Sustainable Design: Ecology, Culture and Human Built Worlds

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1MV019

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sustainable Development G2F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 30 August 2018
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

University studies 60 credits/equivalent

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).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Other directives

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