Minor in Sustainable Design
Huxley College of the Environment and the Engineering Technology Department jointly offer a minor in Sustainable Design. Design is the process of conceptualizing, representing, and creating projects, processes, or products (ranging in scale from consumer objects to regions). Sustainability requires that designed products promote long-term economic, social, and ecological values and equity. The minor provides basic foundations in environmental studies and design, and allows for individualized tailoring according to the student's interests. The goal of the program is to enable students with strengths in design, or in environmental studies, to gain complementary skills in the other area so as to pursue sustainable design careers more effectively. The program is also open to students from any area at Western who would benefit by the set of concepts and skills offered. Students in the program will obtain an understanding of the natural systems within which human institutions and technologies function, and of the social systems which mediate human interactions with ecosystems. This background allows the student to make informed decisions about how ecological constraints define sustainability, and how human choices shape the context in which sustainable projects may be implemented or used. The coursework in industrial design introduces the design process and provides skills in the representation of design concepts. A special course taken in the senior year, Estu 415, will bring students together to consider the wider systems context of sustainable design, and to work collaboratively on real world sustainable design projects.