Modifying Design Pedagogy to Develop New Approaches to Sustainability

DS 58-10: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 10, Design Education and Lifelong Learning, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Hillen, Veronique Beatrice; Banerjee, Banny
Series: ICED
Section: Design Education and Lifelong Learning
Page(s): 313-324


Challenges in sustainability represent complex problems with multi-dimensional, interlaced issues. Design education has responded to the need to address such issues by incorporating sustainability based courses. The more complex an issue, the more trans-disciplinary the role of design has to be so as to adequately address the overlap of the forces at play. This paper describes two experiments in education in order to observe how students navigate from concrete to abstract, from reality to imagination, from closed to open issues. Experiments have been carried out on two briefs (systems for energy conservation, sustainable bottle of water) with masters-level students from multiple backgrounds in two joint programs at two different locations. The selection of briefs, processes, and results are described, indicating the level of success of the pedagogical techniques. Contrary to teaching traditional design skills for tangible issues, these courses are responses to the need to develop tools and methodologies for developing heuristics and classroom techniques for design education to incorporate sustainability as a core value in curricula.

Keywords: sustainability, design, project-based learning, innovation, change.


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