DS 110: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2021), VIA Design, VIA University in Herning, Denmark. 9th -10th September 2021

Year: 2021
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Hasling, Karen Marie; Ræbild, Ulla
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Design School Kolding, Denmark
Section: Educating Designers and Engineers for a Sustainable Future in Design and Engineering Education
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.4
ISBN: 978-1-912254-14-9


This paper introduces Material Pathways, a learning tool developed to strengthen awareness, initiate reflection and support discussion on the multifarious roles, materials can have within the design for sustainability field in a common frame. Its objective has thus been to create a common pedagogical ground for notions and concepts used on materials and sustainability in fields such as art and craft, biology, engineering, geography, economy, culture studies and sociology. The Material Pathways tool is a physical deck of 22 cards, each describing a ‘material position’ that can be used to unfold understandings of materials in a design project. The deck has been developed as a follow up and complement to the Sustainable Design Cards, a learning tool developed to articulate and activate approaches to sustainable design [1]–[3]. It builds on the same kinds of information and visual layout, making the two decks compatible with each other in the process. Consequently, the decks can be used independently, but also together, to both cover sustainable design broadly and the role of materials herein more specifically. First, the paper presents the structure of content of each card and second it describes the development of the cards and as a collection. Finally, the paper discusses, how the cards might be used to create a language on and around materials, to frame and guide a process focusing on materials and to strengthen communication of material-driven ideas and intentions.

Keywords: Learning tools, material pedagogics, sustainability and design, design education, materials and design


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