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‘Growing Oak Trees' - Education for Sustainable Design: Building a Sustainable Design Literacy in Undergraduate and Professional Designers

‘Growing Oak Trees' - Education for Sustainable Design: Building a Sustainable Design Literacy in Undergraduate and Professional Designers
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Author(s): Adam de Eyto (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 21
Source title: Handbook of Research on Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ken D. Thomas (Auburn University, USA) and Helen E. Muga (University of Mount Union, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5856-1.ch030



Designers and engineers seem finally to be awakening to the challenge that sustainable development presents. Educators and students alike are keenly aware of the need to become more effective in the training and practice of their specific disciplines with respect to sustainability (Mulder, Segalas-Coral, & Ferrer- Balas, 2010). This chapter illustrates and animates a number of critical themes in education for sustainable design that have been developed within the Irish context. However, these are scalable within the international context for training and ‘up skilling' of product designers, engineers and other design professionals. The chapter focuses on the co-design, development, validation and piloting over two years of a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) course for Design Professionals in Sustainable Design. The research outlined in this work also qualitatively assesses appropriate models for educating for sustainable design thinking with design professionals, small to medium enterprise (SME) employees and undergraduate design students. The educational methodologies that were developed were evaluated over an eight year period with case study groups including: Industrial and Product Design undergraduate students at the Institute of Technology, Carlow (IT Carlow) and Professional designers taking the SDI (Sustainable Design Innovation) Certificate at IT Carlow. A parallel program (Winnovate) which aimed to up skill SME's in the South East of Ireland was also developed as a separate case study. All the case studies were benchmarked against initiatives in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Wales and Australia as well as collaboration with the University of Limerick, Ireland as a means of establishing current best practice.

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