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Institute of Design

ID 598 - Social Sustainability - R

This new seminar will familiarize students with a range of current design and research issues in the area of 'social sustainability'. Sustainability involves complex social questions – for example, environmental issues such as preserving nature or conserving resources involve an intersection of private and public interests, local and global impacts, present and future stakeholders. Design and research has an important role to play in framing and negotiating the kinds of ‘wicked’ problems of sustainable development, as well as influencing priorities, decisions and processes. The course will survey a range of approaches to sustainable product, interaction, service and system design.

A selection of interdisciplinary topics, drawing on sociology, policy and futures studies, will be treated in some depth, as a discussion of the role of design in relation to social change, transition management, and social innovation. The seminar will provide a platform -- through a core set of readings, examples and lectures -- for students to discuss case studies in the area. The course may include guest experts and local field trips. (Variable credit)