Are you dismayed, disturbed and totally disenchanted with what is happening to the only real planetary home we have? So are we.
But are you also excited by the opportunities and prospects this opens up for us to create a better, brighter and more beautiful world? So are we.
Then join us in this innovative new postgraduate programme from Schumacher College in collaboration with the School of Architecture, Design and Environment at Plymouth University, the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, the Dartington Hall Trust and surrounding communities.
Never has there been a more important time for a new approach for engaging with the challenging situations we face from the local to the global levels. In a rapidly changing dynamic situation, solutions rarely remain optimal for very long and continuous active participation is a necessary ingredient for success. Growing resilience in individuals and communities is the way to keep going despite the continuous change around us.
Our programme in Ecological Design Thinking embraces and explores this complex world of interactions with lively engagement and an optimistic approach. It offers powerful, practical and ecology-centred skills and knowledge to apply to a diverse range of practices from design, education and business to the more specific roles of leadership, management and consultancy.
The Ecological Design Thinking programme is trans-disciplinary, insightful and universal in its application; pragmatic and integrative in its operation. It brings together theoretical and practical discourses on ecologically inspired design, with methods of design thinking that are merged with the latest developments in anthropology, psychology and socio- political economics. It aims to create a novel ground for change makers at the forefront of our transition to sustainable societies.
Ecologically inspired design includes the study of ecological worldviews, systems dynamics and applied complexity theory alongside the philosophies and practices of permaculture and biomimetic design.
Design thinking is a well-established participatory technique grounded in the empathic understanding of the feelings, experiences and emotions of others. It engages people in lively conversations, visually stimulated interactions and playful prototyping. It frames problems as opportunities, forms insights and generates creative and collaborative solutions in complex situations.
The Ecological Design thinking programme aims to provide a nourishing environment for participants by incorporating short-courses led by internationally recognised thinkers, place-making projects in collaboration with the Dartington Hall Trust, the home of Schumacher College, and short placements offered by external partner organisations.
This programme is the fourth radical postgraduate programme developed at Schumacher College and contributes to and enhance the College’s ongoing collaborative inquiry into sustainable living – a live and networked inquiry of practice underway around the world by the College’s 20,000 alumni and others.
We would be delighted to receive your application whether you are coming directly from an undergraduate degree, taking time-out to study mid-career or wanting an opportunity to develop your understanding of a practice that is of great importance to all of our futures. We encourage applications from community practitioners and activists as well as planners, educators, architects, politicians and policy makers. You do not necessarily need a first degree in design to apply for this course. You only need to be enthusiastic, resilient and committed.
We are looking for enthusiastic agents of change who are ready to co-design new approaches to the way we live that are socially just and ecologically sustainable. We are looking for those prepared to take risks and stand on the cutting-edge of new practices in this area.
Schumacher College welcomes students from all over the world in a diverse mix of cultural experience and age that allows for rich peer- to- peer learning.
An interdisciplinary programme integrating design methods with those of ecology and the social sciences.
An integrative design programme rooted in deep ecological understanding and practice and informed by cutting edge thinking in new economic approaches and social dynamics.
A balanced distribution of time and resources on skill-based and cognitive-based knowledge and between practice and theory.
Access to some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners in design, Gaia theory, complexity, climate science, systems thinking, new economics and social change.
Short courses led by internationally recognised thinkers and researchers.
Short practical placements with a range of partner organisations operating at the leading edge of social innovation.
An immersive, integrative and transformational teaching and learning approach rooted in the principles established by Schumacher College and Dartington Hall, and engaged in a living and working community on and around the Dartington Estate in Devon.
Ecological Design Thinking can be applied to a wide range of contexts, from the personal to the societal. This programme aims to create a new generation of designers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, educators, researchers, consultants and activists. Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to work for sustainable change in the public and private sectors as well as in civil society, or to set up their own projects or organisations that will contribute to the transformation of society.
The Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB) focuses on how to link computational perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to external worlds, in theory and in practice.
This covers domains such as visual perception, dynamic control of robot systems, active sensing and decision making, biomimetic robotics, computer-based generation of external phenomena, such as images, music or actions, and agent-based interaction within computer games and animation.
Supported by the dynamic research culture of IPAB, you can develop robots that learn their own motor control, mimic animal behaviours, or produce autonomous and coordinated team actions. Or you can work with systems that interpret real images and video, or generate complex behaviour in animated characters.
We aim to link strong theoretical perspectives with practical hands-on construction, and provide the hardware and software support to realise this vision.
You carry out your research within a research group under the guidance of a supervisor. You will be expected to attend seminars and meetings of relevant research groups and may also attend lectures that are relevant to your research topic. Periodic reviews of your progress will be conducted to assist with research planning.
A programme of transferable skills courses facilitates broader professional development in a wide range of topics, from writing and presentation skills to entrepreneurship and career strategies.
The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The School is deploying a range of strategies to help female staff and students of all stages in their careers and we seek regular feedback from our research community on our performance.
Our robotics labs contain a range of mobile platforms, robot manipulators, humanoid robots, and custom-built sensor and actuation systems that attract continuous interest from funders, industry and members of the public.
Recent developments include the UK's only NASA Valkyrie robot platform, application of robotic hardware to prosthetics and assisted living, and a team that competes in the international robot soccer league.
Our new Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (ECR) brings collaboration with Heriot-Watt University to expand the range of facilities and applications we can explore, and to fund research training.
The machine vision lab has facilities for 3D range data capture, motion capture and high-resolution and high-speed video, and the high performance computing needed for graphics is well supported, including hardware partnerships with companies such as NVIDIA.
While many of our graduates go on to highly successful academic careers, others find their niche in commercial research labs, putting their knowledge and skills to use in an industry setting.
Several of our recent graduates have set up or joined spin-out robotics companies. Our graphics researchers have strong connections to the media and games industries.