International Journal of Art & Design Education

Explorations in Teaching Sustainable Design: A Studio Experience in Interior Design/Architecture

Volume 29.2   2010



This article argues that a design studio can be a dynamic medium to explore the creative potential of the complexity of sustainability from its technological to social ends. The study seeks to determine the impact of an interior design/architecture studio experience that was initiated to teach diverse meanings of sustainability and to engage the participants with refined design applications that used sustainable choices. A teaching scheme that utilised
a team of instructors with varying degrees of knowledge and competence in different aspects of the topic, mediated the education of both the students and the instructors themselves.
The results were documented through observing the students and, later, a survey of the graduates. The study revealed that this studio experience developed a heightened awareness of sustainability as a multidimensional concept that requires critical thought processes, and greatly influenced the recognition of environmentally responsible design as an imperative in education. The findings also suggested that, ideally, sustainability should be addressed earlier, at lower levels, and needs to be woven into every aspect of a curriculum.