Environment, Development and Design


The concept of environmentally sustainable development is at the heart of this subject, and is increasingly becoming the becoming the focus of government policy, business and educational institutions.

You will become familiar with environmentally sustainable development and its application globally, and understand the way different environments and societies interact. We investigate design solutions to many current global challenges.

This subject is recommended for students wishing to study the Bachelor of Design at the University of Melbourne.

Course outline

Topics studied include:

  • Ecological history of humanity
  • Population growth and resource consumption
  • What is sustainability?
  • Economic sustainability and gloablisation
  • Sustainable business
  • Social sustainability and gender
  • What is climate change?
  • Climate change and related hazards
  • Who is affected most by climate change?
  • Consequences of climate change
  • Responses to climate change
  • Renewable energy as a solution
  • Sustainable water usage
  • What is a city?
  • Sustainable city design
  • Megacities
  • Slums
  • Resilient and liveable cities
  • Sustainable building design
  • Melbourne: a sustainable, liveable, resilient city?
  • Urban agriculture


Quiz: 5%
Exam: 30%
Fieldwork report: 25%
Research essay: 25%
Group research presentation: 15%