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Student team integrating aspects of sustainability in practical design education

Edilson Shindi Ueda (Department of Design, Graduate School of Engineering, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 10 May 2018

Issue publication date: 15 August 2018




The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the first experiences (activities, attitudes and inclinations) of an undergraduate student team with eco-design activities.


Undergraduate students of an industrial design course were invited to participate in the design project. The activities of students were carried out in the class titled in Japanese “Sogo Project” (Overall Project). The project is experimental learning based on pedagogical case studies that students propose practical designs with a sustainable approach.


According to the activities and attitudes of the student team, they showed interest in focusing on sustainable consumption and consequently leant towards a socio-cultural rather than a technological eco-design approach in their works. The barriers to design education for sustainable design were found, and the student team expressed that the available support tool during their design process was complex. They also expressed that the tool was not compatible with their academic skills and background.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has limited participants, resources, time and contextual scale. Few Japanese educators are skilled in eco-design, and eco-design modules are also poorly integrated into undergraduate and graduate industrial-design courses at Japanese universities.


The paper contributes to an initial discussion in the field of Japanese industrial-design education regarding the principles of and barriers to design education for sustainability.



Ueda, E.S. (2018), "Student team integrating aspects of sustainability in practical design education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 877-892.



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