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Sustainability as an Enhancement Theme for the 21st Century Design Graduate

Date posted: 22/10/2009

This case study outlines the pedagogic approach to projects based on Sustainability and Design that have been delivered to students within Graphic Design, Illustration and Design Studies (Product Design & Interactive Media Design) at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee, from 2007 to 2009.

The projects have been delivered through briefs set to students which encourage them to examine their role as a designer in the 21stcentury, at the same time promoting social responsibility and good citizenship as enhancement themes for the design graduate.

The case study provides a profile of teaching and learning activity which demonstrates the successes and failures of teaching Sustainability through design briefs, and questions whether this is the most effective way of creating the awareness of these contemporary issues for students, at the same time asking whether this is what the student wants.  I will also demonstrate how it is possible for theory and practice to work together to support the student’s learning experience and understand the relevance of theory as an important part of their practice, an important objective for all design disciplines.

As a result of initiatives, there was evidence of a growing interest in Sustainability by students from all design disciplines. This led me to establish a Sustainability Forum to provide a platform in which students from all disciplines could meet and debate the subject in an informal environment, outwith the University.