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Human activities, not the least manifested in the built environment, are responsible for a large amount of the stress our societies put on the environment and there is a global challenge in meeting the need for sustainability while adapting to a local reality and situation. This programme focuses on methods and design approaches for understanding and analysing different local contexts in order to propose adequate solutions in designing for a sustainable future.
Programme descriptionSustainable development is a political vision that entails huge challenges for social and technical innovation all over the world. It has consequences for all professions, not least for urban planning, architectural design and the full complexity of societal development can be addressed and managed through design for sustainable development.
This programme provides you with the skills and methods valid where design approaches are required. As a student, you are trained to find solutions that support sustainable development in a large variety of contexts and in dynamic situations. The perspective is holistic and systemic, comprising system levels and scales from urban structures, buildings and technical support systems to detailed construction elements. The programme is based on studios where real life situations and problems faced by society are handled in close contact with local stakeholders and actors.

The overall point of departure is the everyday life of people and the support of dignified lives and livelihoods in rapidly changing and sometimes extreme environments, through the development and implementation of aesthetic, affordable, socially and culturally appropriate, energy and material efficient, healthy and user friendly design solutions.

The programme offers a selection of courses and design studios from which the students can build upon in order to shape an individual profile during two years. Potential profiles are:

Sustainable building with a focus on building scale, building systems and sustainable solutions
Sustainable Urban planning & Design with a focus on urban (or regional) scale, planning processes, development and design of the built environment
Sustainable Conservation and Transformation with a focus on building or urban scale, relation to redevelopment within the existing built environment
Design for Sustainable Development in Local Contexts Internationally on multiple scales and with a socio-technical approach.

The Chalmers School of Architecture fosters a humanistic view of architecture and emphasises an explorative orientation and research by design approach in order to unfold the professional profile, skill and scope of the design professions. The ambition is to promote convincing joint future visions for the development of the built environment.

We also emphasis the integration of research in education, the respect for existing built structures as cultural, social and economic resources and interdisciplinary co-operation.
Educational methodsThe pedagogical approach is to support you in developing your design skills through a series of design studios, dealing with complex design tasks in very different situations and contexts e.g., neighbourhoods and municipalities in Sweden, informal settlements in developing countries, and technical and social challenges of sustainable building and transformation.

This approach challenges and develops your ability to analyse and situate local situations in relation to broader contexts. Such design studios contain experience-based learning, fieldwork, tailored lectures, literature studies, seminars, workshops and exhibitions. A common thread through the studios is the use of a systems approach to design although both problems and potential solutions will vary significantly.
Research facilitiesStudio spaces - all students have personal desks and storage areas in studio spaces with 24/7 access. Studio spaces are equipped with workstations, printers and large scale plotters, as well as Wi-Fi.
Architecture Library - has an extensive collection of printed volumes, journals and magazines within the fields of architecture and urban design.
CAD-lab - houses workstations with software for CAD-drawing, 3D-modelling, desktop publishing, video editing, and GIS.
A-Workshop - is a fully equipped architecture workshop with wood, plastics and metal working equipment. It also contains a number of computer controlled (CNC) machines for model building and rapid prototyping, including: Laser cutter, 3D-printers (2), CNC Mill and CNC Foam cutter.
Robot Lab - is a research facility that investigates robotic technology in architectural design. Equipment includes three robotic arms.
Centre for Healthcare Architecture - conducts research and graduate studies and encourage education and training within the field of physical environments for care.
Centre for Housing - is a national platform for transfer of knowledge, debate, development and research in the field of residential housing.
Mistra Urban Futures - is a centre for sustainable urban development with the ambition to become a world leader in the field in the near future.
The Spatial Morphology Group - is engaged in urban research within the fields of urban morphology, space syntax and design theory.

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