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Sustainable Design MA: After you graduate

Graduate successes

This course is a great start to your future career, or can enable a change of direction for experienced designers - check out what our graduates have gone on to do.

Giuliana Gheza is now a Social and Service Designer for SocialFare

"I strongly believe that the Sustainable Design MA at Kingston University is the logical step I need in order to be able to design in a more sustainable and ethical way, while being at the same time an active part of the changes towards a better future" - this is what I wrote before joining the course. I was losing the willingness of being a designer, and was looking for answers that could guide me to use my skills for something good for society. The course was more than what I expected - a professional and personal growth.

It was an intense year where I had the chance to deconstruct the concept I had of sustainability and social innovation, and then rebuilt and reframe it with a new postmodern perspective. The course made me skilled with different social design and social research methodologies, ethnographic methods, service design tools, human centered and participatory design approaches, as well as developing sustainability literacy. It really helped me to understand what is my role as a designer, and what I can offer.

Nowadays I am working as a Social and Service Designer for SocialFare, the Centre of Social Innovation based in Torino, Italy. SocialFare focuses on developing projects that aim to raise awareness on social innovation culture, methodology, theory, tools and mindset, by working with start-ups and local communities. I am working with the impact design team. We are currently co-designing projects with students of secondary schools, giving them the tools, mindset and skills of social innovation and sustainability to empower them to be the change makers of the future in their communities, and their intended job sectors.

During the course, me and my classmates often discussed the right name for our future job position. We identified ‘social and local designer'. The Sustainable Design MA showed me the right path to follow in order to bear that title."

 

Ahsan Khan - started his own design practice Climate Labs with others from the course

"MA Sustainable Design is ideal for showing how designers need to adapt and respond better to current challenges we face locally and globally. The lectures were exceptional, with a breadth of industry experience led by one of the best course leaders a university could have. We benefited from being taught every pillar of sustainability, and being able to dive deeper into how it all joins up and relates to us personally.

After the course we had an impulse to be part of the change we want to see in the world, applying practical design methods to address the various strands of sustainability, so we set up Climate Labs. We have used Design Thinking to deliver workshops to raise awareness of air pollution around schools, collaborating with Kings College London. We have explored how to improve Health and Wellbeing in schools and at work through biophilic interventions. We have partnered with a large consultancy to innovate new business services, working on how large banks and energy companies need to transform for environmental sustainability in order to maintain economic sustainability as user behaviours change.

The experience on the course was way over my expectations - meeting like-minded people from such diverse backgrounds was a real eye opener. Being able to collaborate with talented designers from various disciplines helped produce some amazing projects. As governments, private sector and civil society are now being asked to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the relevance of this course couldn't be greater - inspiring future generations to design better services, products and experiences for the prosperity of people and the planet."

 

Maria Fernandez - service designer at Optivo Housing, in the Research & Innovation team

"The Sustainable Design course at Kingston changed the way I design for good. I started looking for a Masters course after graduating as a product designer in South America. I was freelancing in different design fields, experimenting with co-design and participatory approaches, as well as being a teaching assistant at a public Design University. Despite my efforts to address the issue of sustainability in my practice, I felt I needed a formal framework to dive deeper into the subject and to give me the theoretical confidence I was lacking. I looked at several similar courses, but when I found Paul Micklethwaite and the MA Sustainable Design in Kingston, my search was over. Considering I was travelling thousands of miles to study, from our first conversation the course truly recognized the importance of adopting a human approach.

The way sustainability is addressed in this course is holistic and goes far beyond the lecture slides and usual green clichés. Students reflect on different ways in which they can contribute to tackling the biggest problem of our time - enhancing the well-being of people whilst protecting the environment, in a positive and thoughtful way. The course leader took the class on a journey of deep reflection and learning, prompting passionate debates, for which we needed to read, research a lot and, of course, also design. My fellow students were also professionals with thriving creative careers, which contributed to a very fruitful environment for collaboration.

I now work in social housing within a major housing association, contributing to the creation of safe and sustainable communities. My job involves researching different stakeholders to improve the service provided, optimise operations, or come up with new service design ideas to maximize our social impact. The Sustainable Design MA course gave me more than I was expecting - on one hand, the practical and theoretical tools I needed to confidently make a shift in my design career; and on the other hand, it inspired me to continue learning, discovering and designing."

 

Saskia Baard - project developer at Social Life, then service designer at Innovation Unit

"As a project developer at Social Life, I work on a variety of projects focusing on the connection between people and places. This role allows me to explore my interests such as social sustainability, public spaces, urban design, and community development. My day-to-day tasks can be very diverse, including project coordination, field research, data analysis, and the design of materials.

Prior to the Sustainable Design MA at Kingston University, I studied Visual Communication Design at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. I worked as a designer and project manager on projects in South Africa, the Netherlands, Morocco, and the UK. These roles always had a social or environmental focus, and they also introduced me to co-design and community development. The Sustainable Design MA course was the perfect next step to bring it all together, to make sense of my practical experiences in a formal, academic setting.

For me, the course was an ideal combination of practical research methods and theory, of innovation and design, all with a continuous focus on sustainability. Being on the course broadened my horizons, and gave me the confidence and a setting from which to explore topics I wouldn't have otherwise considered. For my masters major project, I investigated streets as public spaces in a suburban setting (specifically, Surbiton), and how participatory design could contribute to the creation of such places. Ultimately, the course led me to my current role, which I wouldn't have considered, or have had the right skillset for, before doing the course."

 

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps
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