DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Andrews, Deborah; Soares, Susana
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: London South Bank University, United Kingdom; 2: London South Bank University, United Kingdom
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design Education
Page(s): 328-333
ISBN: 978-1-904670-84-1


Knowledge of the principles of sustainability is of paramount importance to designers because they make a significant contribution to the majority of designed products, systems and society in general. Sustainability is directly connected to ongoing research however and what might be seen as the best path today could be proved unsustainable tomorrow. Therefore, we need to create curricula and pedagogy that enable students to develop appropriate sustainable knowledge, values and skills in order to become sustainability literate graduates. We also need a holistic sustainable thinking strategy, so students can engage with different stakeholders and develop skills to contextualise appropriate choices. The ‘Growing Spaces’ project introduces sustainability and sustainable design principles to first year Product Design students who are asked to redesign and improve a particular space within the university estate. University students, staff and local communities should be able to use the space and students have to interview and identify the needs of a wide range of users. Together with building a sense of community, the space should promote biodiversity and could be used for a variety of purposes such as growing food, decorative and/or sensory plants. This collaborative project was launched with the members of the university Estates and Academic Environment team and offers students the opportunity to develop transferable professional skills. The project specifically encourages students to embody environmental, social and economic values in their design proposals and the paper includes several such examples of design proposals that contribute to the development of a reflective sustainability–literate graduate.

Keywords: Growing Communities, Sustainability – Literate, Reflective Approach, Holistic Perspective


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