Type of Document Thesis Author Crane, Tommy Joe Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-07122008-140432 Title Sustainable Design as Second Nature: Incorporating Sustainability into the Interior Design Curriculum Degree Master of Fine Arts Department Interior Design, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Lisa K. Waxman Committee Chair David Butler Committee Member Eric Wiedegreen Committee Member Jill Pable Committee Member Keywords
- Interior Design
- Life-Cycle Anylsis
- Interior Design Educators
- Interior Design Education
- Sustainable Design
- Green Design
- Interior Design Curriculum
Date of Defense 2008-07-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractAbstract
The world is witnessing negative environmental changes at an alarming rate. These changes are due in part to humankindís consumption practices, which have led to environmental degradation. Although this problem comes from many sources, one of the large contributors to waste and pollution is the building and construction industry. As part of this industry, the field of interior design can play a part in contributing to the quality of the built and natural environments through the use of sustainable design principles. Sustainable design minimizes environmental impact by using methods, products and processes that are respectful to the earthís life cycles, reflects a collaborative interaction between people and the earth, and conserves natural resources for current and future generations (Van Der Ryn & Cowan, 1996). Interior designers are members of an industry that is demanding that they be knowledgeable about sustainable design practices. Many interior design programs in colleges and universities have stepped up to the task of teaching sustainable design as part of the interior design curriculum. However, to successfully teach sustainable practices, design educators must be knowledgeable of the subject matter so they may create meaningful curricula and teach effectively.
This study addressed the current status of sustainability within interior design education and presented a model for effectively incorporating it into the curriculum. To further that goal, this study explored the history of sustainability, reviewed its current influence upon the built environment, reviewed current sustainability practices, and evaluated current sustainability educational trends. The methodology included a survey and interviews. The survey was sent to five hundred and sixty-eight members of the Interior Design Educators Council. One hundred and thirty-one members returned the survey. In addition to the survey data, 11 experts in sustainable design education were interviewed to learn more about their effective teaching techniques.
The study has revealed that all survey respondentsí interior design program incorporated sustainability into their curricula. The educators cover energy efficiency; renewable resources; reduce, reuse, and recycling of materials; life-cycle analyses of materials and methods; along with other sustainability topics. The educators are highly motivated in teaching their students about sustainable design.
However, the data revealed that educators are struggling with the placement of sustainable design within interior design programs. Educators, some with limited knowledge on the subject, face the challenge of incorporating sustainability into an already filled curriculum. These educators have struggled with acquiring adequate resources, and must utilize the internet for up-to-date information. Yet, these educators have proven that sustainability can be successfully incorporated into an interior design curriculum.
This study allowed the researcher to analyze the current methods and opinions about teaching sustainability in interior design. The data was then utilized to develop a curriculum framework for educators. This framework incorporated sustainability throughout the curriculum and also provided a stand-alone course as an elective to cover current sustainability standards.
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