A new online program at the the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design will offer coursework to practicing professionals that centers on using energy modeling softwares, running daylight simulations, and assessing embodied carbon. The new Executive Program in Design for Sustainability (XDS) comes at critical time and is designed to prepare architects and designers to consider how their designs can address climate change.
“Architects and designers have a major role to play in the response to climate change,” said architect Rob Fleming, director of online innovation at Weitzman and president of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), in a press release. “Many people in my field, including some very accomplished professionals, want to do more, but simply don’t know how to get started. This program was created for them. It’s also more cost-effective and less time-intensive than a degree program.”
At 7 months in duration it’s fair to say the program will cover a number of topics and touch on real-world technology and software. Among the subjects addressed are bioclimatic design, energy modeling, and calculating embodied carbon. To conclude the coursework participants will take part in a “mini-design studio” that will allow them to consider how to apply what they’ve learned to work at their office.
The course is primarily led by William Braham, a professor of architecture at Penn with 35 years of experience in research, education, and practice in environmental buildings. Other members of the academic team include several LEED credentialed architects and designers, and other experts and faculty. Braham served as the director and founder of two other programs at Penn, the Master in Environmental Building Design program and the Center for Environmental Building and Design.
The new program was developed through interviews with designers and architects at various stages of their career, educators, and design executives. In addition to the digital modules, learners will also have the option to take part in the program in a classroom setting. No matter the way the program is completed, the student will garner digital badges for each completed course, earning up to 23 AIA Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) Learning Units, and additionally will receive an Executive Certificate in Design for Sustainability from Penn.
“The courses are optimized for executive learners to provide the maximum amount of learning in the minimum amount of time,” added Fleming. “Regardless of what pacing a learner in the XDS program chooses, the objective is for the principles to be applied to actual projects in the real world.”
XDS is already accepting applications for the program, which will begin on November 4. More details about the course can be found here.