Sustainability in the higher education of interior designers

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Sherwood, Leah
Environmental Assessment Tools
Environmental Design
Higher Education
Interior Design
Sustainable Design
This thesis addresses the question: how comprehensive are principles of sustainability in the curricula of interior design degree programs in Canada? Key trends in literature regarding sustainability in higher education have revealed influential factors, including faculty training, definitions for sustainable design practices, and the increasing usage of environmental assessment tools for buildings. This case study conducted semi-structured interviews with the faculty of six accredited interior design degree programs and analyzed key documents in the curriculum. The findings showed that a synergy of instruction methods is necessary in order to teach practical applications of sustainable design, including faculty training in sustainable design, collaboration with industry experts in the classroom, and heightened requirements for sustainable practices from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Sustainability must be a pervasive focus shared by all design faculty and program development, in order for these degree programs to respond to the demands for reducing the environmental impacts of the building sector.
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