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what would help you teach sustainable design?

During the last 4 years, hundreds of people have downloaded the teaching guide for the book The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability. Now it’s time to take stock of the teaching guide. I’m investigating what other materials might support you in teaching sustainable design and I’d like to talk with you about it.

designer sketching

Many universities use the teaching guide and  The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability as a text for sustainable design courses. But there are also many other teaching “tools”  and texts available and I want to find out how all these help you teach sustainable design.

I frequently hear from university teachers with concerns that we all share about how to help students navigate the scale and complexity of sustainability. We probably all also have a sense that the wider university context affects the way we teach sustainable design.

For example, does your department give faculty members enough support to develop sustainability knowledge? How does your department include sustainability — do they re-badge existing programs, start new degree programs, or send students off to other departments? What about recruiting new students — how does sustainability seem to play into it?


I’d like to hear your views. If  you’d be willing to discuss these issues with me further sometime during the next couple of months please email me or leave a comment (ann [at]

Best wishes for a happy new year

15 Responses to what would help you teach sustainable design?

  1. Hello Ann,

    I will be glad to participate on this.

    I’m teaching Design for Sustainability every spring and summer term at
    the University of Alberta, Canada. I use the Atlas as a source for
    consultation and as reading material for students. My course can be
    taken by any undergraduate student from any design program, including
    architecture and engineering, as “the design fundamentals for
    sustainability” The syllabus includes an extensive list of literature
    as source of inspiration, as well as a good number of projects
    designed to fit the needs of studio-based classes. I’ve created a good
    number of activities and exercises, and content is delivered with
    diversity in mind.

    About your questions, I think I’d need some time to give you a good picture of the situation here, maybe in further steps on this conversation,




    Carlos Fiorentino, B.Des., M.Des.

    Department of Art & Design
    3-98 FAB University of Alberta,
    Edmonton, Canada T6G 2C9

    Department of Human Ecology
    302 Human Ecology Building
    University of Alberta,
    Edmonton, Canada T6G 2N1

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