Sustainability Design Seminar: Digital Citizen Science

  • Type: Seminar (S)
  • Semester: SS 2023
  • Lecturer:

    Prof. Dr. Alexander Maedche, Saskia Haug

  • ECTS: 3
  • Lv-No.: 2500027

Sustainability Design Seminar: Digital Citizen Science

In times of climate change, sustainability is present in all parts of our lives.  You may ask yourself questions like "I wonder under what conditions I can travel in a climate-friendly way." Or "As a consumer, how can I reduce energy consumption when using digital media?" Certainly, there are many unsolved challenges with regards to more sustainable work and life.
Digital Citizen Science is an innovative approach to conduct research in the real world with citizens leveraging digital platforms. As part of the KIT Digital Citizen Science initiative and the KIT Science Week 2023, we invite citizens in the time frame between March and April 2023 to join a participatory “sustainability” campaign. Citizens will share their individual sustainability challenges on our publicly available digital citizen science platform. Furthermore, they will be invited to vote and comment on articulated challenges. On this basis, we will identify the most pressing challenges and work on these challenges in the sustainability design seminar following a user-centered design approach and deliver tangible solutions.

In the design seminar, students will work on teams on a specific sustainability challenge. The design teams are supervised by researchers from multiple institutes. Currently, the institutes IISM (Prof. Mädche, Prof. Weinhardt), IBU (Prof. Nieken), and ITAS (Prof. Grunwald / Dr. Parodi / Mr. Albiez) have provided topics and are participating. More institutes may join the initiative in the upcoming weeks. 


This semester, we will focus on sustainability challenges related to the following topics:

  • Climate-friendly travel / Klimafreundliches Reisen (ITAS, Grunwald/Parodi/Albiez)
  • Energy-saving media use / Energiesparende Mediennutzung (IISM, Mädche)
  • Climate-friendly office / Klimafreundliches Büro (IBU, Nieken)
  • Communication & participation in the energy transition / Kommunikation & Partizipation in der Energiewende (IISM, Weinhardt)
  • Explore a real-world design challenge in the Sustainability context articulated by citizens
  • Understand the human-centered design process and apply selected design techniques & tools
  • Deliver an interactive prototype as a potential solution for a selected Sustainability challenge
  • Develop transferrable skills such as problem-solving, decision making, team work, and creativity
  • Seminar Kick-Off: 03.05.23, 15:30-17:00
  • Assignment of challenges to groups: 05.05.23
  • Mid-Term Presentation: 07.06.23, 16:00-18:00
  • Final Presentation: 19.07.23, 17:00-19:00
The grading of the seminar will be based on the deliverables created by the teams and students’ interactive discussions within the course. Students are expected to create the following deliverables:
  • Intermediate presentation (PPT slide deck)
  • Final presentation (PPT slide deck)
  • Final document (10 pages)
  • Screencam of prototype
In case you have any questions, please reach out to Saskia Haug.