Resources for Educators: Sustainable Design

Educators tell us that sustainability is critically important, but it's often missing in design and engineering curricula. With the sustainable design resources on the AU Workshop, educators can incorporate free materials into a broad range of courses. We make it easy to fold sustainability into existing curriculum, and provide students with self-learning tools for extracurricular projects and design competitions.
Introduction to Sustainability Workshop Resources

Why is sustainability important to design and engineering education?

Industries and jobs are changing dramatically. At the same time, our demand for natural resources has put unprecedented pressure on our planet.  More than ever, knowing how to radically improve our use of energy and natural resources is critical to today’s engineers and designers as they enter the workforce.  All industries are demanding new skills to measure and analyze environmental impact. There is an immediate opportunity to apply sustainability across technical and creative fields.

How can this site help you and your students?

Our teaching materials introduce sustainability within engineering, design, and architecture. 

We’ve found that educators appreciate the flexibility of our content and use our videos, tutorials and lesson plans in a variety of ways in the classroom to introduce and demonstrate the principles and practice of sustainability. 

The resources include our series of “Mr. Imagination videos,” simplified introductions to sustainability concepts within both building and product design, such as lifecycle thinking or net zero energy building.  As we introduce each of these basic concepts, we set the stage for diving into more technical materials we have available, like tutorials for architectural and mechanical design software. 

We aim to help students apply their knowledge and creativity to open-ended problems. We seek to help them answer thoughtful questions like, “What environmental challenge are we solving?”  then dig into applied problems, such as “How can I use analysis to solve a defined energy challenge?”

What resources are most relevant to your coursework?

Sustainability should be integrated throughout the engineering and design curriculum. 

Our curriculum mapping pages in this section of the University Workshop site will show you what materials are most appropriate for specific courses in mechanical engineering, industrial design and architecture.

Get in touch

To contribute or collaborate, contact us. Please also send us your feedback on our materials and tools; we rely on your input to continue to improve our offerings.