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.
This Master's programme focusing on "Architecture: Resilient and Sustainable Strategies" explores architecture from a research-by-designand design-by-research perspective. Students are educated and trained in a multicultural and international context. The programme combines an academic approach with creative- experimental approach. It is characterised by a fully-integrated design methodology, providing students with solid skills in the contemporary discipline of architectural design and research.
The Master of Architecture programme is organised at both of the faculty's campuses in Brussels and Ghent, though each campus offers a different orientation:
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis. The programme consists out of a minimum of four semesters.
The Faculty of Architecture takes its international dimension as the basis for its own quality assessment. It positions itself squarely within the international field of qualitative academic education. The faculty's international activities are extensive and diversified: student mobility and staff exchange on a European and intercontinental level, internationally oriented programmes for incoming students, international workshops and competitions, international research projects, international internships, development cooperation, etc.
The faculty continues to build on its tradition of academic integration of teaching and research to maintain and enhance its standard of quality and international standing.
The faculty works hard to consolidate and enrich its network of cooperative associations with professionals and universities all over the world and strives to leverage this international network for students' benefit. Its international dimension is a strong catalyst for creativity and an added value to students' future professional career.
"The intended academic quality, is the core of the program (architecture, urban planning), i.e. academically based 'professionalism'.
The broadening of the profile focuses on basic disciplines (architecture and urban planning), however without compromising the appropriate focus on the professional profile of the architect (in multiple forms).
In the profile of master, one should obtain extreme concentration and specificity (however, no specialisation).
On the one hand, the master focuses on the content and area-specific level of the bachelor phase, and on the other hand on the acquirement of access to the professional or doctoral field (advanced masters, PhD,...).
The core competences of the master are:
The master program should guarantee the acquirement of scientific depth. The offered frontier disciplines focus on the current state of research and development within the competence field. The technical qualification to be acquired, focuses on the high quality problem solving of complex tasks.
At our campus in Ghent, the International Master of Science in Architecture is concerned with the current theory and practice of architecture and sustainability.
The Brundtland report (United Nations, 1987) defines sustainable development as 'development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. The United Nations in 2005 referred to the 'interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars' of sustainable development as economic development, social development and environmental protection.
Translating these three pillars for sustainable architecture, they would entail: providing access to high quality and healthy living and working environments for all, finding ways to create socially sustainable environments at different scales and a wise use of natural resources. Technical considerations, together with more conceptual or strategic issues, are dealt with in this two-year program about architecture and sustainability.
Central in the program of the International Master of Science in Architecture is a critical reflection about architecture and its social, cultural or environmental role for society.
Based on a highly interdisciplinary learning process of integrated research and 'research by design', students are expected to determine a theoretical stance on current issues with particular emphasis on how aspects of sustainability, universal design, urban ecology and energy-efficient technologies may contribute to the development of more sustainable human settlements.
Apart from the theoretical courses, the program includes 3 design studios (during one semester) and 1 final master dissertation studio (during one year). Each semester, there is a focus on a specific attitude, related to the main theme of the programme. All studios are organised through a pool of studio groups (Academic Design Offices and Design Studios) where the teaching staff provides a series of specific themes, methods and intervention areas for the students to develop an architectural project:
Themes sem 1
Themes sem 2 (specific focus on the city of Ghent)
Themes sem 3
Themes sem 4
Graduates are trained to lead multidisciplinary teams of engineers, interior architects, landscape architects and artists. In addition to working as independent (self-employed) architects, our graduates also work as professionals in government agencies and international design firms. Some graduates go on to roles as researchers serving local or international governance bodies, NGO's or other institutes.
The MSc Advanced Home Futures course is designed to revolutionise the building and construction of houses and homes. It was developed adhering closely to TV architect George Clarke’s MOBIE modular building concept and advanced home construction principles.
This course places an emphasis on the innovative design and construction of new homes, conceptualising prototypes of how we will live in the future and the exciting new materials and building techniques that are becoming available.
You develop knowledge of housing design and are introduced to the role of CAD, BIM and model making. These are all developed alongside a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the housing provision for health, wellbeing and universal needs creating a learning experience that disrupts and challenges the concept of ‘home’ as we traditionally know it.
Hosted by the School of Science, Engineering & Design this course has academic input drawn from across the University to consider housing design, materials and technology, the role of the home in health and wellbeing and in society, and methods of effectively managing projects and leading change. You learn about concepts of sustainability, design thinking, design processes and technological innovations and you are challenged to develop new ideas and approaches to the housing and homes for the future.
This course emphasises group work and collaborative learning, and mixes practical and theoretical experiences.
George Clarke’s social enterprise, the Ministry of Building, Innovation, Education (MOBIE), is kickstarting a fundamental change to the building industry and our courses have been designed to adhere closely to the modular building concept and advanced home construction principles of MOBIE.
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You study four 30-credit modules and then work on a 60-credit project.
How you are assessed
You are assessed within each module through a variety of methods including writing reports, creating artefacts and presentations. Each module is led by a different academic School within the University to embed the culture of multidisciplinarity into the course.
You are challenged to develop new ideas and approaches to housing and homes for the future. Graduate career opportunities exist primarily in the home design and construction industry, but also in town and social housing planning and management.