Sustainable (Work)Space: A Grant Sponsored University/Industry Studio Project

Schneiderman, Deborah
February 2009
International Journal of Learning;2009, Vol. 15 Issue 11, p249
Academic Journal
As suggested by Cortese, in order for the education of the University curriculum to be complete, it "would include working on actual, real-world problems facing their campus, community, government, and industry. The process would also increase group work and learning so graduates will be able to collaborate effectively on complex problems as future managers and leaders" (5). The key goal of the Sustainable Workstation project was to research the concepts of sustainable design and test these ideas through the application of sustainable design practice for the workspace of the sponsoring Industry. The project involved an exchange of conceptual ideas between second year students in the College of Design at a major University and the sponsoring industry. The students, worked in teams under the guidance of their Professor, as part of a course titled Materials, Finishes and Specifications. Student teams analyzed the site as well as the needs of employees who work in the current facilities and then generated design solutions to make the workspace an innovative, sustainable, accessible, safe, and invigorating place. The class was divided into 5 sections, each section investigated a discreet space within the facility. Teams were responsible for creating design solutions for the assigned space. Representatives of the sponsoring industry provided feedback and guidance to the student teams at several times through the semester. The final outcome of the project includes several functional and aesthetic design solutions for each of the 5 identified spaces with a distinct focus on innovation in workspace design, sustainable design and sustainable materials. This paper will discuss the effectiveness of University/Industry collaboration in forwarding the design of sustainable environments.


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