Design and Sustainability

Queensland University of Technology

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Design and Sustainability

  • Host University

    Queensland University of Technology

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Design Management, Environmental Sustainability

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This unit, with its special focus on the role and impact of designers to shift society toward a more environmentally sustainable way of living, introduces you to essential academic and professional skills and practices for learning to become a designer.
    Learning Outcomes
    On completion of this unit you should be able to, at an introductory level:
    1. Explain what design thinking is and how it distinguishes the design professions from other fields.
    2. Apply the processes of breflective practice and critical thinking to your learning about sustainability and its implications for design.
    3. Describe and communicate, in variety of the effects of design thinking and processes on environmental outcomes.
    4. Locate, evaluate and synthesise information from a variety of sources using a selected range of academic and professional techniques.
    5. Write for specific academic and design industry applications taking into account audience, purpose and context.
    In this unit, we introduce you to the professional issues that are most compelling to the designer, but we also introduce to you important skills that will help you understand and approach the academic expectations that are part and parcel of university-level studies in design.
    Topics covered in this unit include:
    • Sustainability for designers
    • Critical thinking and effective thinking: logic, accuracy, significance, breadth, depth, fairness
    • Design thinking skills and strategies (including precedent-based design approaches) in engagement with environmental issues
    • Information retrieval and evaluation for designers
    • Research methods for design
    • Working as a designer; ethics, values, codes of conduct, legal frameworks
    Teaching Mode:
    Hours per week: 3.5
    Lecture: 1.5 hrs
    Tutorial: 2 hrs
    Material in this unit will be presented in lectures, active tutorials, online activities and through independent learning projects, which are undertaken in teams in and outside of normal class time. You'll also keep an individual design and sustainability learning diary in which you'll record notes, sketches and reflection on issues and tasks. You will participate in project-based and tutorial teams, which will assist your learning and provide a support network.
    • Some tasks will be open ended requiring you to make choices and set your own goals.
    • Some tasks may be directed while others will focus on problem based learning strategies.
    • Some tasks will require critical thinking, professional reflection and debate.
    Assessment name: Case Study
    Description: Design knowledge acquired from studying precedents arguably assists in the design thinking and reasoning processes a designer employs. This project asks you to undertake precedent-based analysis in order to resolve a new challenge.
    Relates to objectives: 3, 4, 5
    Weight: 40
    Internal or external: Internal
    Group or individual: Individual
    Due date: Late Semester
    Assessment name: Reflective Journal
    Description: A weekly professional diary in which you record and respond to a series of activities and questions, including issues arising from your work on the Case Study project.
    Relates to objectives: 1, 2, 3, 4
    Weight: 40
    Internal or external: Internal
    Group or individual: Individual
    Due date: End of Semester
    Assessment name: Quiz/Test
    Description: Quiz on initial concepts/skills covered in first 7 weeks.
    Relates to objectives: 3, 4
    Weight: 20
    Internal or external: Internal
    Group or individual: Individual
    Due date: Early Semester

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.