Sustainable design: A new paradigm for engineering education

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This essay rejects the notion that we understand sustainability well enough to talk about 'sustaining sustainable design'. The wide-ranging literature is surveyed to explore the contested meaning of sustainability. What emerges is an evolution of the meaning, with enlarging scope and philosophical basis, from an environmental emphasis to a focus on human flourishing and caring. A definition consistent with the most evolved view is that: 'Sustainability is the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on the Earth forever.' Ideas are presented about how flourishing can guide design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 3 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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