SBYD.SPACE explores climate-neutral and resource-light ways of living and production. It transfers knowledge from sustainability research into society and the economy through design. The capability of design in making theories and abstract concepts tangible – and transferring them into everyday life – is used to explore, discuss, and test these theories and ideas in practice. Design thus functions as a tool to make the knowledge gained from sustainability research visible and tangible, fostering discourse and aiming at social transformations towards climate neutrality and resource conservation.

SBYD.SPACE pursues an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach that involves different audiences and cooperation partners. Together with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (WI), the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT), and other partners, SBYD.SPACE develops prototypes, visualisations, and realisable designs for sustainable products, services, and practices. Formats such as workshops, international symposia, and exhibitions are aimed at a broad public. With an experimental approach to contemporary sustainability research and design methods, ideas and theories related to a more climate-neutral and resource-conserving way of life are translated into design projects by the SBYD team and collaborators, as well as the guests hosted through the SBYD artist / designer in residence programme. In addition, entrepreneurial endeavours are supported through start-up initiatives and cooperations with local businesses. 

SBYD.SPACE is part of the “Innovative University” funding line and is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Joint Science Conference (GWK).


At the annual exhibition of the Folkwang design department, SBYD will be inviting the general public to take part in a variety of activities, including repair workshops and material experiments.

SBYD will be exhibiting, holding workshops and an event at Dutch Design Week this year.


From 1 April 2025 to 30 June 2025, SBYD.SPACE is offering two “Artist / Designer in Residence” scholarships on the themes of “Repair” and “Food” for Japanese artists or designers. The programme is supported by the Goethe-Institut Villa Kamogawa Kyoto and Museum Folkwang in Essen, where the residents will present their work. More information will be published soon! Details of the programme and the application procedure can be found in the PDF (EN) | PDF (JPN).


Sustainability by Design

Folkwang Universität der Künste
Campus Zeche Zollverein
Martin-Kremmer-Strasse 21
45327 Essen

Prof. Dr. Johanna Schmeer
Director SBYD, Director Bio Lab

Judith Schanz
Co-Director SBYD, Research Associate

Daniel Wilkens
Co-Director SBYD, Research Associate

Prof. Anke Bernotat
Director Craft Lab

Prof. Stefan Neudecker
Director Tech Lab

Judith Schlupkothen
Project Assistant

Shahriar Assadi
Research Associate

Tom Baffi
Research Associate

Rolf Brändle
Research Associate

Lucas Dieckmann
Research Associate

Steffen Hartwig
Research Associate

Katharina Herbrich
Research Associate

Lena Jean Jäger
Research Associate

Marius Land
Research Associate

Corinne Riepert
Research Associate

Zeinab Abdou
Student Research Assistant

Lorena Droste
Student Research Assistant

Lars Feller
Student Research Assistant

Paulina Heidlberger
Student Research Assistant

Lilli Seiler
Student Research Assistant

Carl Vollmer
Student Research Assistant

If you’d like to get to know us a little better or simply say ‘hello’, you can get in touch with us via e-mail at

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