Environmental Design Defined
Environmental design proposes a “form” by combining knowledge and skills from various disciplines, thereby, contributing to a better world.
The Four Essential Imaginative Powers
Environmental design creates “forms” by using the following four imaginative powers.
Spatial imagination: Design creates spatial boundaries that enrich people’s activities on diverse spatial scales—clothing and furniture, room interiors and buildings, streets and green spaces, landscapes, and cities.
Temporal imagination: Working on the present, which lies between the past and future, design brings the past back to life, and views the future in connection with the past, thereby, giving shape to a constantly dynamic sense of time.
Social imagination: Design works on boundaries between people from different historical and cultural backgrounds, respects the cultural dignity of minorities, and creates flexible bonds that ensure the coexistence of different values and lifestyles.
Life-related imagination: Design creates the place of life and defines its boundaries, based on awareness of our finiteness, and on the delicate sensibility and profound respect for the ecosystem that supports all life.
Three Fundamental Skills
Environmental design pursues “forms” using the following three skills.
Based on academic tradition, linguistic skill ensures the accurate reading of written materials, including those written in foreign languages, and the logical persuasion of others through debates, oral presentations, and papers.
Scientific and mathematical skill
Based on the latest scientific and technological achievements, scientific and mathematical skills enables one to reach the best solution or identify the best model in a scientific manner by such means as research and experiments.
Based on art history and artistic sense, the aesthetic skill enables one to make use of life-size models and other relevant information and communication technology, create aesthetically persuasive products, and effectively express the results of such creative activities.
Educational Goals for Undergraduates
To help students acquire the above-mentioned imaginative powers and fundamental skills, the Department of Environmental Design offers a curriculum comprised of three pillars: lectures in different areas of specialization, a practical skills training course, as well as design exercises in which students are required to create actual products.
The Department of Environmental Design aims to produce graduates who can effectively draw upon relevant knowledge and skills they have acquired to make specific proposals and communicate appropriately with others in the processes of the development and the materialization of such proposals.
Fostering Graduates to Stimulating Career Paths
With the expansion of the market economy, the world is expected to face increasingly serious environmental problems both globally and locally: environmental destruction, collapse of human and community values, jeopardized safety, natural resource depletion, and contamination.
Against that background, the Department of Environmental Design aims to nurture designers who constantly and autonomously ask themselves how to best serve long-term public interests, and based on such soul-searching, make use of their specialized skills. Graduates with such qualities are expected to further accumulate experiences in the graduate school or society, thus, growing into designers who can work for and with other people.
The curriculum of the Department of Environmental Design offers courses for students wishing to obtain various designer qualifications, including Class I Architect certification. The department’s aim is to foster graduates that can demonstrate their professional skills in diverse fields relating to environmental design such as architects, landscape designers, city planners, environmental consultants, public service workers, NPO activists, and researchers.