New undergraduate course to address Bruininks's educational goals

"LA 1001 Sustainability by Design," a new course being offered next semester, taught by Barry Lehrman (Landscape Architecture), was developed by an interdisciplinary group discussing the need for an 1000-level sustainability and design course at the University. The class features fun assignments, engaging guests, and interactive learning to get hands on understanding of how our designed environment shapes our sustainable future. With the University of Minnesota's devotion to spreading awareness of ecological issues, all undergraduate students are required to take at least one course that meets an environmental theme.

"Design is the process of imagination, evaluation, decision making, problem solving, and leadership that shapes the creation of places, things, and systems," Lehrman says. "The Department of Landscape Architecture is focused on the discipline of designing and creating evocative, meaningful places that sustainably integrate ecological systems with the built environment." To that end, the course is structured around three digital film projects that will research, analyze, and describe a solution that improves the built environment. This is, of course, in addition to weekly reading reflections, a take-home final exam, and topic-specific exercises, such as an individual ecological /carbon footprinting assignment.

"Sustainability by Design" is intended for the entire university community; there are no prerequisites beyond an interest in learning and civic engagement. The course will provide an overview of how cities and places are designed, how the process of design shapes the environmental impacts that result, and adaptation strategies to deal with a changing climate and contaminated resources. LA 1001 has a CLE Environment Theme and is also the gateway course into the Sustainability Studies Minor, the Design Minor, the Landscape Architecture Major, the Architecture Majors, and the Urban Studies Major.

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