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Design responsibility and sustainable design as reflective practice: an educational challenge


  • Malene Leerberg

    (Kolding School of Design, Kolding, Denmark)

  • Vibeke Riisberg

    (Kolding School of Design, Kolding, Denmark)

  • Joy Boutrup

    (Kolding School of Design, Kolding, Denmark)


An important element in design education is to prepare students for the reality of the profession. Often these students question their ability and power to influence industry and commerce, especially when it comes to proposing innovative and sustainable solutions. This paper discusses how the notion of design responsibility can be integrated in design education, describing ways of training and encouraging students to become responsible and sustainability-oriented designers. Using examples from the curriculum of the Kolding School of Design in Denmark, we make a case for employing both practice-based and theory-based learning approaches to promote a critical and reflective design practice. Furthermore, we argue for the value of teaching design responsibility to imbue design students with the knowledge and confidence that sustainable design thinking and the designer can make a difference. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Malene Leerberg & Vibeke Riisberg & Joy Boutrup, 2010. "Design responsibility and sustainable design as reflective practice: an educational challenge," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 306-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:18:y:2010:i:5:p:306-317 DOI: 10.1002/sd.481

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. John H Dunning, 1988. "The Eclectic Paradigm of International Production: A Restatement and Some Possible Extensions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(1), pages 1-31, March.
    6. Andreas Waldkirch & Munisamy Gopinath, 2008. "Pollution Control and Foreign Direct Investment in Mexico: An Industry-Level Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 289-313, November.
    7. Marcelo Braga Nonnemberg & Mario Jorge Cardoso de Mendonça, 2004. "The Determinants Of Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries," Anais do XXXII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 32th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 061, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
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