As a cultivated form of invention, design shapes, modifies and alters the world around us for better or worse, and the need for modern design to be more sustainable and ethically responsible has never been more important.
Many multinational companies, research centres, governments and individuals acknowledge that a change in attitude to the way we design products, spaces, communications and communities is a positive step and long overdue. Indeed, over the last 10 years, commercial understanding of sustainable design has transformed, shifting from being about risk and compliance to a dynamic leadership issue.
Our Sustainable Design MA helps you to rethink the parameters of good design in an unsustainable age. Working alongside experts in ecology, psychology, design and business, you will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to focus your practice and become a more effective agent of change.
Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through our applicant portal.
Sustainable Design: Present(s)
Semester one, 20 credits
You start with a foundation in sustainable design principles, theories and methodologies. Themes include cradle to cradle, low-carbon building and production, design for recycling, biodegradability, biomimicry, alternative energy, ecological thinking, permaculture, and disassembly.
Semester one, 20 credits
This module gives you an overview of design research methods and how they are used in professional practice. It enables you to construct the kind of research questions, hypotheses and methodologies that underpin innovative design, as you develop a more autonomous position in the process of critical inquiry.
Semesters one and two, 60 credits
The Studio module spans two projects – ‘Behaviours’ and ’Matters’. The Behaviours project takes place in semester one and provides you with a theoretical context for the studio-based investigation, analysis and generation of essential design criteria that shape patterns of consumption.
In semester two, you undertake the Matters project, a studio-based experience that places emphasis on materiality and the nature of physical experience as mediated through the design, production and physical manifestation of things.
Sustainable Design: Future(s)
Semester two, 20 credits
This module takes the form of a series of seminars, workshops and discussion groups where specialist practitioners, writers, researchers, manufacturers and theorists present their work on sustainability. It covers themes including consumer motivation, behaviour, phenomenology, deep ecology, temporality, consciousness, emotional durability, materiality, defuturing and experience-authoring.
Semester three, 60 credits
The Master project represents the culmination of your work throughout the course. It allows you to apply all of the experiences and skills that you have accumulated, as you choose an area of sustainable design that you want to pursue in detail.
You work is structured by an individually defined 'statement of intent' that provides the framework through which you will be assessed. This process enables you to explore distinctive areas of expertise with a unique approach to the ubiquitous issues of sustainability and design.
The final body of master work must be developed through practices relevant to you and your statement of intent. These might include the development and production of design proposals, a written thesis, a documentary, an ad campaign, an article for a leading publication, a touring exhibition or a combination of the above.
From 2016, students will work in the new Masters Centre, which provides studio, seminar and tutorial space for all postgraduate students in the School of Architecture and Design.
Students on MA Sustainable Design will have dedicated studio space with access to workshop and digital model making facilities. More specialised materials and making requirements can be supported on an individual basis with colleagues in engineering, crafts and arts.
After graduation, many students secure influential positions within major global businesses, charities and NGOs. Previous students include:
A number of our students establish independent design agencies, social innovation labs and research centres. Many decide to continue their research in the form of a PhD, and have a particularly strong record of achieving fully funded studentships, both here at Brighton and internationally.
This programme helps you conceive, refine and explain sustainable strategies in the built environment.
The programme is scenario based, delivered in a series of studio projects supplemented with workshops and seminars on aspects of sustainable design. There is an opportunity to study environmental simulation techniques and discover how these can influence wider issues in the built environment.
We address the complex relationship of design to contemporary sustainable agendas and engage in cultural and professional debates that increasingly influence the production of architecture.
This programme is affiliated with the University’s Global Environment & Society Academy:
You complete your studies in one year.
The first semester is a combination of seminars and workshops on the theoretical underpinnings of sustainable design. Alongside this are a series of design projects at the scales of both settlements and building systems. We set many of the projects in a variety of global contexts that reflects the international nature of our students.
The second semester offers an immersive design project that allows you to form your own building programmes and test them in real contexts. You conclude your studies with a comprehensive dissertation research project that can advance your own interests and can be shaped to your preferred career path.
Graduates of this programme will have:
As the call for a more sustainable built environment increases, architects, designers, engineers and planners who can produce solutions are in demand. With this qualification you’ll be best placed to embrace these opportunities and advance your career.
Even if you follow an unrelated path, the experience and skill development in communication, team work and project management that you’ll gain from the programme will be a valuable addition to your resume.
Our graduates work in specialist sustainable design consultancies, and design practice across a variety of disciplines. Many of our students choose to continue their academic development through PhD study.
The Specializing Master Sustainable Design for Complexity is a First and Second-level Politecnico di Milano Specializing Master, born as an evolution of the five editions of the Specializing Master Sustainable Environments and Architecture to give designers, architects, and engineers bespoke, specialized training for ecologically and bioclimatically compatible projects in the built environment, integrating energy planning into new and existing architectural spaces.
For more informations, visit http://www.polidesign.net/en/psc
Develop a portfolio of advanced skills and knowledge across several architectural disciplines, with a focus on sustainable architectural design.
You can choose to specialise in low impact materials or in advanced computing.
Your work in the design studio is supported through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical computer work. Assessment is by course-based assignments, examinations and a dissertation.
We welcome enquiries from anyone who would like to carry out research in any aspect of design or in technology in education.
Current studies include:
Find out more about research degrees at Goldsmiths.
A practice-based MPhil explores new approaches to, or applications of, existing knowledge by means of practice.
Your final presentation will include both an original, creative practice component and a thesis that will contextualise this practice.
Since the practice component of your research constitutes a significant part of the final examination, the thesis requirement is reduced.
Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.
Goldsmiths is a member of the Design Star Centre for Doctoral Training, which brings the Department of Design together with other leading design departments at the University of Brighton; Loughborough University; The Open University; and the University of Reading.
It aims to develop future intellectual leadership in design: research leaders of the future who are equipped to make a difference to contemporary social concerns, knowledge production and creative practices. This requires an approach to research training that places diversity and interdisciplinarity at its core.
Design Star brings together world-class research in:
Its spread of design disciplines is linked by a common approach to design that encourages the integration of history, theory and engagement.
Design Matters is the Department of Design's postgraduate research seminar series that both compliments the Goldsmiths-wide research training programme and delivers design-specific support to postgraduate design students.
The seminars take place on a regular basis over the academic year and are designed to support the requirements of students studying for written and practice-based doctorates. As such, the seminar series includes a rich and relevant mix of sessions including the practical demands that student’s face, such as the craft of writing, presentation skills and examination expectations and procedures, as well as scholarly issues, such as the strategies for undertaking a literature review, the methodological assumptions and the theoretical challenges of design research.
The seminar series also includes invited speakers, ranging from recently minted doctors to eminent design scholars who are asked to reflect on their academic biographies and provide guidance and insights on careers with a doctorate in design.
Design Matters seminars have, in the past, been complimented by The Design and Social Seminar Series, namely the Data Practices seminars. Here, students were given the opportunity to engage with scholars and practitioners involved in various data related interests, from citizen science projects to new forms of coding.