Syllabus for Sustainable Design: Ecology, Culture and Human Built Worlds

Hållbar design - ekologi, kultur och mänskligt byggda världar

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 1MV019
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Sustainable Development G2F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G)
  • Established: 2010-03-18
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Spring 2011
  • Entry requirements:

    University studies 60 credits/equivalent

  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for different theoretical and applied design principles and models for sustainable design;
  • account for and critically relate to sustainable design from an ethical, cultural and historical perspective;
  • critically review different design solutions ecological, social and economical consequences, risks, possible uses and functions in the work for a sustainable development;
  • independently apply a specific design theory on a specific challenge within the sustainability field.


The course starts with an introduction to the concepts of sustainable development and design from an interdisciplinary perspective. After that, a broad orientation and overview is conducted of different design principles and models of sustainable design, as for example design with inspiration from nature and based on ecological systems and prerequisites. These examples are then reviewed and problematised from a critical analysis and discussion with focus on ethics, power, risks and possibilities, idea-historical examples, different culture and world views, and aesthetics. Finally, the student should apply the acquired, theoretical knowledge within a specific design principle on a field within the sustainability field. The course seeks an interdisciplinary work process where design includes technical, social, economical, ecological integrated and sustainable systems. The project work offers the possibility to use different creative presentations techniques.


The teaching consists of lectures, seminars and workshops. The lectures are given by guest lecturers from different academic disciplines and other relevant societal sectors. The type of instruction is based on active student participation and critical thinking.


The student is examined through written assignments before and active participation in seminars (3 credits) and at the end of the course through written and oral presentation of a project work (4.5 credits).

Other directives

The course is also included in the course package Applied Sustainability Science.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Spring 2015

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Course Reader

    Find in the library


  • Group Project Book

    CEMUS/specific selection of books,


  • Papanek, Victor Design for the real world : human ecology and social change

    2. ed., completely rev.: London: Thames and Hudson, 1985

    Find in the library