WIT Press

Visibility of sustainability: the making of the itinerant pavilion ‘Summerlabb’


Free (open access)


Volume 5 (2017), Issue 4



Page Range

619 - 630

Paper DOI



WIT Press




To intrinsically motivate students by challenging concrete tasks is an effective way of learning – and in particular, if the task is intended to deliver a tangible outcome. Bearing this in mind, a challenging Problem Based Learning assignment for Master students of TU/e was found in developing a sustainable pavilion for festivals in cooperation with a third party (Double2). Many (music) festivals nowadays go on the message of sustainability in addition to their core business of ‘music and food’. This can offer a very challenging assignment; to develop an iconic object that stands out in a large-scale event and by making sustainability tangible to a large audience. The aspect of designing a temporal and original creation is already challenging, yet it becomes integral (‘Research by Design’) by involving practical requirements that have to be met too regarding safety aspects, fast and practical assembling, et cetera. And by actually building a full-scale creation makes this project exceptionally, being the proof of the pudding of the creation as well as the icing on the cake for all involved (and a special item for a students’ portfolio). Making prototypes and considering details on different scale levels (‘learning by doing’) is very instructive for students who study buildings. And helping to assemble the pavilions on a festival and support the set-up on location (‘learning by precedent’) is highly enlightening, too.

This paper describes the ‘Summerlabb’ project of developing a number of structures as itinerant exhibition at festivals and events that were developed in analogy with earlier design projects where student teams were involved.


integral design, PBL, problem based learning, proof of concept, visibility of sustainability.