From smart buildings to mobility systems and from automated construction methods to a circular approach to resource reuse, information technologies and systems thinking are broadening our perspective on sustainable design. A more holistic approach that considers the entire life cycle of building, urban and mobility systems, as well as their interactions with people, complements and extends traditional bioclimatic design strategies. The course approaches the issue of sustainability as both an evaluation criterion and a necessary environmental goal in relation to building, urban and mobility systems through systems theory and systems science. It introduces key concepts of bioclimatic design and ecosystem theory and how these concepts can be used to understand and critique important sustainability issues in architectural or urban design. Emphasis is placed on participatory or collaborative systems, resource sharing and circular economies with applications to shared mobility systems and their interactions with shared living and working spaces.
The course combines lectures, classroom discussions, demonstrations and a final group project presented by the students. The course is organized into two thematic areas, which are taught alternately. The first area focuses on the bioclimatic design of the building envelope through a practical approach. The second area focuses on urban and mobility systems and cyclical design approaches. The group project focuses on the selection, analysis and critical presentation of a concept or case study related to sustainability and the environment selected by the students and synthesizes these two thematic areas. Collectively, the topics in the two subject areas cover the concepts of passive, active and behavioral sustainable design strategies. Due to the breadth of topics covered, there is no single textbook for the course. A list of suggested readings is provided along with lecture notes.