Why we must leave our comfort zones behind?

Designers have never had to take such a great responsibility as far as global social and economical matters are concerned, as nowadays. The constructed environment, in spite of all of its safety, deprives us of perceiving the deeper layers.

Consequently, we need a school in the mountains, in the wild nature, which provides us a platform to investigate the deeper layers of our perception, conformity and mindset.

How we, as designers, shall work together on a mountain school?

The only way to work effectively on this mountain school is to make sure that we invite those students of design for planning this building, who will later have a chance to participate in the institute’s educational program. Therefore we are cooperating with a number of European universities whose students - along with our other designers - are important participants of the program from its inception.

What we would like to build?

inside-outside connection

inside-outside connection

variable furnitures

We are working on a high-altitude autonomous mountain school that can house up to eight people. We have radically minimised the spatial dimensions of the building, which is currently below 50 sqm. We are working on smart, cutting-edge technical and aesthetic solutions to make sure that the building ecologically pays respect to its natural surroundings, which in turn inspires the people staying in it.

blue print



Sustainable Shipping by Sail

Research and Development Project for Sustainable Ocean Farming and its related Fairtransport Infrastructure

What is the 3S program about?

3S is an on-going research and development project that directly fits into the educational model of ember.institute. Design students who apply to our institute may also join our researchers in the work. This cooperation facilitates the shaping of their responsible thinking while enhancing the quality of their professional training in design. The project seeks to find a solution for renewing the entire prospective European ocean farming method, and via this it would facilitate the development of its food supply and reduce the ecological load.

sail boat

The field works of 3S program are taking place in the surroundings of the Træna islands, Norway, in close cooperation with Air Træna.

We are currently constructing a complete system for the residents of Træna Island and support the renewal of its prospective ocean farming infrastructure with a shipping system. This system not only serves the carbon neutral production of sea food but is also capable of transporting these goods to the mainland, and transport other goods to the islands. In the future this model could be implemented by numerous European coastal locations.


Who we are

This is our team. You can read more about ember.institute's vision here: show more

Who we are?

Our team members have various backgrounds from social sciences, through design, engineering, architecture till economy. We have an advisory board, experts with diverse knowledge and skills from all over Europe. Since our main focus is education we have already been in partnerships with the main universities from Europe and constantly working on new collaborations.

What is it?

The ember.institute is a non-profit research institute with the aim to establish various educational environments where human and nature can be reconnected. The main goal of the institute is to build a platform where we as humans can rethink our presence on the Earth using various non-formal education models and the respect of nature for a new way of thinking, working and existing.


Ember, when it was founded in 2010 in Budapest, started off as a for-profit design studio, focusing predominantly on topics related to industrial as well as graphic design. During the years a number of members changed, and the scope of activities also expanded to include research-development and manufacturing. Later, in 2019, the company transformed into a non-profit research institute under the name ember.institute and moved its headquarters to Austria.

The idea came from the realisation of our CEO, István Policsányi’s PhD research where he underscored the excessively negative impact of design on ecological processes. Besides that there are directions in current creative industry researches which emphasise the huge impact of designers’ work without any working ethical practice. Our institute aims to change this process and initiate a new model for educating the future of creators.

Project 1.

As its first project with its new educational programs starting from 2020, ember.institute seeks to connect and cooperate with European universities and to provide a special designer training program. This new educational model will be realised in a high-altitude school building located in the Austrian Alps.

Project 2.

Beyond its traditional educational activities, the institute keeps laying special emphasis on launching holistic research-development projects like 3S which is focusing on the European sustainable future fishing and Fairtransport cargo on seas. This project is partially incorporated into the educational model, and this strives to demonstrate a new designing process based on the cutting-edge concept of innovative concentration which aims at enhancing the quality of design in the future.

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Core team members



Special Thanks to:

Alexa Antal, Imre Bankó, Farkas Barcza, Eszter Bircsák, Gábor Bittó, Iza Cosovan, Dóra Derczbach, Levente Dobó, Zsolt Erdélyi, Miklós Ferencz, Vilmos Gaál, Júlia Gáspár, Dóra Gigler, Ági Göb, Bálint Gócza, Balázs Havassy, Dóra Horváth, Levente Jókai, Zsolt Ormándlaky, Kristóf Szitár, Krisztián Tompa, Géza Vidor Tóth, Noémi Vágvölgyi, Viktor Varsányi, Péter Horváth-Zelenyénszky


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