Glass Submarines, Beach Houses, Holographic Teachers and Elvis: Exploring Sustainable Behaviour in School Design Workshops with Young People

By Andrea Wheeler.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

How can we build with children the quality of relationship we need to begin to address the global challenges of environmental change? How can we begin to foster with young people sustainable and just communities? The UK government has a created a unique educational opportunity with its new school building programme. Its aims are to transform learning and embed sustainability into the life experience of every child? Participation with children is presented as the means to achieve some of these aims, but the link between participation and sustainable behaviour is complex. If sustainable behaviour is to be encouraged, honestly and effectively young people will have to enter into a discussion of community, relation, social cohesion and all the political and philosophical complexities this entails. Furthermore, young people will have to reconcile the need for reduced consumption with the consumerist norms of their peers. This paper explores the philosophical and political dimensions of Education for Sustainable Development in the context of design workshops with young people and argues that to really engage with encouraging sustainable behaviour we need to examine radically new ways of being in the world together and develop new pedagogies that cross the disciplinary boundaries of architecture and education.

Keywords: Schools, Sustainability, Participation, Education, Deep Ecology, Environmental Philosophy

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.19-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.742MB).

Dr. Andrea Wheeler

ESRC Interdisciplinary Research Fellow, The School of Education and Built Environment, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

Andrea Wheeler is an ESRC funded Interdisciplinary Research Fellow working in the Schools of Education and Built Environment of the University of Nottingham.

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