New Sustainable Design Major Prepares Students to Create a Better Future
By Daniel Schneider
Paper from elephant dung. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. The Bosco Verticale in Milan. 3-D printed buildings. North Pond in Chicago. Students in the new major in Sustainable Design, evaluated the sustainability of these design interventions for everything from products to landscapes. These students were taking the introductory course in the newest major on campus, the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design. The major in Sustainable Design offers an innovative, interdisciplinary course of study in design, with a focus on creating sustainable communities. Sustainable design calls on a student’s creativity to conceptualize, visualize, analyze, communicate, and build products, buildings, communities, cities, and landscapes that use energy and materials in a more environmentally and socially sustainable manner.
The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design (BSSD) builds on the extensive existing environmental sustainability curricular offerings in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, incorporating courses and faculty from the School of Architecture, the School of Art and Design, the Department of Landscape Architecture, and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. The new interdisciplinary major complements these with new courses that focus on the theory and practice of integrated sustainable design. Students are learning how design can contribute to solving problems of sustainability in a constantly evolving society and building equitable, healthy, and thriving places.