Connecting values: Teaching sustainability to communication designers

Eric Benson, Pamela Napier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article explores the question of "how do we teach sustainability to communication designers?" through examining the combined research of the two authors that focuses on connecting issues of sustainability to the values of design students. The article further cites the work of other undergraduate educators who have found success in connecting the concept to that of the students' values, supporting the work of the authors. It is our hypothesis that in order to most effectively introduce sustainability into a curriculum, we must first recognize that it is a political term, concerning the public affairs of our society. It is therefore important to determine the students' values as designers/individuals in order to demonstrate how sustainable issues and politics are intertwined with all of our ethics and specifically with students' professional ambitions. This strategy, combined with principles and methods of co-designing, can help eliminate apathy and pushback within the class, and help empower the desire to integrate sustainable methodologies into students' own working processes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)195-214
    Number of pages20
    JournalDesign and Culture
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


    • Communication design
    • Ethics
    • Participatory design
    • Pedagogy
    • Sustainability
    • Values

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
    • Cultural Studies

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