EcoDesign education strategies: a recent initiative for Industrial Design and Technology undergraduates at Loughborough University

The emerging need to introduce students to sustainable design strategies requires curriculum developers to address some difficult issues. The effective introduction of sustainable design into industrial practice has been the result of significant initiatives that have provided training and support. Student designers need no less, but resources are only beginning to be developed and staff expertise is not widespread. It is essential for those engaged with this agenda to share the expertise they have if further generations of designers are not to emerge from universities with no more knowledge of good practice in sustainable design than their predecessors. This paper reports some initial curriculum development findings concerning the introduction of sustainable design options to Industrial Design and Technology undergraduates in the Design and Technology Department at Loughborough University. The development of these options has been supported by staff from the International Ecotechnology Research Centre at Cranfield University. The evolved structure and rationale for the options is described and some examples of the outcomes in terms of student project work are shown. Some tentative conclusions are suggested and the intended future developments outlined.