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Tobias Luthe

Associate Professor

Institute of Design

Dr. Tobias Luthe is Associate Professor for Systemic Regenerative Design at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Senior Research Scientist in Social-Ecological Resilience at ETH Zurich (Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development), he teaches sustainability management and leadership at the University of Freiburg (Germany), and is Visiting Professor at Politecnico Torino (2020).
Tobias is an academic transdisciplinary hybrid, merging sustainability science (natural/social science interface) with forest/environmental/wood engineering, landscape planning, holistic architecture, service and industrial bio design, and sustainability economics. He is specifically interested in nature-based innovation for resilient regenerative systems of multiple types and scales, and how to integrate science, design and practice. Much of his academic research and his publication record is in sustainability science, with foci on resilience of complex social-ecological systems in mountain and Arctic environments, on circular economy, sustainable tourism, regenerative landscapes and bio-regional systems, material science and life-cycle analysis.
Related to Architecture, Tobias’ first Master thesis back in 2001 was on comparative life cycle assessment of engineered wood panels in passive solar timber buildings. On a UC Berkeley stipend, he co-designed the initial part of the Swall Institute, a creative work&play retreat in the Californian High Desert, owned by TED Senior Fellow Dr. Eric Berlow. Tobias is co-founding director of the MonViso Institute (MVI), a real-world laboratory for sustainability transitions and regenerative design in the Italian Alps. Here he designed and built a highly innovative passive net-positive building, full of demonstrated circularity (http://www.monviso-institute.org). MVI received the Italian environmental award by Legambiente for demonstrating and communicating sustainability.
Tobias received three leading industry sport and eco design awards for his eco skis, handmade from hemp fiber composites, part of the Grown Design Lab which Tobias co-founded (http://www.grownskis.com). 
He is mountain, ski and bike guide, offering unique human-nature adventures at the interlink of science, nature-inspired creativity, and mental-physical experiences beyond the comfort zone.

Further information and list of publications and projects: tobiasluthe.de


  • Architecture & Culture
  • Architecture and Landscape
  • Design in Practise
  • Emerging Landscapes and Terretories
  • Industrial Design
  • Infrastructure and Landscape
  • Materials, Structure & Ecology
  • Practise
  • Service Design
  • Systems Oriented Design

Curriculum Vitae - CV


2005-2009 Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, Institute for Outdoor Sports and Environmental Sciences, German Sport University DSHS Cologne, Germany. Advisors Prof. Dr. R. Roth and Prof. Dr. em. H. Elsasser (University of Zurich, Economic Geography). Dissertation (18.02.2009): Vulnerability to climate change and sustainable adaptation of Alpine tourism.

2002-2005 M. A. in Education and Communication on Sustainable Development, University of Rostock, Germany. Thesis: Sustainability Leadership Training: Development and Evaluation of a University teaching concept on sustainable development.

1999-2001 M. Sc. in Forest- and Environmental Sciences, Major Environmental Economics, specializing in life cycle design and the built environment, and in wood engineering. University of Freiburg, Germany. Thesis: Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of engineered timber products for the use in passive solar buildings (German Diplom).

1997-1999 B. Sc. in Forest Sciences, University of Freiburg, Germany (German Vordiplom).


Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Switzerland

2016-2018 Visiting Professor. Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory. BSc/MSc courses “Integrative Ski Building Workshop” and “Systemic Design for Sustainability”. Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering.

Università della Svizzera Italiana USI, Lugano, Switzerland

2016-2019 Visiting Professor. Institute for Economic Research. MSc courses “Resilience of Mountain Economies” and “Landscape Architecture”.

University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur, Switzerland

Department “Living Environment” (Regional Economic Development, Architecture, Tourism).

2011-2018 Full Professor for Sustainability Science.

2012-2015 Director. Research Institute for Tourism and Leisure.

2009-2011 Senior Researcher and Senior Lecturer in sustainability science.

Université de Savoie, Chambéry, France

2008-2009 Postdoctoral Researcher, Institut de la Montagne. Interreg project “ClimAlpTour”.


2015- Founding director. The MonViso Institute, a real-world mountain laboratory for research, education and entrepreneurship in sustainability transformations and systemic design, situated in the Italian Piedmont Alps.

2008- Founder and systemic designer. Grown, Outdoor Creativity Lab. Regenerative design inspired by outdoor creativity. Essential outdoor tools, local adventures, co-creation community, science-industry partnerships.

2003-2008 Director of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Manager of the German Ski Federation (DSV), Munich, Germany.

2003 Trainee in Sustainable Investment Research, Renewable Energies Invest. Private Bank Sarasin, Basel, Switzerland.

2002 Business consultant in the wood product industry. Applikatio Consultancy, Freiburg, Germany.

2001-2010 Systemic Co-Design of the Swall Institute, a sustainably designed work&play retreat in the high desert of California, owned by TED senior fellow Eric L. Berlow.

2000 Trainee in circular/blue economy at UNDP/ZERI (Zero Emissions Research Initiatives) Geneva, International Environment House and EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany.