Teaching sustainable design through a creative approach to technology and recycling
A recent study to integrate sustainable development into teaching process for undergraduate and postgraduate students at School of Environment and Technology (SET), Faculty of Science and Engineering of University of Brighton (UoB) has been carried out by the authors. The motivation for this work came from two sources. Firstly, increase in environmental awareness is seen as a priority. Secondly, the project aims to address the growing concern of tutors for the students who lack the mathematical and technical skills to confront the study of technical subjects. A project on creative recycling of waste glass is being developed since 2006. Postgraduate research on valorization of waste glass products at SET brought a range of practical, attractive and cost-efficient products. A construction unit made of waste materials is patented by MSc student of SET, UoB, and the authors. The applications for construction industry are currently researched by a PhD student of SET under the authors' supervision. A series of laboratory tutorials on engineering and technological concepts were designed and implemented into undergraduate curriculum, including a dedicated tutorial on creative approach to waste glass processing. The students' feedback is assessed against relevant pedagogical research, in particular the Cone of experience model by Edgar Dale. It is observed that indeed the visual demonstrations in the labs, and direct involvement of students into waste glass processing, facilitate the learning process. Cross-pollination of ideas between students of SET and Faculty of Arts and Architecture, UoB is pursued through a series of exchange visits and surgeries.