Course syllabus

ACE380 ACE380 Sustainable development and the design professions lp1 HT23 (5 hp)

Course is offered by the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Master’s programme Architecture and Urban Design/MPARC

Master’s programme Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability/MPDSD

Study Period I & 2 academic year 2023/2024


Contact details

Course responsible and examiner: Kristina Grange,

Course assistant: Sara Malm,

Course assistant for Canvas and lecturer: Anita Ollár



Course purpose

The overall aim of the course Sustainable Development and the Design Professions is to give the background to, and the content of the political and global vision of sustainable development and the different challenges and perspectives involved. The aim is further to present critical perspectives on sustainability questions and the different ways in which the vision of sustainable development implies for the planning, design, and management of the built environment and for the students as future professionals. This course lays the basis for learning about sustainability in its many aspects: lectures and seminars address different theories, approaches, and examples connected to sustainability in a broad sense: ecology; climate change; resilience; social and environmental justice; materials and technology; and cultural, political, economic aspects etc.

 The course is a compulsory introductory course to the two master’s programmes Architecture and Urban Design (MPARC) and Architecture and Planning Beyond Sustainability (MPDSD). In the course different perspectives on sustainable development are presented and discussed. Further, different perspectives on, and examples of, planning, design and management of the built environment within the context of sustainable development are presented and discussed. The compulsory literature/study material connects to taught lectures in the course and is discussed during seminars. Important parts of the course are to independently seek knowledge and information from different sources, as well as to reflect upon the implications of global challenges and the vision of sustainable development in relation to architecture and urban planning and design.


Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning objectives:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identify and describe global challenges concerning environmental degradation, climate change, sustainable development, designing for environmental care and the implications of sustainable development within the professions connected in the built environment.
  • Critically review and explain general concepts, methods, strategies and principles for sustainable development in spatial (urban) planning and architectural design
  • Explain environmental challenges and solutions through multiple aspects drawing from sustainability frameworks including, among others, the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Competence and skills

  • Critically assess the role of (urban, architectural, environmental) design towards sustainable development in different contexts and the (environmental and sustainable) qualities of existing design interventions for the built environment.
  • Critically reflect upon questions of sustainable development through a variety of materials provided in the course (course literature, design, planning and environmental projects, films, and lectures) and through assessing the quality and relevance of different sources of information.

Judgement and approach

  • Critically reflect upon their professional role, including ethical considerations, in relation to sustainable development.
  • Develop and explain a personal strategy for future professional practice and design studio work in relation to environmental challenges.

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen: Study plan



Course summary:

Date Details Due