Transistórias: how a critical and speculative perspective contributes to rethink sustainability education in product design

Inês Veiga

pp.  52 - 80download






This essay is a reflective and exploratory account of an experience-based learning exercise in 2017/2018 within the course unit of 'Sustainability of products and services' in the Master in Product Design course at the Lisbon School of Architecture, University of Lisbon (FA.ULisboa).For a semester, design students and a local community explored alternative futures together. However, questions emerged on the pertinence of the educational approach whenthe design students argued they were not learning about sustainability. Arguing were indeed learning sustainability, the reflection is mainly grounded on the events and how I’ve experienced them, as an educator. Beyond the failures to guide such a complex process, it captures some of the limitations and potentials of the experience through the lenses of Critical and Speculative Design (CSD). By adopting the perspectives of rehearsing futures, foresight and (im)possible things, this essay is a speculative exploration of ways to approach sustainability learning in the product design classroom.


Keywords: experience-based learning, critical and speculative design, sustainability education, product design education, co-design.



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