Postgraduate diploma Designer in Sustainable Innovation


SEPT. 2021

Admission criteria




Designer in Sustainable Innovation

Certified by the French National Council of Professional Certification RNCP

The Sustainable Design School at Nice/France is the only institution of higher education world-wide relating design systematically to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations. We teach our students to act for the human being and for the planet, using design processes to serve a sustainable Innovation. Our alumni understand that the call for the sustainable transition is a global issue and gathers the full commitment of creative minds from different backgrounds. Therefore, the education at The SDS is anchored in a pedagogy where sciences, such as engineering, biology, anthropology, social sciences, law studies, business, and many more, work hand in hand on tangible problems. The proposed solutions are holistic, considering the complexity of the human society and the challenges related to the climate change.

The program focusses on Design, Sustainability and Leadership

The postgraduate program “Designer in Sustainable Innovation” at The SDS develops strategic skills, allowing our graduates to have the knowledge required for leadership positions in international companies. Students acquire full competencies of contextual research methodology, how to facilitate creative and sustainable thinking, future trends and innovation for sustainable design, creation of services, interfaces and experiences and sustainable design leadership.

During the second year of the postgraduate program, students can apply to the MSc Entrepreneurship & Sustainable Design, dual degree with Skema Business School (link to the MSc page)

The program focusses on Design, Sustainability and Leadership.

Image module
Image module

With a postgraduate degree from The Sustainable Design School, you’re presenting the required skills for different job profiles:

  • Sustainable designer
  • Strategic designer
  • Design consultant
  • Design consultant for Sustainable Transition
  • Smart city design developer
  • System designer
  • Ux designer
  • Experience designer


What is Design and the Design profession? This introduction examines the Industrial Revolution and the beginning of European design. Design as Art and Design as Science, Codifying Design, the digital revolution, and the move towards Design for Sustainability.

This module explains and allows for a quick practical application of certain Design Research tools which develop the underlying posture required to “Think like a Designer”. The Human centred research methodology is shared together with explanations of brainstorming, techniques to augment personal creativity and map proposed solutions.

A short introduction into the Adobe software packages, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Primary so the students can integrate their work during the Partnership projects.


This course examines the complexities of the cross-life cycle and ecosystem approach which makes it possible to take a systemic view of the global system in which the sustainable designer must evolve. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are referenced as part of the immersion into research in a specific domain, and the question of the role of a Designer to understand his or her role in creating a sustainable future.

What is “User Experience”? Why is it so important for Service Design? How does it differ from “usability”? What are the key components of today’s compelling user experiences? What are the UX opportunities that might generate more exciting, effective, delightful designs in the future? What is Design for Delight? The focus of the course is to understand how conceptual designs are developed based on the unmet needs of users.

This course helps students understand the value of a brand in a marketing and business environment, and how to build, manage, and protect a brand. Specific areas covered include what a brand is and why it matters, how a brand creates value, ways to measure and understand the value of a brand, managing new and established brands, and the role of consumer insight in managing a brand. Key concepts of branding considered are Brand Identity, perception, storytelling, symbols and Experience.

This module examines the socio-cultural constructs of our time, considering consumer culture, trends, semiotics, history, linguistics, perception and experience, the construction of myths and social codes. It is designed to provoke the reflection: Why we see the world the way we do? And what is the involvement of Design in the process of consumption and control of consumers’ minds?

Considering Nature’s genius can be an essential tool for creative professionals in all design fields. Keeping in mind the importance of creating sustainable living in the 21st century, students investigate biomimicry thinking, frameworks and existing case studies, to consider the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modelled on biological entities and processes.

The Partnership projects at The SDS are considered the backbone of the Design Pedagogy. These projects are four months in duration and address a design request coming from an industrial partner. The design teams formed for the projects are multi-dimensional with students coming from all years and with multiple diverse skillsets. The groups are overseen by practicing Design professionals who coach and guide the students to a final professional presentation to the outside partners. Projects cover the domains of: Branding, Product Design, Service and Experience Design, Systemic Design, Social Innovation and obviously Design for Sustainability.

This course presents the essential tools, techniques, and concepts needed to invent, launch, and sustain a business in the creative sector. The students will focus on a practical, action-oriented introduction to the business of art, focusing on product design, organizational planning and assessment, customer identification and marketing, fundraising, legal issues, money management, cultural policy, and career development, with the goal being guidance on how to have participants create and sustain their own successful venture.

A continued training in the Adobe software packages, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, with an emphasis on the production aspects of Graphic Design.

A practical workshop course in prototyping. Why we do it? What is a MVP? What do we hope to learn and why prototypes are essential for any new conceptual development? – both product, service and experience.

For students, who apply to the dual degree MSc Entrepreneurship & Sustainable Design during the 2nd year, please click here to find more information.
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