Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington


A multi-disciplinary, cooperative Degree Program in Sustainable Design


Huxley College

of the Environment

Planning and Environmental Policy


Department of Engineering


Industrial Design Program



















Minor in | Sustainable Design



APPLICATION DEADLINE Applications are accepted semi-annually on the third Friday of fall and spring quarters.



Professor Arunas Oslapas, Industrial Design, Department of Engineering Technology

Professor Nicholas Zaferatos, Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Huxley College of the Environment



Huxley College of the Environment and the Engineering Technology Department jointly offer a minor in Sustainable Design. Design is the process of conceptualizing, representing, and creating projects, processes, or products (ranging in scale from consumer objects to regions). Sustainability requires that designed products promote long-term economic, social, and ecological values and equity. The minor provides basic foundations in environmental studies and design, and allows for individualized tailoring according to the student's interests.


The goal of the program is to enable students with strengths in design, or in environmental studies, to gain complementary skills in the other area so as to pursue sustainable design careers more effectively. The program is also open to students from any area at Western who would benefit by the set of concepts and skills offered. Students in the program will obtain an understanding of the natural systems within which human institutions and technologies function, and of the social systems which mediate human interactions with ecosystems. This background allows the student to make informed decisions about how ecological constraints define sustainability, and how human choices shape the context in which sustainable projects may be implemented or used.  The coursework in industrial design introduces the design process and provides skills in the representation of design concepts.  A special course taken in the senior year, Estu 415, will bring students together to consider the wider systems context of sustainable design, and to work collaboratively on real world sustainable design projects.



APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Applications are accepted semi-annually on the third Friday of fall and spring quarters.


Students of the sustainable design minor are accepted into the minor by application, and space will be limited. Those students who show the highest affinity for integrating environmental systems information, sustainable design principles, and understanding of practical applications will be accepted into the minor. Students should prepare a statement explaining their educational goals, background coursework, and experiences qualify them for this program. Examples of the applicant's own design concepts or products, or evidence of participation in ecological management are also welcome.





The student should prepare a binder  (8 1/2" x 11 inch format) with the application form as the cover page. Include the following:


 In your Letter of Application, please describe

a) application form that contains your contact information (email, address, phone, student number)

b) a statement explaining your educational goals for the minor, and how specific background courses have prepared you the program. Other experiences that qualify you for this program should be described.

c) a narrative description of your past experiences, such as your own design concepts or products, evidence of participation in ecological management, design projects, class papers, books read, videos watched, personal activities or creative projects, participation in community work, membership in clubs, etc.

d) your overall GPA.


Please submit a "Portfolio" of your work.  The Portfolio contains representative materials presented in an 8 1/2 x 11 inch format including:

a) academic papers and research reports;

b) projects;

c) illustrations;

d) other creative projects that show evidence of sustainable activities.

The application must be received by the deadlines indicated above. A short list will be produced, and candidates on the list will be interviewed by program faculty. Applicants will be notified of final decisions.  Applications may be submitted to either department:

Sustainable Design Minor: Admissions

Department of Environmental Studies, AH 217. Huxley College of the Environment, Mail Stop 9085


Sustainable Design Minor: Admissions, ET 204

Department of Engineering Technology, Industrial Design. Mail Stop 9086

Link to WWU Catalog