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Sustainable Design Education Through a Self-Directed Online System

[+] Author Affiliations
Jeremy Faludi

University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CAFaludi Design, Berkeley, CA

Adam Menter

Autodesk Inc., San Francisco, CA

Paper No. DETC2013-12077, pp. V004T05A033; 10 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 18th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 2013 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5591-1
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Sustainable design and engineering is an important topic, yet it is under-represented in educational institutions; moreover, it must be taught to practicing professionals, not just students. A free online system has been created to address both problems at once, providing educational materials for educators and also providing a self-paced program for professionals or students to earn a certificate in sustainable design. Called the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, it is a collection of video tutorials and supporting materials (PDF reference guides, slide decks, quizzes, and other resources) that can be used either by individuals themselves or by educators (either in schools or the workplace) to learn principles and practical skills related to green design, mechanical engineering, and building science. Its dozens of video tutorials span the range from introduction to fundamental principles in sustainability, to specific operation of analytical software tools such as FEA and energy modeling. All videos are on focused topics and of short duration (typically 3–6 minutes) so they can be inserted into curricula as educators see fit, not forcing a full curriculum structure. For self-guided learners, or educators who desire a full curriculum, an interactive structure provides quizzes along with the learning resources; upon successful completion, they lead up to a certificate in green design. Currently there is only one certificate, in basic building science; future releases will expand the certificate program to sustainable product design as well, since many of the learning resources are on these topics. For content not covered by the certificate program, the website’s information architecture suggests a multi-threaded approach to learning sustainable design. As three-quarters of a million people around the world have already viewed content from the site, this self-directed online learning system is proposed to be a highly scalable method of providing sustainable design and engineering education.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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