Learn to think like a designer. Unleash your creativity. Explore systems thinking. Develop real world solutions to local and global issues.
Become an Ecological Design Change Agent
Change agents see opportunity in a complex changing world. They are people who are passionate about making a positive difference. They care about people, the environment and how we live within it. They commit to regenerating our connection to the planet. Change agents are pushing an agenda of change through their work. In doing so they offer examples to others. The Ecosa Institute provides students with skills to make the world a better place.
Our Ecological Design Certificate
The Ecosa Institute’s Ecological Design Certificate Program is a rich, stimulating, cross-disciplinary, semester experience. Our program gives students the deepest and most current understanding of sustainable design. We provide students with experiential insights into the many facets of designing with nature. Participants learn how holistic systems thinking, regenerative design and resiliency can transform our understanding of the world. They learn ways this knowledge can transform our environment and our global community.
Our Ecological Design Certificate surveys the sustainable design field and the field of sustainability. We engage students in hands-on design projects with real world clients. Our program can serve as course credit towards an existing degree program. Or, professionals can add new skills and perspective to their existing knowledge base. Some our alumni use their design work to begin new careers. Other students create portfolios for admission to advanced degree programs. These include programs in architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, interior design, and product design.
About the Curriculum
Our curriculum is a mix of presentations, discussions, field trips, and design projects. We combine concentrated level of information with projects to integrate the information. As the program progresses students apply their new knowledge and skills to client projects.
Harmonizing Design and Ecology
A diverse core of faculty deliver the content for our Ecological Design Certificate Program. The curriculum harmonizes design and ecology by covering topics topics like passive and active solar design, permaculture, local ecology, nature awareness, site assessment, alternative materials, life cycle costing, presentation skills, hand drawing, and graphic design. We also cover social, ethical and economic issues, and their effects on ecological design. Students show their learning through individual design projects. They work with real clients to address issues of aesthetics, budget, and code compliance.
Whole Systems Thinking
Students explore ways to develop whole systems solutions for agriculture, buildings and urban environments. Examples from chaos theory, natural systems, and permaculture provide working models and inspiration.
Designing with Nature and Practicing Observation
Students explore a phenomenological approach to understanding form and pattern in nature. They design holistic environments based on Goethe’s way of science, quantum physics and theories of consciousness. Students learn to assess sites for flows and resources. They also learn to asses the potential for restoration or preservation of the landscape.
Hands-On Design Projects
We test the viability of ecological design theory through real-life projects. We challenge students to design with an awareness of cultural, economic, and environmental factors. We teach students basic architectural drawing skills. This provides students with the ability to communicate design process and final design intent. We provide more advanced projects to students who are already proficient in technical drawing.
Resources and Energy Systems Integration
Finally we look at integrating local building resources, food production and the surrounding environment. Students design systems for water supply and treatment, transportation, and energy.