Sustainable Design

Is this just the latest buzz word?
I am interested in this field, however, I still need to get a solid design foundation under my belt. Would I be better off going into a straight ID program (Pratt) and then pursue it in my career. Or do a sustainable design program (The Surrey Institute Product Design Sustainable Futures) which may not give me the best portfolio but a unique edge? Ultimately, I just want to have a job that I like, and if it has some “green” aspect, all the better. Thanks!

Yep, has been the latest for the past 2 decades, or maybe even longer.

I would advise to go into a more of a “traditional” ID program, and concentrate on sustainable issues more there. It will give you more flexibility in your future job choice, yet give you a competitive edge…plus, people at Pratt seem to be rather concerned with sustainable design, they had that…Green…Design Green Conference.

Opinion of a student.

Much appreciated - thanks for your feedback!

As a recent Pratt grad, I can give you one perspective on sustainability and ID in Brooklyn. There are a few profs there (and a number of students) with an interest in sustainable design, and the administration has taken a positive view toward developing this aspect of the curriculum. To that end, there is an occasional Sustainable Studio course, and a Green Production methods course, and some professors will assign projects which specifically target aspects of sustainability (recyclable materials, design for disassembly, etc).

Having said that, green design, like a lot of things at Pratt, is haphazard in application and lacking in follow-through. If you go there with the intention of learning about sustainable design, you might succeed, but you’ll have to work at it.

Along with the Surrey Institute, I was wondering if you (or anyone else) had knowledge of other schools that offer a strong sustainable approach to product / industrial design.

Any leads would be greatly appreciated.