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Designing for New Climates: Histories of Adaptation

Semester and Year SP 2017
Course Number IDSEM-UG1905
Section 001
Instructor Mitchell Joachim, Peder Anker
Days Mon
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level U


Section 002 for Environmental Studies Majors


The course explores how designers have responded to environmental problems and climate change. It starts with turn of the century admirations for primitivism and ends with the cyber punks design­ing new environments online. Following the work of architects, artists, urban planners, graphic designers and fashionista, the course will review the historical evolution of attempts to “save the world” from our environmental crisis. Who were the key figures that first ignited the green design revolution and its ensuing agenda? The class will unpack texts by thinkers such as Patrick Geddes, Henry David Thoreau, Ebenezer Howard, Louis Sullivan, Buckminster Fuller, Jane Goodall, Annie Leonard, Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, Walter Gropius, Herbert Beyer, Ian McHarg, and many more. The class will focus on various modernist design schemes for adapting to new warmer climates, and why these attempts often failed. We will also devote time to discuss topics such as building closed ecological systems, counterculture designs, cyber environments, sick building syndrome, biomimetics, eco-fashion, earth art, and other attempts to design with nature. The overall objective is twofold; to survey the larger historical context of ecological design and define specific contributions to the climate change debate. The students will be asked to design, develop and participate in a street project.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)