Q&A; — Eco Design Studies

Q. (A double whammy!) In the beginning was this: Hi guys at treehugger! Congratulations for an excellent blog. It is one of my favorites, i check it mostly every day. I'm a designer living in Chile, South America, and i'm planning to take a MA degree next year. My interests are around eco-efficiency and eco-design, but I just can't find a place to study about that. Now, the question is: do you know any university to study eco-design? Any help is really appreciated. Any, really. Thanks again. Raimundo H. We were just getting started on the research when another arrived: First and foremost, what an excellent site treehugger has become and continues to be. Congratulations on having built up some real steam. I've got a couple of suggestions that you've likely heard before .... highlighting green educational programs would be fantastic. Brian C.A. How could we resist such a double invitation. (Actually we sort of wish we had.) In the course of researching this post we came across some of the most obtuse websites on the internet. How anyone can find an real course of study on a University site escapes us. What a pile of ... academicspeak. Who writes this stuff? But digging beneath the dross we found the following courses. No doubt there are many more. Feel free to plug the holes we've left.

In the USA, there is the Ecosa Institute (who advertise on TH) in Arizona. They offer "two semester programs, one for professional design students and one for students and graduates without a design background", as well as seasonal workshops. Students are "from all design disciplines including landscape architecture, product design, interior design, planning, as well as architecture." They suggest the difference between them and other learning institutes is that sustainability is core curriculum, not an adjunct. ::Ecosa Institute

Or if closer to Pennsylvania you could try the Carnegie Mellon University, as another that offers graduate and postgraduate opportunities to study in green design. For example, you could do a Green MBA in Environmental Engineering Dual degree or a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering with Concentration in Green Design. Such courses work hand in glove with their Green Design Institute. ::Green Design Institute

The University of Oregon seem to be trying to provide "ecological design resources and opportunities" through their Ecological Design Centre, who suggest "The relationship between the built and natural worlds must be sustainable. The EDC believes designers should pioneer this relationship. The EDC seeks to educate and inspire University of Oregon design students to have the awareness, sensitivity, and expertise to lead the community toward sustainability." ::Ecological Design Centre

Over the pond in Britain, you'll find the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, where one can pick up a BA Honours Degree in Product Design Sustainable Futures. Which Surrey describe as combining "two important disciplines, product design and the emerging field of sustainability. You are introduced to a variety of creative design and sustainable design tools and methods, central to successful product development in the 21st century." The Institute is closely related the Centre for Sustainable Design, a research arm, who are very active in all fields of green design. ::Surrey Institute of Art & Design

Apparently the prestigious Goldsmiths College, which is part of the University of London offered a BA (Hons) Eco Design, but finding any detail about it drove to us to distraction. (We have since learned that the course content has been parceled up with their main Design degree) ::Design at Goldsmiths

Manchester Metropolitan University's Department of Engineering and Technology were a bit more accessible. They seem to provide research courses in Design for the Environment (DfE). "Initially DfE concentrated on Design for Disassembly and Recycling. However, over the years the research has grown to encompass all aspects of environmental impact caused during manufacture, use and disposal of products" ::MMU's Design for the Environment

University of East London (UEL) have got together with the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) to offer a Masters under the short title of ' MSc Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies'. The course examines "the relationship between human beings and the environment and in particular offers an ecological perspective on building. Topics include: resource provision and waste disposal, occupant health and well being; choice of materials with environmental constraints; environmental design; design for energy efficiency and renewable energies. ::CAT

Over on the European continent, there is the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, yet another global leader in ecodesign, who we believe provide both Bachelor and Master courses in "Design for Sustainability (DfS)". We were very impressed to see that you could even do a course in Product Service Systems (PSS). Cool! ::Delft's Design for Sustainability

Drop south into Spain, right down to Barcelona and you could end up at the Elisava Escola Superior de Dissseny, who can suggest a Postgraduate Diploma in Eco-design. Environmental Improvement of Products and Processes, with your qualification being issued by both the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). "The aims of this Postgraduate Diploma are: to learn about the globalising culture of environmental problems associated with products and processes, and to provide tools of prevention and improvement concerning environmental aspects within the framework of the new Integrated Product Policy (IPP) of the European Union." You'll need to speak Spanish though. ::Elisava's Postgrad in Eco-design

Travel East into Austria and arrive at Salzburg, where the HTBL - Hallein College has a 2 year course in ecodesign. Our Deutsch is pretty rusty, but it seems to cover thus: product development with regard to avoidance of problematic raw materials, environmentally fair production procedures, energy minimization of the employment, emission and waste avoidance and/or reduction, repair and servicing, product life span extension as well as recycling. All sounds gut! ::HTBL - Hallein's Eco-Design

Still in the Teutonic region and based out of the Vienna University of Technology is a online 'eLearning' course in Ecodesign, whereby you "will learn the ability to develop products with better environmental characteristics." It also covers the new EU WEEE regulations on electronic waste. ::Vienna's online Eco-design

Although the Centre for Design at RMIT (Melbourne, Australia) does not offer degree courses, as such, it is an acknowledged world leader in ecodesign research and does provide professional development and training courses. Their area of expertise is: "Research and consulting—new design methods and tools, sustainable product and building design, product stewardship strategies, market intelligence and trends analysis, life-cycle assessment (LCA) and policy development." ::Centre for Design at RMIT

As we said earlier, please tell us about the ones we missed.

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