Integrating sustainability into project-based undergraduate design courses

Elif Küçüksayraç*, Layıka Ney Ece Arıburun Kırca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Although the methods and approaches of sustainable design have been developing for more than 20 years, their application in design education and the design process is still under-examined. This study aims to investigate how to integrate sustainability into project-based undergraduate courses in industrial design education, where sustainability has recently been introduced into the curriculum. Design/methodology/approach: Two workshops were carried out as pilot studies within two different elective courses. The scope of the study included sustainable design approaches at both the product and product-service system innovation levels. Findings: The findings show that choosing between the two levels and the sustainable design approach is the most important challenge that students face during the design process. Moreover, the project brief influences the choice of the approach. Originality/value: Following the findings, a sustainable design process model for the project-based undergraduate design courses was proposed. Finally, a new course curriculum on sustainable design was developed based on the findings from the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-371
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.


The authors would like to thank the Istanbul Technical University Scientific Research Projects Unit (No: 39678), who supported this research financially, Thi-Bay Miradoli for her help in editing the language, and the anonymous reviewers and the editors for their valuable comments and suggestions. Funding: The funding information is included in this paragraph: Istanbul Technical University Research Projects Unit, No: 39678.

FundersFunder number
Istanbul Technical University Research Projects Unit39678
Istanbul Technical University Scientific Research Projects Unit


    • Eco-design
    • Furniture design
    • Industrial design
    • Spatial design
    • Sustainable design


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