Course at a Glance


This course is for students and professionals in industrial design, mechanical engineering, and other design disciplines who are interested in learning best-practices for sustainable design, guided by the Cradle to Cradle framework.

Product Design & Manufacturing


2 hours

Cradle to Cradle Product Design: Designing for a circular economy

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is offering this free web-based education program to provide practical instruction for product designers in the application of ‘cradle to cradle’ design principles. The course challenges you to design to ensure that the materials that go into your products can return safely to industry or nature at a product’s end of use.

This course draws from some resources on disassembly, recycling, repair, upgrade, and green material selection from the Sustainable Design collection within the AU Workshop Library. The course development is supported by Alcoa.

A Certificate of Completion is offered upon passing the course.

The course is presented in six sections

  1. Overview of Cradle to Cradle philosophy and certification
  2. Material Health
  3. Material Reutilization
  4. Renewable Energy
  5. Water Stewardship
  6. Social Fairness

Each section contains:

  • Overview video
  • Guidance to apply the concepts to the product design proces
  • Deep dive videos into specific design strategies
  • Examples of companies doing cool things (Optional)
  • List of additional resources (Downloadable)

As a follow-up to this course, you will have the opportunity to apply all that you have learned by creating a submission for the Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge. [more info to come]

Links and References