Introduction to transition design: where do we want to go?


Boglárka Kurka Ivanegová



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Photo: Boglárka Kurka Ivanegová


We live in a world made possible through the interaction and interrelation of multiple environmental and social systems. They highlight the interconnected, mutually dependent, and dynamic relationships between humans and the environment. By now, we know that system within which we operate, dominated by humans, is fundamentally unsustainable. The United in Science 2020 report presents up-to-date information on the state of climate change. It shows how “human-induced climate change is affecting life-sustaining systems, from the top of the mountains to the depths of the oceans, leading to accelerating sea-level rise, with cascading effects for ecosystems and human security.” Alarming findings come with the 2020 Living Planet report, according to which the population of animals globally has dropped by nearly 70% over the past 50 years. Yet, there is still a chance to reverse these trends. Communities worldwide, scientists included, are calling for transformational change and for so-called sustainability transitions.
Along with these calls, a new area of design practice emerges, named transition design. Irwin (2015) explains, it “advocates design-led societal transition towards more sustainable futures.” Through my contribution to Multi-Multi, I want to introduce the transition design framework, engage the audience in envisioning the sustainable future, and think about what transformational change for a future within the social-ecological boundaries of our planet would actually entail.



Boglárka is the co-founder of a consultancy collective SUSTO - Sustainability Tools, where she focuses mainly on the design of educational activities. At the moment, she is co-developing a multifunctional platform to support young people in climate action. She holds a bachelor's degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic in Maine, USA, and a master's degree in human development and food security from University Degli Studi Rome Tre in Rome. She is completing her MBA in educational leadership at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences in Finland. In the past, she worked at the Slovak Ministry of Environment, where is focused on environmental education; she also worked as an assistant at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and co-founded a community garden in