Sustainable Development Primers for Design Students: A Comparative Study

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Garland, Nigel Patrick; Khan, Zulfiqar Ahmed; Palmer, Sarah
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Bournemouth University, United Kingdom
Section: Sustainability
Page(s): 617-622
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


Within the higher education sector there has been progress incorporating or embedding sustainable development concepts into the engineering and design curriculum. Despite guidance from the Engineering Council and other institutions highlighting the wider qualitative aspects these are largely ignored within engineering and design education in favour of the more quantitative environmental and economic impact methodologies. To promote student understanding and engagement with the concepts of sustainable development an introductory primer was developed utilising both PBL and PAL methods. The course was delivered to mixed groups of first and second year BSc Design Engineering students during the first week of 3 consecutive academic years. The first course examined a product of clear social usefulness and the barriers to consumer acceptance in unfamiliar markets. The second utilised design analysis for technical understanding before students differentiated between product types through functional service, social value and material utilisation. The third included students drawn from BA Design Business Management. The foci were up-stream resource supply elements that threaten enterprise resilience rather than the customer perspective. The outputs identified a clear transition of understanding amongst the students for each of the primer courses. However, the most successful were those that held the design process and physical artefact at its heart.

Keywords: Sustainable, design, engineering, resource


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