Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Loughborough Design School

Design Education Research Group


Key interests

Sustainable design education

Sustainable design was first introduced into the Department's curriculum in 2000 with the help of and whilst they were in the International Ecotechnology Research Centre at Cranfield University.

Since they joined the Department of Design and Technology in 2003, the Department's interests in Sustainable Design have grown to be much wider than its own curricula.

Appliance drawings

Our research focuses on sustainable design education at all levels from schools through to university undergraduate and postgraduate courses, both in design and engineering. In addition the training and development of sustainable design skills in professional designers and engineers is of particular interest.

Toolbox for Sustainable Design Education was developed by Tracy Bhamra and Vicky Lofthouse for lecturers in engineering and design who recognise the importance of including Sustainable Design in undergraduate and postgraduate engineering and design courses, and are looking for guidance and material to support the development of a module of this nature. Its development was funded by the Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre and is distributed free by them.

Sustainability in Design and Technology - a guide for teacher trainers

Sustainability handbook front cover

This pack was produced by the D&T Association and Practical Action to raise awareness of the importance of Education for Sustainable Development in secondary school Design and Technology.

Staff in the Design and Technology Department at Loughborough University played a significant role in the development of the pack: Tracy Bhamra, Vicky Lofthouse, Eddie Norman, Rhoda Trimingham and Nigel Zanker provided materials. Nigel Zanker trialled its use through the Loughborough Partnership Schools who provide teaching placements for PGCE Design and Technology, and on-going use of the pack is an integral part in initial teacher education at Loughborough University.

Information / Inspiration: is a web-based sustainable design tool developed by Vicky Lofthouse specifically for industrial designers who have little or no knowledge of sustainable design. The tool was specially designed to benefit practising designers but is also suitable for designers at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Sustainable Design Awards

Having had a long-standing interest in this area and worked with Tracy and Vicky since 2000, Professor Eddie Norman helped to support the design and development of Sustainable Design in secondary education through the Sustainable Design Awards developed by Practical Action.

This programme has been highly influential in curriculum development, and has included teacher training, consultations with the Awarding Bodies and the national development of teaching resources.

The SDA website has been developed to a large extent by Peter Simmons and he researched its effectiveness as a key aspect of his PhD programme.

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