University to offer new course on sustainability in design

Students will make films about designing sustainable space in the greater Twin Cities area.
November 06, 2010

 Students at the University of Minnesota will have the opportunity to express their creative side while learning about sustainable design next semester.

Students in the new course “Sustainability by Design,” offered through the College of Design, will complete three short digital films about how to adapt the Twin Cities and greater area to deal with environmental changes.

Building cities that can survive threats of global climate change, pollution and loss of natural resources is a pressing need, Barry Lehrman, a professor in Landscape Architecture, said.

“Sustainability by Design” will explore such questions and how the University is answering them. It will also introduce the science behind sustainability.

 “Because this city is very much a visual experience, instead of writing papers about the city and how it could become sustainable … the students will be making films as sort of the centerpiece of their coursework,” said Lehrman, who will be teaching the course.

How society uses energy and how cities are shaped is a design issue, Lehrman said.

 “It’s going to be a salad bar of sustainability and design at the University,” Lehrman said.

Lehrman said he is in the process of lining up various speakers from the University and community, including policy makers.

 The class is a gateway course to several related majors and minors at the University, such as Landscape Architecture or the Sustainability Studies minor.

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