Sustainable Impact

Get ready to leave behind the idea that design is only form and function with no other consequences. All products have environmental and social impacts, which can no longer be ignored—considering them is increasingly crucial for all human endeavours, especially manufacturing, business and design. This course opens your eyes to the environmental and social impacts of the products you design, and then gives you tools to improve them.

The core of this course is about being empowered to make decisions that are good for the long-term while helping you mature in your design process.

Learn how to work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, translating these goals into practical priorities for your own design projects. Explore how to calculate your carbon footprint, persuade users toward sustainable lifestyles, and prevent your designs from being thrown away so soon by using circular economy business models. Learn about quantifying environmental impacts using life cycle assessment (LCA), recovery strategies for products and materials, as well as sustainable business models such as Product Service Systems. And delve into product energy effectiveness and influencing user behaviour for sustainability.

In the end, you will be able to understand environmental and social impacts, and design for their improvement rather than harm.

The tools and methods taught in this course can be applied to the concurrent Design Project 3, and coaching sessions throughout the class will help you do that.

Course Coordinator's perspective

“I’m proud to run this course because these are vital issues—the fate of the world and humanity are at stake, and these are solvable problems. Designers can go from being part of the problem to part of the solution.”

Jeremy Faludi

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