Skip to main content

LeNS LAB – Learning Network for Sustainability

The International Learning Network of networks on Sustainability (LeNSin), is an EU-supported (ERASMUS+) project involving 36 universities from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Central America, aiming at the promotion of a new generation of designers, and design educators and researchers capable of effectively contributing to the transition towards a sustainable society for all.

Active since 2009, the project brings together many institutions and universities from LeNS_Brazil, LeNS_Mexico; LeNS_South Africa, LeNS_China, LeNS_India and LeNS_Europe. Srishti is one of the seven promoters of the LeNS Network and anchors the LeNS India Chapter- a growing network of higher education institutions across disciplines.


LeNSin aims to improve global exchanges and accessibility of higher education on Design for Sustainability (DfS). The project focuses on Sustainable Product-Service Systems (S.PSS) and Distributed Economies (DE) – considering both as promising models to couple environmental protection with social equity, cohesion and economic prosperity – applied in different contexts around the world.
More Info:


Exchanges of knowledge, systems, people and culture form an important part of the LeNS ethos and since 2010, the LeNS network has grown to well over 40 institutions of higher education from across the world.

LeNS International

LeNS India

LeNS India has eight partner institutions and will take up continued research, collaborations, projects and exchanges through the Indian networks.

The LeNS-India introductory meet in 2015


Srishti School of Art Design and Technology


Indian Institute of technology Guwahati


C.A.R.E. School of Architecture


Indian Institute of Information technology Design and Manufacturing Jabalpur (IIITDMJ)


Indian Institute Of Technology Gandhinagar


Goa College of Architecture


Hunnershala Foundation for Building Technology & Innovations


Vastu Shilpa Foundation

Research and Practice

LeNSin connects a multi-polar network of Higher Education Institutions adopting and promoting a learning-by-sharing knowledge generation and dissemination, with an open and copyleft ethos. Members of the LeNS network are working towards building a body of academic work through repository of tools, frameworks and case studies from the diverse contexts of the partner institutions. The aim is also to use this as a repository to develop academic courses for dissemination of these ideas through our partner institutions.

The Lens Lab

A network of LeNS Labs is in the process of being established in Partner Countries (Brazil, Africa, Mexico, China, India) as equipped spaces accessible to students, teachers, researchers as well as local interested stakeholders to use a set of tools, resources and facilities to support Design for Sustainability (DfS) research, education and practice.


LeNS International, in its current project period is organizing seminars, pilot courses and conferences in all the partner institutions. These events bring together practitioners, industrialists, academicians, researchers, all with a passion for critical sustainable practices. They also provide opportunities for cross cultural exchanges of research and practices.


LeNSin Seminar-Workshop held at Srishti in November 2016

LeNS Brazil:
Dates: May 31 – June 1 2016
Organiser: Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba, Brazil
Topics: Distributed Design & Distributed Manufacturing
More info:

LeNS Africa:
Dates: August 11 – 12 2016
Organiser: Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Cape Town, South Africa
Topics: Distributed Renewable Energy, Distributed Manufacturing, Distributed production of Software, and Distributed production of Information
More info:

LeNS Mexico: Dates: September 5 – 9 2016
Organiser: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) Azcapotzalco, Mexico City, Mexico
Topics: Distributed Design & Distributed Manufacturing

LeNS China:
Dates: October 21 – 22 2016
Organiser: Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Topics: Distributed Renewable Energy & Distributed Manufacturing
More info:

LeNS India:
Dates: November 10 – 11 2016
Organiser: Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, India
Topics: Distributed Design & Distributed Manufacturing


Will be the culmination of the current phase of the three year project. LeNSin will also promote a series of diffusion activities targeting the design community worldwide. The final event will be a decentralised conference in 2018, based simultaneously in six partner universities, organised with 36 project partners form four continents.

Pilot Courses

The LeNS Pilot Course 01 conducted in Srishti in February 2016

10 LeNSin pilot courses will be implemented across Partner Countries (India, Africa, Mexico, China, Brazil) and focuses on Sustainable Product-Service Systems (S.PSS) and Distributed Economies (DE) theory and practice. Each pilot course will address specific topics explored in the seminars.

A first round of pilot courses will be held in five partner institutions in 2017, supported by faculty from two other partner institutions. This provides opportunities for cross cultural teaching and learning. A second round of pilot courses will be held in 2018.

Past Work

In the 3 years project (15/12/2007 - 15/12/2010) funded by the Asia Link Programme, EuropAid, European Commission, involving 7 design schools in Europe and Asia, LeNs produced an open learning e-package, a package of teaching materials (texts, slideshows, audio, video etc,) and tools for designers.

In its first phase, Srishti contributed to the network with the design of a course on PSS design for Sustainability. Srishti also hosted the LeNS conference on Sustainability in design: NOW! Challenges and opportunities for Design Research, Education and Practice in the XXI Century at Bangalore, India, 29th September - 1st October 2010. 

Srishti students participated in the LeNS Student design competition 2009-10 with 8 entries of which ‘Green High’ won an award.

LeNS PGDP Apprenticeship

LeNS Lab offers a 1-year Apprenticeship in the Postgraduate Diploma Program through the School of Foundation and Preparatory Studies (SFPS).

LeNS Lab at Srishti invites recent graduates or any designer with a passion for critical sustainable practices to explore their interests under the mentorship of artists, designers, academicians and researchers. The lab offers an interdisciplinary space to explore one’s area of interest and provides training in tools to further such work. The apprentice would have an opportunity to collaborate with the LeNS partners at national and international levels to write grant proposals, research papers, designing and participating in conferences, seminars and workshops.

In addition, LeNS Lab collaborates with a number of grassroots organizations working on diverse projects in crafts, health, heritage, community development and participatory urban processes as ongoing live projects. The lab attempts to bridge the gap between theory and practice through these projects and build an empirical understanding of systems.

Over the course of one year apprentices will work on projects run by senior level design professionals in the studio space. They will work on the following:

  • Critically examining theories of sustainability
  • Documenting sustainable practices
  • Collaborating with industry and other institutions on projects
  • Co-writing research papers and case studies
  • Grant/project proposal writing
  • Designing events and workshops

The Apprenticeship Pathway gives students the opportunity to move directly into a practice within the creative sector of their choice. Opportunities after the apprenticeship may include working as a creative professional in NGOs/public policy think tanks/design houses/production studios etc.


Ranjani Balasubramanian :