Da Vinci Project

The Da Vinci Project is an interdisciplinary honours programme on sustainability for 2nd and 3rd year Bachelor's and pre-Master's students who are looking for an extra challenge. This programme (10 EC) is therefore in addition to the 180 EC of your bachelor's programme.

Sustainability challenges

Do you want to meet people from different backgrounds, look across disciplinary boundaries and collaborate outside your comfort zone? During the programme you will work on real-life sustainability related projects in interdisciplinary teams. These focus on challenges such as clean air, sustainable housing and waste as a resource. All projects are provided by an external partner, ranging from the private sector (e.g. VNCI, MBK-NL or VNO NCW) to local and national governments (e.g. municipality Utrecht and Ministry of EZK). The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all, are a guiding principle for this honours programme. 

Construct a prototype

Throughout the programme you use Design Thinking as a method to find solutions for the different challenges. Through an active learning-by-doing approach, you will be trained to collaborate transdisciplinary, thereby broadening your horizon. You will acquire new skills for life hard to acquire in a normal academic environment. To finish this programme successfully, you construct a solution, or prototype, together with your team members. On top of that the students take part in interactive lectures, or college tours, by sustainability experts from various areas of research and expertise from within and outside of the UU.

Innovative Education

The Da Vinci Project aims to innovate education by employing an interactive, learning-by-doing approach. This honours programme is designed to help you bridge the gap between not only different educational backgrounds, but also the gap between higher education and the business market. 

Project Examples:

What goes in the sink ends up in your drink – The Wind of Change (2023)

Painting can be a fun way to express our creativity, but it can also be harmful for the environment if brushes and rollers are not cleaned properly after use. AkzoNobel asked us to design a solution to make amateur painting more sustainable.

Plastic waste on the beach – The Vitruvians (2022)

Our stakeholder, The Ocean Cleanup, focuses on removing plastic from oceans. To do so, a global scale data collection and therefore regular sampling of the beaches is needed. We designed a solution to increase the motivation of volunteers, the Citizen Scientists, to sample regularly.

Our society needs students to become transdisciplinary connectors who are skilled to collaborate outside their own comfort zone and who are moreover able to create innovative solutions with different stakeholders.