Unlearning unsustainability in design education

Boehnert, J ORCID: 0000-0002-8990-0325 and Dewberry, E (2024) 'Unlearning unsustainability in design education.' In: Jones, D, Börekçi, N.A.G.Z, Clemente, V, Carazzo, J, Lotz, N, Nielsen, L.M and Noel, L-A, eds. Learn X Design 2023: the 7th International Conference for Design Education Researchers, 29 November - 1 December 2023. Design Research Society.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.21606/drslxd.2024.091


The climate and ecological emergencies present a crisis for all global communities. This moment reveals both resistances to accepting the need for fundamental change – alongside opportunities for, and challenges to, new ways of living. The authors call on the design education community to reflect on how design education is responding to ecological crises. Sustainability scholars have long described the crucial role of education as a facilitator of sustainable change. We argue that educational institutions, like many formal institutions today, have aimed to address contemporary concerns by adding sustainability ideals to existing ways of working, resulting in ineffective sustainability outcomes – and delays to delivering learning and action that support sustainable transitions. We propose the meaningful adoption of design for sustainability requires the unlearning of unsustainability and its associated structures, processes, and outcomes, to rebuild a discipline able to meet the challenges that ecological crises bring.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Keywords: design for sustainability, unlearning, unsustainability, disciplinary fragility, regenerative design
Divisions: Bath School of Design
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 13:36
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2024 16:16
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/15931
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