Design Studio - English

Programme Overview

Type: e-Learning
Start Date:
August 2024
16 weeks
With experienced Facilitators
Level: A
Certificate: Yes (4 dimensions + DS)

Registrations: Restricted 

Developed by:

The Design Studio is the last required piece to complete the Gaia Education’s Design for Sustainability (GEDS) online program and obtain a certificate. 

Participants are required to have completed all the four dimensions within a maximum of three years, these are: Social, Ecological, Economic and Worldview dimensions, not necessarily in that order. 

The focus of the Design Studio is to get you to think about and practise integrative whole systems design, go through the experience of assessing/auditing, and co-designing with others to create a detailed project proposal and design, and to recapitulate and integrate what you have learned in the course so far. The best way to test and revise what you have learned is by applying your new knowledge to the collaborative design project you will be invited to engage with in the Design Studio.

Gaia Education’s online programme, Design for Sustainability & Regeneration, provides participants with whole-systems design skills, analytical abilities and practical tools to support the redesign of the human presence on Earth, one local community and bioregion at a time.

The programme, also offered in Spanish and Portuguese, is divided in four interconnected dimensions: Social Design, Ecological DesignEconomic Design and Worldview, each conducted in an eight-week period, which can be taken individually or as a whole course.

The course is completed with the Design Studio – providing an opportunity to work with a  design team and focussing on real-life design projects proposed by the participants.

Programme Overview

Type: e-Learning
Start Date: 
Study Time: 
5 hours/ week
With Facilitators

Certificate: Yes (4 dimensions + DS)

Developed by:

Working in teams is a preparation for professional practice, as such international online collaboration is becoming the norm rather than the exception of how collaborative design projects are cocreated and evolved over time.

The Design Studio has two parts:

  • A design proposal
  • A design report and presentation by a team


  • Recall and apply contents presented in the four dimensions of the course into a holistic design project, in a small team context
  • Develop analytical skills that can apply to consulting and practising sustainable design
  • Engage with stakeholders to identify entrepreneurial opportunities for applied regenerative systems design
  • Demonstrate the needed organisational skills to deliver clear and professional digital design portfolios in a geographically dispersed small team context


The Design Studio follows a format of 16 weeks. While a facilitator will be present and participants will have a base platform where material will be posted and they will be able to interact, the majority of the work will be either individually or as part of a team and participants will be responsible to self-organize and regulate through the duration of the Design Studio.

Individual work


Each participant will create a proposal that has the potential to integrate the four dimensions and become a design with a team. This step helps participants with the observation and pitch phase of any design.

Team work

The participants will self-organize, with the support of the facilitator, in teams of three to five members and will choose a design proposal from within the proposals that have been reviewed and approved by the facilitator. The proposer will act as a contact person to collect the data and teams will go through a process of group organization to work together in the collection and organization of date through observation and interviews and the design and integration of the four dimensions into a final report and presentation. 

The projects

Gaia Education reserves the right to display selected projects as examples of course outcomes on its website. This document should be received by the Design Studio facilitator as indicated in the virtual classroom by the last day of the course or as otherwise arranged with the facilitator.



Who can take the GEDS course?

The GEDS course is open to everyone! No prerequisites. All you need is access to a computer with a current browser, an Internet connection and a commitment to learn.

When does the programme start?

You can sign up for the full certificate at any of the dimensions and complete the programme within two years (GEDS start dates below). However, the Design Studio is only offered at a specific time and can only be taken after all 4 dimensions have been completed (more info on the start dates of the Design Studio here). You can also take one dimension at a time and complete the program within a maximum of three years.

Gaia Education Design for Sustainability start dates:

  • Social Design: 4 October 2021
    (Registrations are open until 11 October 2021)
  • Ecological Design: 10 January 2022
    (Registrations are open until 17 January 2022)
  • Worldview 21 March 2022
    (Registrations are open until 28 March 2022)
  • Economic Design: 30 May 2022
    (Registrations are open until 6 June 2022)

How the Certificate is Structured

The e-learning programme consists of four dimensions: Social DesignEcological DesignEconomic Design and Worldview, each contained in an eight-week period.  You will learn skills and effective methods to collaborate with others in regenerative design for social transformation and the creation of thriving communities within vibrant regional economies in harmony with nature.

The course will explore case studies and sustainable practises examples that demonstrate how regenerative cultures use energy and materials with greater efficiency, distribute wealth more fairly and strive to eliminate the concept of waste. 

Once you have successfully completed the four dimensions you can sign up for the Design Studio – an exciting opportunity to work with a global design team composed of fellow participants from different countries. The final project focuses on real world design solutions that will give you the perfect opportunity to revise and apply what you have learned in the course. 

The course is structured in such a way that by dedicating 5 to 10 hours a week of study and engagement with the material you will be able to follow the flow and benefit from a rich source of knowledge – enough to reach the level of understanding and quality of assignments to successfully complete the courses and earn your certification.

5-10 hours per week of engagement is the average and leads to exceptional results in the ensuing successful professional pathways we are so glad to observe in many of our participants. Some become consultants and teachers themselves after receiving their certificate.

The 14-month course is equivalent to 400 hours of study, leading to a Certificate of Completion.

This programme is also an important stepping stone towards becoming a certified facilitator if you are interested in teaching others what you learned and share this curriculum. You can find more information about  becoming a certified Gaia Education trainer here