The Potential of Design in a Sustainable Engineering Profile

Rikke Premer Petersen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Sustainability is still a relatively new term in everyday public discourses, yet broad consensus is emerging that issues of sustainability should take a central part in future development strategies. Some of the professions most seriously effected by the complexities and challenges of sustainable development are the engineering professions. As a consequence many institutions are now engaged in rethinking the professional engineers’ role and contribution in contemporary society and concretize the implications that such a change will hold for engineering educations.
Design, on the other hand, is an old concept, but its use has always been fluent and changing. Today it is no longer solely a matter of formalist aesthetics employing materials and tangible form for iconic recognition. The design field is rather shifting towards a reflective, creative practice working across disciplines and professions, and the objects of design are shifting towards systems, services, and experiences rather than material products.
Illustrated by two concrete engineering programs I will argue that a reflected design practice makes it possible to deal with open, complex challenges, and that it enables a more contextually situated approach to problem solving across professions. In other words, how a reflected design practice makes it possible to deal with issues of sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the EESD13 Conference
Number of pages8
PublisherEngineering Education for Sustainable Development 2013, University of Cambridge, UK
Publication date2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEnglish: Rethinking the Engineer - Robinson College, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Sep 201325 Sep 2013
Conference number: 6th

Conference

ConferenceEnglish
Number6th
LocationRobinson College
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityCambridge
Period22/09/201325/09/2013

Cite this

Petersen, R. P. (2013). The Potential of Design in a Sustainable Engineering Profile. In Proceedings of the EESD13 Conference Engineering Education for Sustainable Development 2013, University of Cambridge, UK.
Petersen, Rikke Premer. / The Potential of Design in a Sustainable Engineering Profile. Proceedings of the EESD13 Conference. Engineering Education for Sustainable Development 2013, University of Cambridge, UK, 2013.
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Petersen, RP 2013, The Potential of Design in a Sustainable Engineering Profile. in Proceedings of the EESD13 Conference. Engineering Education for Sustainable Development 2013, University of Cambridge, UK, English, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 22/09/2013.

The Potential of Design in a Sustainable Engineering Profile. / Petersen, Rikke Premer.

Proceedings of the EESD13 Conference. Engineering Education for Sustainable Development 2013, University of Cambridge, UK, 2013.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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AB - Sustainability is still a relatively new term in everyday public discourses, yet broad consensus is emerging that issues of sustainability should take a central part in future development strategies. Some of the professions most seriously effected by the complexities and challenges of sustainable development are the engineering professions. As a consequence many institutions are now engaged in rethinking the professional engineers’ role and contribution in contemporary society and concretize the implications that such a change will hold for engineering educations. Design, on the other hand, is an old concept, but its use has always been fluent and changing. Today it is no longer solely a matter of formalist aesthetics employing materials and tangible form for iconic recognition. The design field is rather shifting towards a reflective, creative practice working across disciplines and professions, and the objects of design are shifting towards systems, services, and experiences rather than material products. Illustrated by two concrete engineering programs I will argue that a reflected design practice makes it possible to deal with open, complex challenges, and that it enables a more contextually situated approach to problem solving across professions. In other words, how a reflected design practice makes it possible to deal with issues of sustainability.

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Petersen RP. The Potential of Design in a Sustainable Engineering Profile. In Proceedings of the EESD13 Conference. Engineering Education for Sustainable Development 2013, University of Cambridge, UK. 2013