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Special Topics: Sustainable Design: Materials, Artifacts and Computational Tools

Course Information

Course Number

HCI Undergraduate: 05-499
HCI Graduate: 05-899

Course Description

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of sustainable design principles, materials science and engineering, consumer factors, and computational tools used in creating sustainable artifacts. Students will engage in critical analysis of existing designs and explore alternative designs for a more sustainable future.

The course will begin with an overview of sustainable design principles and practices, examining the impact of materials and manufacturing processes on the environment. Students will investigate the environmental impact of various materials, including natural, synthetic, and recycled materials, as well as robotic and morphing materials, and explore their potential uses in design.

The course will then delve into the use of computational tools in sustainable design, including parametric modeling, simulation, and data-driven design. Students will learn to use these tools to create and test sustainable designs, optimizing for performance, cost, and environmental impact. Throughout the course, students will engage in hands-on projects, creating sustainable artifacts using a variety of materials and design tools. They will also explore case studies of sustainable design projects, examining the challenges and successes of implementing sustainable design principles in real-world applications.

By the end of the course, students will have a deep understanding of sustainable design principles in the realms of both conventional products and smart materials, machines and devices, and computational tools used in creating sustainable artifacts. They will be able to critically analyze existing designs and propose alternative designs for a more sustainable future.


Instructor Bio 

Semester Offered and Units

Semester: Fall 2023
Undergraduate: 12 units
Graduate: 12 units



Lining Yao