Broadening assessment criteria and student awareness

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Lindley, Julian; Adams, Richard
Series: E&PDE
Institution: University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Section: Best Practice in Design Education
Page(s): 076-081
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


We all know the need for society and designers to create a balanced or sustainable future. That is to meet demands of all stakeholders, whether they fall into the economic arena, environmental concerns or a cultural or social need. Just as no two design projects are alike no two projects meet the same sustainable criteria. There are tools and strategies available to designers to both develop and assess ‘eco designs’ which in themselves are different from the bigger picture of sustainability. However there is a tendency, particularly amongst students, to see main stream commercial design as different from eco-design. This is coupled by governments and the media reducing sustainability to purely material use and climate change. Sustainability is still seen as a ‘bolt on’ rather than an integral part of design. Every project will have some level of sustainable consequence. There is a need for designers to take responsibility and both understand and control the impact of their work. Moreover design briefs need to be analysed, questioned and agendas prioritised through a sustainable lens. There is a need for a better framework than the traditional Venn diagram to outline what sustainable design is in relation to practical work. This paper explores ways in which students can contextualise work and understand the implications and aspirations inherent in briefs. Working visually, through a collection of diagrams, they balance the demands of stakeholders and gain an insight into what is both necessary and possible within design projects.

Keywords: Assessment, sustainability, reflection


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