Designing Sustainable Artifacts

  • Category
  • Courses

  • Program
  • PLAY / Communication & Design

  • Instructors
  • Manahil Huda

  • Offered In
  • Spring 2021

    “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” –Robert L. Peters

    No matter which discipline we belong to, we are often designing products (both tangible and digital) and services around those products. The objects we design are aiding in creating the values for the future, hence it is imperative to consider social, cultural and environmental sustainability when designing artefacts. This course covers the process of designing a tangible product, from the lens of sustainability. It covers both the theoretical understanding of design and sustainability combined with practical skills of product design.

    The initial part of the course focuses more on theoretical grounding, as it is imperative for students to know what design and product design entails and where it is stemming from (the history). This is the “Understanding” module of the course. Here, the course also focuses on not only the worldwide history of product design, but contextual history as well, ranging from pottery in Mohenjodaro to other cotemporary products and craft designed in the sub-continent and Pakistan. The course also introduces in detail to the students the concept of sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.

    The later modules of the course are more studio-activity based, where students apply the process of designing a sustainable product from scratch. The importance of design research is covered as it is imperative to know the audience the product is being designed for. Then classes are dedicated towards specific skills such as sketching and ideating, prototyping, choosing the right materials etc. This covers the second and third modules of the course, namely, “Exploring” and “Making”.

    Peer to peer learning is an important aspect of the course, as each student will be designing a different product (responding to the same brief). There will be reviews at different stages, where students present their work to the rest of the class. Guest lecturers and guest jurors may also be brought in at various stages.

    This course aligns with the Playground’s aims of promoting design thinking and human-centered design as well as creative prototyping and making within the students at Habib. .