Teaching Systemic Design for Sustainability

This is an innovative course format for teaching systemic design to graduate and undergraduate engineering and architecture students at the ETH Zurich. The aim is to create a course that is effective both in a sense of direct learning outcomes and long-term motivation to embrace and apply integrative, whole systems design in theory and practice. The effectiveness of the course is evaluated with self reflective, accompanying material and process matrices, and with a final questionnaire. The combination of theory lectures and a practical (ski-/surfboards-)building workshop leads to highly engaged and motivated students who experience simplifications to complexity and trustable, aesthetic eco-design solutions to incorporate in their products during the course.