide the participants with a common language and operational tools.

The founding values of Sustainable Design, theory and practice of the common good(s), shared services and products, smart materials and systems will be paramount of a context-driven process aiming at identifying innovative manufacturing and organization processes for the development of the design and its financing strategies.


The application process is open all year round. However, due to the limited number of seats, the selection of applicants is based upon a "first come first served” basis. Therefore the school indicates deadlines to guarantee that the applicants can finalize the process in advance to the start of the course in October.

Admissions & Application Guidance

SOS - School of Sustainability welcomes applications from all over the world. SOS seeks recent graduates and emerging professionals with diverse backgrounds to form a multidisciplinary group capable of undertaking environmental challenges using a research-driven creative approach. The program and particularly the project tracks are aimed primarily at architects, engineers, and designers although the School invites candidates with other profiles, on the basis of their motivation and skills in relation to the issues proposed in the courses.

The criteria for acceptance are talent and motivation, along with the commitment and the ambition to contribute to the spreading of the culture of sustainability.

Application Process e Entrance Requirements in a few steps
  1. Prepare documents
    • Cover Letter
    • Curriculum Vitae / Resume
    • Design Portfolio
  2. Apply now using the contact form on the school webs
  3. Interview Selection

Application Process

The Entrance Examination consists of an assessment of the application, portfolio of work and motivational letter, followed by an interview.

Candidates are assessed on their qualities as proven in their work as well as on their potential to benefit from the program and to achieve Post Graduate standards overall as demonstrated in their interview. The assessment will consider: creativity, vision, and innovation as shown in their work; ability to articulate the objectives of their work; intellectual engagement in relevant areas; appropriate technical skills; overall interview performance, including oral use of English.

Students should have achieved a high-quality professional bachelor's or master's degree in architecture, engineering, design, and others. Preference will be given to candidates with at least one year’s work experience in a design office.

Students are required to submit a completed SOS application form and a portfolio of completed student projects together with any relevant supporting design material.

Candidates who do not speak English as their first language will be required to provide evidence that they have achieved an overall English B2 Level(CEFR), or upper intermediate spoken/written validations through official certificates.

Personal and Contact Details: previous education details and previous experience.

Details should be entered in the online form and a copy of your degree or diploma should be uploaded. All candidates with overseas undergraduate degrees must also enclose a full transcript of their first-degree course covering each year of their studies and stating subjects taken and marks obtained. The offer of a place to a candidate who is undertaking a degree at the time of application will be dependent upon the candidate producing proof of having fulfilled the College’s criteria for admission.

We invite applicants to apply as soon as they are ready to submit the requested documents, as applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and if you delay your application, the program may be full for the year, and your application may be rejected on that basis.

Admission Requirements

  1. Cover Letter
    • Include motivations to be admitted to the course.
  2. Curriculum Vitae / Resume
    • Include degree information and professional practice experience.
  3. Design Portfolio
    • You should submit a digital portfolio in PDF format of a maximum of eight + cover A4 pages, and a max file size of 10 MB, including between four to six projects. Each project should include a title image and up to 4 supporting gallery images. You should provide a description of a maximum of 50 words for each title image and a caption of up to 25 words for each supporting gallery image.

When submitting collaborative work, specify this and clearly indicate your role and responsibility.

The submission of any material not listed above will not be accepted.


All applicants must pass an aptitude interview. The School will contact you if you have been shortlisted and invite you to the interview.

You should bring to the interview your complete submission in its physical form, and any recent work or work in progress that you deem relevant to the assessment. If it will not be possible to manage an interview in person, it will be scheduled via Skype.


Results will be communicated via email as soon as possible but no later than the 30th of July.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

SOS - School of Sustainability - based in Bologna, Italy, is a post graduate practice academy by Mario Cucinella focused on training emerging professionals in the field of sustainability.

SOS - School of Sustainability - based in Bologna, Italy, is a post graduate practice academy by Mario Cucinella focused on training emerging professionals in the field of sustainability. Read less