Design creative solutions for social challenges, explore possible future scenarios and make a difference.

Are you a student at HKU and do you want to follow this minor? For conditions and the registration procedure go to the studentportal.

What do you learn?

The minor Design for Social Change focuses on social design. You will design solutions for social challenges, focusing on themes such as poverty reduction, equality, clean water, transport, climate or waste.


You work in interdisciplinary teams. You can take on a role as a designer, but also as a project manager, programmer or director. You investigate the theme you have chosen and you explore possible future scenarios. Your joint vision can be expressed in many forms - presentations, text, film, animation, installations or objects.


You will learn to make the results of your project and research (visually) clear to a wide audience. The products have social added value, are concrete, innovative and tell a story. During the project you will experience how you can position yourself in relation to various stakeholders. 


The environment of a University of the Arts is inspiring and offers you the necessary facilities, knowledge and contacts to work hands-on with issues that concern everyone. We work with thematic week programmes and challenges.


The focus within this minor is on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include poverty reduction, equality, clean water, transport, climate and waste.


In this minor the Frame Innovation method of Kees Dorst is central. He was appointed in 2018 as an advisor to the UNDP, the UN organisation that has to help achieve the 17 development goals set by the UN. The steps from this model will be followed in blocks of two weeks per theme and always end with a meeting in which results are discussed with problem owners. One of the clients is What Design Can Do.


The bi-weekly themes are:

  • Archaeology and architecture
  • Learning to identify paradoxes
  • Building contexts by de-framing
  • Field expansion (new players/game changers) 
  • Theme research/ re-framing by means of design-thinking
  • Developing new frames and rapid prototyping
  • Game changing: futures, what is needed for transformation and integration in the organisation
  • Final presentation

Learning objectives

Students are able to:

1: in collaboration with fellow students, the field of work and lecturers, to formulate relevant questions and to develop knowledge about them 

2: organise an ongoing learning process in cooperation with stakeholders 

3: use inspiring design and research methods and critically argue the choices made in this regard

4: to make a design that results from the research process and that is appropriate for the stakeholders

5: to further develop their own professionalism by reflecting on their own actions and the roles within the team


To qualify for this minor, you need:

•    to have a first-year diploma;

•    to be able to communicate and make presentations in English.

Which students?

This minor is particularly suited for students in the social, creative and economic domains.


With regard to the selection, we ask you:

•   to write a short motivation letter (max. 1 A4) demonstrating your social engagement. What have you created, written or organised, or what are you working on? Have you worked as a student or volunteer? Write down what you intend to explore and learn in this minor and how you wish to make a practical contribution to the design team.

•   to draft a concise cv. 

•   to enclose any work, you made that is relevant to the subject. This could be images, text, audio, video, drawings, photos or other forms that represent your way of working. 

Selection: ongoing, in accordance with the deadline published by Kies op Maat.

HKU has the right to cancel a minor if there are not enough participants.


  • ECTS: 30
  • Level: Bachelor
  • Language: semester 1 in Dutch, semester 2 in English
  • Period: September 2020 to January 2021 (semester 1) and February 2020 to June 2021 (semester 2)
  • Questions? Mail


Semester 1 zit vol! Je kan je alleen nog aanmelden voor semester 2 (februari 2021 tot juni 2021).

The minors of HKU are included in Kies Op Maat. Kies Op Maat makes it easy for students to take a minor at another educational institution. You can register for this minor via Kies Op Maat via the button above.

Wat is een minor?

A minor is a program that you can follow during your bachelor's degree. The minors are intended for students from HKU or other colleges who have passed the propaedeutic phase. Minors are courses that you choose yourself, based on your own wishes and interests.