This paper aims to diffuse the concept of a multi‐lateral learning process as a means to promote experimental didactics and research (and the cross‐fertilization between these two activities) in the field of design of sustainable product‐service systems (PSSs) and to consider the university campus as the locus for the design, implementation and dissemination of sustainable innovative solutions.
The presentation, description and justification of the working hypothesis, i.e. the campus as community “lab” and “window” to design and promote sustainable innovation. It is described throughout the direct and experimental experiences matured by the design in emerging context for sustainability (DECOS) educational network. This is introduced by both a general overview of disciplinary contents and by the presentation, description and justification of the disciplinary issue. The achievements of the case study (the educational projects spin‐off) and the (disciplinary) contextualization of the case study (the educational design projects) are discussed.
The paper presents findings at two levels. First, disciplinary: the paper justifies the concept of sustainable PSS as a radical innovation model towards sustainability, highlighting its potentialities for emerging contexts (countries). Within this disciplinary framework, it points out the necessity of raising a new generation of designers equipped to operate as system sustainability innovators. Second, educational: through the presentation of a successful case study, it validates the multilateral learning process (network) as a means to develop and promote curriculum innovation and validates the hypothesis that university campuses can be used as optimum show‐cases for the design, testing and dissemination of sustainable solutions for society at large.
Concrete implications of the actions described in the paper are the introduction of advanced/experimental education courses within the curricula. It suggests also the development of tools and mechanisms (such as the use of specific collaborative design web tools and the students and teachers exchanges) as possible future developments for the presented actions.
The idea of studying the PSS applicability and potential in emerging countries represents an original approach. Furthermore, the paper presents an original and effective way of linking experimental didactic with open‐front research issues.
Vezzoli, C. and Penin, L. (2006), "Campus: “lab” and “window” for sustainable design research and education: The DECOS educational network experience", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 69-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/14676370610639254Download as .RIS
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