Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke

Design and sustainability/ Design for Sustainability and Circularity
Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke

Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke
Design and sustainability/ Design for Sustainability and Circularity

Christa Liedtke is a natural scientist and describes herself as a material flow specialist. She initially studied to become a teacher, secondary school I/II, Protestant theology and biology and then graduated as a biologist. She then completed her doctorate in cell biology. She then switched from nanograms to megatons: resource research at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. She is fascinated by structural interactions at cellular and societal level and their design and development. She is currently head of the Sustainable Production and Consumption department. Her focus is on sustainability assessment and resource conservation as well as real-world laboratory and LivingLab research. She develops methods of design for sustainability and circularity and has created a Transition Design Guide in collaboration with the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, the Ecosign Akademie Köln and the Folkwang University of the Arts Essen.
She is interested in how prosperity can develop independently of resource consumption. How can we live well without harming nature or our fellow human beings? Which social and economic models are suitable for this? She researches this bottom-up with stakeholders in real-world laboratories and living labs and finds that the combination of skills and abilities of the people involved is a valuable, if not THE resource for a sustainable future. Because this materializes through design.


since 2019
Associate Professor for Sustainability in Design at the University of Wuppertal, Faculty of Design and Art, Department of Industrial Design

since 2013-2019 and again since 2021
Co-chair of the Resource Commission of the Federal Environment Agency

since 2020
Co-chair of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 (wpn2030)

since 2019
Member of the Expert Council for Consumer Affairs at the BMJV (now BMUV)

since 2018
Member of the Steering Committee of SDSN Germany (Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany)

since 2018
Head of the Sustainable Production and Consumption Department at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

since 2003 - 2018
Head of the Sustainable Production and Consumption Research Group at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

Part-time Professor for Sustainability Research in Design/ Design for Sustainability and Circularity at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen

Visiting professor for sustainability research in design at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen

Research projects - selection

Interdisciplinary testing of digital tools for user-oriented communication of material-related sustainability information

Circular by Design: Resource turnaround through sustainable product design of consumer goods using the case study of refrigerators/freezers

Knowledge, application, understanding and experience of artificial intelligence

Kreislaufwirtschaft für die Rechenzentren-Industrie

The Sustainable Lifestyles Accelerator – Catalyzing Change

Der Club of Rome (CoR) für den Alltag

Further research projects under:


Future impulses

Zehn Botschaften zu SDG 12 „Nachhaltige Konsum- und Produktionsmuster“ (Zukunftsimpuls Nr. 22). Liedtke, C. & Büttgen, A. (2021). Wuppertal Institut,

Transformation zur Nachhaltigkeit – Warum wir eine Literacy für nachhaltigen Konsum brauchen (Zukunftsimpuls Nr. 16). Zimmermann-Janssen, V. E. M., Welfens, M. J., & Liedtke, C. (2021). Wuppertal Institut.

Zukunftsfähige Ernährungssysteme und Konsummuster gestalten. Aktuelle Erkenntnisse aus der Forschung zu nachhaltiger Ernährung am Wuppertal Institut (Zukunftsimpuls Nr. 19). Speck, M., Liedtke, C., Hennes, L., El Mourabit, X. & Wagner, L. (2021). Wuppertal Institut,

Nachhaltige Lieferketten. Global kooperative Regionalwirtschaften für Wohlstand und Resilienz. (Zukunftsimpuls Nr. 11) Liedtke, C., Kühlert, M., Wiesen, K., Stinder , A. K., Brauer, J., Beckmann, J., Fedato, C., El Mourabit, X., Büttgen, A., Speck, M. (2020). Wuppertal Institut,


Design for sustainability. Liedtke, Christa (2018), A UNA-UK online publication, 2018,
Das dematerialisierte Design. Liedtke, Christa; Buhl, Johannes (2013), in: Fuhs, Karin-Simone; Brocchi, Davide; Maxein, Michael; Draser, Bernd (Hg.): Die Geschichte des nachhaltigen Designs, pp. 178-193, ISBN 978-3-88864-521-1

Teaching material

Transition Design Guide – Design für Nachhaltigkeit. Gestalten für das Heute und Morgen. Ein Guide für Gestaltung und Entwicklung in Unternehmen, Städten und Quartieren, Forschung und Lehre. Liedtke, Christa; Kühlert, Markus; Huber, Kim; Baedeker, Carolin (2019): Wuppertal Spezial Nr. 55, Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie, Wuppertal, 254 Seiten. ISBN 978-3-946356-13-4,

Wuppertal Institute designguide: background information & tools. Liedtke, Christa; Ameli, Najine; Buhl, Johannes; Oettershagen, Philip; Pears, Tristam; Abbis, Pablo (2013): Wuppertal Spezial 46, Wuppertal: Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy, 77 p., ISBN 978-3-929944-90-7,

Basic didactics and methods

Applied text mining in the context of sustainability research using the example of the German Research Map of the German Rectors' Conference Bickel, M., Liedtke, C. (2021), in: W. Leal Filho (ed.), Digitalization and Sustainability, Theory and Practice of Sustainability, Springer Spektrum, Berlin, Heidelberg, Print ISBN 978-3-662-61533-1, Online ISBN 978-3-662-61534-8,

Resource Efficiency and Culture - workplace training for small and medium sized enterprises Bliesner, Anna; Liedtke, Christa; Rohn, Holger (2014) in: Journal Science of the Total Environment, 15 May 2014, Volume 481, pp. 645-648, [file] , DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.053

"Norm-Oriented Interpretation Learning" and Resource Use: The concept of "open-didactic exploration" as a contribution to raising awareness of a responsible resource use. Bliesner, Anna; Liedtke, Christa; Welfens, Maria Jolanta; Baedeker, Carolin; Hasselkuß, Marco; Rohn, Holger (2014): , in Journal Resources 3/2014, pp. 1 - 30,, DOI:10.3390/resources3010001, ISSN 2079-9276

Change Agents für Nachhaltigkeit: Was müssen sie können? Bliesner, Anna; Liedtke, Christa; Rohn, Holger (2013): in: Zeitschrift Führung + Organisation, Jg. 82, 1/2013, S. 49-53

Theorie und Praxis eines Bildungskonzepts für Nachhaltigkeit. Stengel, Oliver; Liedtke, Christa; Baedeker, Carolin; Welfens, Maria J. (2008): in: Umweltpsychologie, 12. Jg., 2/2008, S. 29-42, ISBN 978-3-89967-482-8

Sustainability strategies - Product-Service-Design

Designing on the Basis of Recycling-Metallurgy Possibilities: Material-Specific Rules and Standards for “Anti-Dissipative” Products. Schoch,K., Liedtke,C., Bienge, K. (2021) in: Resources 2021, 10, 5.

Nachhaltiges Design und Suffizienz – ressourcenleicht durchs Leben. Liedtke, Christa; Buhl, Johannes; Borgmann, Alica (2015) in: uwf Umweltwirtschaftsforum, Juni 2015, Volume 23, Issue 1-2, pp 11-14

Microfoundations for Sustainable Growth with Eco-Intelligent Product Service-Arrangements. Liedtke, Christa; Buhl, Johannes; Ameli, Najine (2013) in: Journal Sustainability 2013, Vol. 5, 2013, pp. 1141-1160, [file],, doi:10.3390/su5031141, ISSN 2071-1050Designing value through less by integrating sustainability strategies into lifestyles. Liedtke, Christa; Buhl, Johannes; Ameli, Najine (2013) in: International Journal of Sustainable Design, 2013, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 167-180

Reallabore – LivingLabs für die Gestaltung von Produkten und Service - Innovationsräume gestalten

Topology, Typology and dynamics of commons-based peer production: On platforms, actors and innovation in the maker movement, in Creative Innovation Management, Aryan, Venkat; Bertling, Jürgen; Liedtke, Christa (2020): 2020, 1-17, DOI: 10.1111/caim.12392,

User-integrated innovation in Sustainable LivingLabs: an experimental intrastructure for researching and developing sustainable product service systems. Liedtke, Christa; Baedeker, Carolin; Hasselkuß, Marco; Rohn, Holger; Grinewitschus, Viktor (2015): In Journal of Cleaner Production Volume 97, pp. 106-116, [file]:,

Exploring the Potential of a German Living Lab Research Infrastructure for the Development of Low Resource Products and Services. Geibler, Justus von; Erdmann, Lorenz; Liedtke, Christa; Rohn, Holger; Stabe, Matthias; Berner, Simon; Leismann, Kristin; Schnalzer, Kathrin; Kennedy, Katharina (2014) in: Journal Resources 3/2014, pp. 575-598;, DOI:10.3390/resources3030575, ISSN 2079-9276

Resource evaluation

Promoting sustainable consumption with LCA – A social practice based perspective. Suski, P., Speck, M., Liedtke, C. (2021): Journal of Cleaner Production, 283 (2021), 125234,

Predicting the Material Footprint in Germany between 2015 and 2020 via Seasonally Decomposed Autoregressive and Exponential Smoothing Algorithms. Buhl, J., Liedtke, C., Schuster, S., Bienge, K.(2020): in Resources, 9, 125, doi:10.3390/resources9110125,

Critical evaluation of the material characteristics and environmental potential of laser beam melting process for the additive manufacturing of metallic components. Teubler, Jens; Weber, Sebastian; Suski, Paul; Peschke, Irma; Liedtke, Christa (2019) in: Journal of Cleaner Production, 2019, Volume 237, November 10, 117775,

The Material Footprint of private households in Germany: Linking the natural resource use and socioeconomic characteristics of users from an online footprint calculator in Germany. Buhl, Johannes; Liedtke, Christa; Teubler, Jens; Bienge, Katrin (2019) in: Sustainable Production and Consumption, Volume 20, October, pp. 74-83,

A material footprint model for green information systems – using statistical learning to identify the predictors of natural resource use. Buhl, Johannes; Liedtke, Christa; Teubler, Jens; Schuster, Sebastian; Bienge, Katrin (2019) in: Cogent Engineering, 2019, Volume 6, Issue 1, 1616655, DOI: 10.1080/23311916.2019.1616655

Measure or Management?-Resource Use Indicators for Policymakers Based on Microdata by Households. Buhl, Johannes; Liedtke, Christa; Teubler, Jens; Bienge, Katrin; Schmidt, Nicholas (2018) in: Sustainability, 2018, 10, 4467, doi:10.3390/su10124467,

Sustainability Assessment of Out-of-Home Meals: Potentials and Challenges of Applying the Indicator sets NAHGAST Meal-Basic and NAHGAST Meal-Pro. Engelmann, Tobias; Speck, Melanie; Rohn, Holger; Bienge, Katrin; Liedtke, Christa; Monetti, Silvia et al. (2018) in: Sustainability, 2018, 10, 2, 22 pp, DOI: 10.3390/su10020562;

The Nutritional Footprint - integrated methodology using environmental and health indicators to indicate potential for absolute reduction of natural resource use in the field of food and nutrition, in Journal Cleaner Production. Lukas, Melanie; Rohn, Holger; Lettenmeier, Michael; Liedtke, Christa; Wiesen, Klaus (2016)in: Volume 132, pp. 161-170, [file]

Assessing indicators and limits for a sustainable everyday nutrition. Lukas, Melanie; Rohn, Holger; Lettenmeier, Michael; Liedtke, Christa; Wirges, Monika; Wiesen, Klaus; Schweißinger, Johanna; Lenthe, Charlotte von (2016) in: International Journal on Foodsystem Dynamics, Innsbruck, proceedings in System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks, pp. 299 – 313 [file]:, DOI:, ISSN 2194-511X

Eight Tons of Material Footprint – Suggestion for a Resource Cap for Household Consumption. Lettenmeier, Michael; Liedtke, Christa; Rohn, Holger (2014) in: Finland in Journal Resources 3/2014, pp. 488-515,, DOI:10.3390/resources3030488, ISSN 2079-9276

Resource Use in the Production and Consumption System—The MIPS Approach in Resources. Liedtke, Christa; Bienge, Katrin; Wiesen, Klaus; Teubler, Jens; Greiff, Kathrin; Lettenmeier, Michael; Rohn, Holger (2014): 3(3), 544-574; [file]:, DOI:10.3390/resources3030544, ISSN 2079-9276

The nutritional footprint – An assessment tool for health and environmental effects of nutrition. Lukas, Melanie; Scheiper, Marie-Louise; Ansorge, Jannick, Rohn, Holger; Liedtke, Christa; Teitscheid, Petra (2014) in: Ernährungsumschau 11/2014, pp. 164–170, DOI: 10.4455/eu.2014.028

The Hot Spot Analysis: Utilization as Customized Management Tool towards Sustainable Value Chains of Companies in the Food Sector. Rohn, Holger; Lukas, Melanie; Bienge, Katrin; Ansorge, Jannick; Liedtke, Christa (2014) in: AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, 4/2014, Volume VI, pp. 133-143, [file]

Book contributions

Konsum ist nachhaltig und nicht-nachhaltig – Ambiguität befruchtet das Leben. Draser, Bernd; Liedtke, Christa (2019) in: Bohn, Fuchs, Kerkhoff, Müller (Hrsg.): Gegenwart und Zukunft sozial-ökologischer Transformation, 63-74, Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden, ISBN 978-3-8487-5835-7 (print) und ISBN 978-3-8452-9969-3 (ePDF)

Die Ressourcenintensität der Zeit und ihre Bedeutung für nachhaltige Lebensstile. Buhl, Johannes; Schipperges, Michael; Liedtke, Christa (2017) in: Kenning, Peter et al. (Hg.): Verbraucherwissenschaften, Springer-Fachmedien Wiesbaden, pp. 295-311, DOI 10.1007/978-3-658-10926-4_16, ISBN 978-3-658-10925-7

Beteiligt an diversen Beiträgen in: Living Labs – Design and Assessment of Sustainable Living. Keyson, David V.; Guerra-Santin, Olivia; Lockton, Dan (Editors) in: Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 2017, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-33527-8_3, Print ISBN 978-3-319-33526-1


Sachverständigenrat für Verbraucherfragen,

Wissenschaftsplattform Nachhaltigkeit 2030 BMBF,

Ressourcenkommission UBA,

Fotocredit: Friederike von Heyden/Bergische Universität Wuppertal


University of Wuppertal
Gaußstr. 20 (Arrival via Fuhlrottstrasse 10)
Building I - Level 16 / Room I.16.74
42119 Wuppertal

Visiting hours

Consultation hours by arrangement