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6th Sustainable Summer School (Creative Transition towards Sustainability), UPC-Barcelona Tech, Barcelona, Spain, 3rd- 5th of November 2014

von Neda Batenipour

The "Sustainable Summer School" has focused on sustainability and design since 2009. The 6th Sustainable Summer School was hosted by "UPC-Barcelona Tech" and took place at its "Living Lab LOW3 - Solar House (ETSAV)". It had been organized as an interdisciplinary workshop/conference for PhD students.
The members of the organizing committee for 6th Sustainable Summer School were from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya • Barcelona Tech (UPC), Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Folkwang University of Arts, Ecodesign /Academy for Sustainable Design, Aalto University, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICH, Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production, Lucerne University of Applied sciences and Arts.
This year, experts and PhD students from different disciplines came together for an intensive exchange about strategies and specific possibilities of societal transformation towards more sustainable lifestyles.
Under the theme "Creative Transition towards Sustainability", 13 international PhD students, 6 academic team members, and 6 invited experts contributed to this successful 3-day event at ETSAV Campus at Sant Cugat.

During this event, the invited keynote speakers gave 30-60 minute presentations on their researchactivities related to sustainability in the Main Lecture Hall. The titles of the presentations by the keynote speakers are as below:
-    Michael Kuhndt –  "Up-scaling Sustainable Business Models: Towards sustainable consumption and production systems"
-    Dani Calatayud – "Energy, Economy and Society- A holistic approach to sustainability"
-    Dan Lochkton & Flora Bowden – "Revealing Complexity: People, Systems, and Design"
-    Joan Rieradevall – "Ecodesign and urban metabolism"
Also, each PhD student was given the chance to present his/her research in 15-20 minute time-slots. On 4th November, I gave a 20 minute presentation related to my PhD project ("Affective Design of Outdoor Public Playground in Wuppertal through Co-creation") in Living Lab LOW3 in UPC-Barcelona Tech. After each presentation, it was discussed with other participants and experts to get the professional feedback.

Furthermore, during the workshop, a special "group exercise" had been planned. Participants were categorized in groups. Each group was supposed to integrate their research topics together and make a unique scenario for "Sustainable Development in 2030". In this group exercise, different approaches were applied and participants were enabled to visualize pathways toward sustainability.
In my opinion, the keynote speeches, presentations, and group exercises were very interesting, practical and informative. For me, participating in 6th Sustainable Summer School was a great chance to improve and lead my project in a more innovative way in future. At the end, I want to thank the CGS Team (Center for Graduate Studies) at University of Wuppertal for the financial support which made it possible for me to participate in this event.