Undergraduate Degree



DR0000 Sustainable Design

[Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: Nil; Academic Unit: 3.0]


Academic Unit                         :           3AU

Pre-requisite                            :           Nil


Course Descriptions               :          


Learning Objectives

This course introduces students to the area of Sustainable Design and seeks to make students more sensitive and better informed when designing objects, environments, and services which are socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable.


The course will first introduce student to sustainability as a principle and the impact it has on society, the economy, and earth we live on. An overview of Sustainable Design philosophy, principles, and methods will be covered, followed by more detailed study about Sustainable Design for objects, environments and services. Multidisciplinary collaboration between students on their projects is encouraged.


Course Outline




  • Introduction to course

2 -7


  • Sustainability overview (social, economic, and ecological)
  • Sustainable Design overview and principles (materials, energy efficiency, quality and durability, reuse and recycling, carbon footprints, embodied energy, service substitution, among others)
  • Philosophies and Methods (e.g. biomimicry, cradle to cradle, etc.)
  • Sustainable Design objects
  • Sustainable Design environments
  • Sustainable Design services



Group Presentations/Project:

·  Sustainable design concepts for objects, environments and services


  • Final review of projects/ assignments


Learning Outcome

The student will be able to consider sustainability issues and apply sustainable design knowledge, principles, and methods in the formulation of their design solutions. 


Student Assessment

45% Continuous Assessment – students will be assessed based on studio-based exercises and projects, including individual, group and team-based assignments.

40% Final Written Assessment – students are required to respond to an essay question using acquired knowledge and skill pertaining to a topic on Sustainable Design.  

15% Participation



Recommended Reading:

Benyus Janine M. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, William Morrow Paperbacks, 2002

Braungart  Michael, McDonough William. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, North Point Press, 2002

Fuad-Luke  Alastair. ecoDesign: The Sourcebook: Third Fully Revised Edition, Chronicle Books, 2010 

McLennan Jason.  The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, Ecotone Publishing Company LLC, 2004