The importance of sustainability and its integration in built environment design is critical as we experience dramatic changes in climate every year. Strategies toward sustainability vary on a micro and macro scale. It is one of the challenges for educators to draw alertness and serious state of the environmental problems to the curriculum in a way that students can have an interest and meaningful engagement with the issue and the learning.
The first-year design studio course provides an ample opportunity to introduce the concept of sustainability as an important factor in interior design. "Zombie Transformable Safehouse" project in the course situates the issue on the verge of fiction and non-fiction. Addressing the causes and effects of the current pandemic/epidemic in the context of the fictional zombie apocalypse, the project approaches environmental elements as essential survival tools. The study explores the framework, contextual ways to engage students in the learning of sustainable concepts, and how the particular pedagogical direction of the project draws students’ creative design solutions of sustainable living strategies and protection from viruses (environmental changes), using various spatial transformations and reconfigurations. The design of the project and the analysis of students’ outcomes can provide pedagogical ideas on the effective design of the course projects to increase creative engagements in the learning of sustainability.
Junghwa Suh, Chaminade University of Honolulu, United States