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


Fairhaven College


















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 Gene Myers, Environmental Education, Huxley College of the Environment

Professor Nicholas Zaferatos, Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Huxley College of the Environment

Professor Gary Bornzin, Fairhaven College



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


Minor - Sustainable Design - 33 credits




Planning, Policy and Environmental Science Courses

10 to 12 credits

Planning Course:

Estu 369 (3) - Introduction to Planning


Environmental Science Course:

Esci 310 (4) - Environmental Systems OR Esci 325 (3) - Fundamental of Ecology

(Substitute Science Courses with advisor approval include the following: Esci 302 - Environmental Disturbances OR Esci 321 - Oceanography OR Esci 329 - Energy and the Environment OR Esci 392 Introduction to Global Change).


Environmental Policy Course:

Estu 303 (4) - Human Ecology OR Estu 304 (4) - Environmental & Resource Policy OR Estu 305 (4) - Environmental History and Ethics OR Fair 335 (4-5) - Alternative Futures and Sustainability



Industrial Design Courses

8 credits

Etec 311 (4) - Perspective and Rendering

(co-requisite: Etec 110 or Estu 401 or Egeo 350 or Egeo 401); AND

Etec 312 (4) - Industrial Design CAD Skills (co-requisite Etec 311).

Sustainable Design Capstone Course

3 credits

Estu/Etec 415 (3) Seminar in Sustainable Design

Elective Courses

10-12 credits

Elective credits will be chosen with your advisor to fill in individual skills and understandings, or to emphasis special interests. Prerequisites for these classes must be met before taking them, and space in some will be on a space-available basis. Students are encouraged to take the initiative throughout to guide their education, including identifying appropriate electives.


Examples of possible electives include course options listed above that the student does not use to fulfill the required credits, and: Estu 464 (4) - United States Environmental Policy; Estu 467 (3) - Natural Resource Policy; Estu 471 (2) - Campus Planning Studio; Esci 302 (4) - Environmental Pollution; Esci 490 (4) - Environmental Risk Assessment; Esci 431 (3) - Biogeochemistry; Esci 450 (4) - Environmental Chemistry; Econ 383 (4) - Environmental Economics; Econ 384 (4) - Energy Economics; Acct 484 (4) - Environmental Accounting; Etec 231 (4)  -Design Problems in  Woodworking; Etec 214 (5) - Sophomore Industrial Design I; Etec 216 (5) - Sophomore Industrial Design II.




International National Sustainable Development Plans

Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Ireland - Department of Environment; Ireland - National Sustainable Development Partnership; Italy; Latvia; Luxemburg; Malta; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; The Netherlands; United Kingdom - National Strategies for Sustainable Development; United Kingdom - Sustainable Development: the UK Government's approach

European Union Policy

Towards a global partnership for Sustainable Development; Rio Declaration; Agenda 21; Johannesburg Political Declaration; Johannesburg plan of implementation

The Little Green Data Book

The Little Green Data Book (Full Document), 2003 (1,073KB PDF)

Poverty and Environment Indicators

Poverty and Environment Indicators, 2002 (194KB PDF); Indicators of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2003 (421KB PDF); World Development Indicators, 2001: Environment; Environmental Indicator Initiatives - An Overview of Selected Initiatives at the World Bank, 2002 (247KB PDF); Project Indicators on the Web

Indicators of Rural Sustainability

Indicators for Sustainable Development

United Nations Sustainable Development indicators; European Environment Agency; Eurostat structural indicators; OECD Sustainable Development statistics

Indicators: Thematic

Environmental Performance Indicators A Second Edition Note, 1999; Indicator Framework;  Agriculture; Biodiversity; Institutional Capacity; Air Pollution - Energy; Air Pollution - Industry; Air Pollution - Transport; Hazardous Waste/Toxic Chemicals;  Solid Waste;  Water - Quality - Pollution;  Water Quality - Sewage/Waste Water

Resource Management: Coastal and Marine;  Fisheries; Forests;  Land Management; Mineral Resources;  Water-Management;  Water Management Agriculture

Green Accounting

Policy Applications of Environmental Accounting, 2003 (371KB PDF); The Environment and the Millennium Development Goals, 2002; World Bank's Millennium Development Goals Website

Global Perspectives


Johannesburg 2002; OECD; World Business Council for Sustainable Development; United Nations Sustainable Development Division; United Nations Development pages; World summit stakeholder forum; World Bank Development Pages; World Trade Organization; 6th environmental action program; World Conservation Union

DG Environment; UNECE environment pages; United Nations Environment Program

Economic Perspectives

International Chamber of Commerce; World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Resources for the future; International Centre for Trade / Sustainable Development

Other Global Sustainable Development Sources

DG PRESS information page on Sustainable Development; Sustainable Development On Line; Sustainable Development International; International Institute for Sustainable Development; The World Wide Web Virtual Library; IISD Linkages; SD Gateway


Campus Planning and Sustainability; Environmental Planning; New Urbanism and Smart Growth; Growth Management; Growth Management in Washington State; Laws, Programs, Local Governments, Related Links; Office of Community Development; Planning Short Course; Traffic Calming: Traffic Circles; Governor Locke's Sustainability Speech; Sprawl and the New Urbanism: Interactive Images: Sierra Club; Tribal Planning and Policy; Western's Library Internet Links; Planning Resources: Methodology, Bibliographies, Technical Reports, Handbooks, Data Bases, Internet Sites


Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook. http://www.planning.org/plnginfo/GROWSMAR/guidebk.html; Planners Web Sprawl Resource Guide: http://www.plannersweb.com/sprawl.html; Cost and Consequences of Suburban Sprawl: http://www.sierraclub.org/transportation/sprawl/sprawl_report/

The Costs of Sprawl: http://www1.umn.edu/cts/TRG/ADowns.html; Colorado Smart Growth Initiative: http://www.state.co.us/smartgrowth/

National Sprawl News Index: http://www.interaxs.net/pub/mikemonett/natl.html; Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse: http://www.sprawlwatch.org

The Smart Growth Network: http://www.smartgrowth.org/; Beyond Sprawl: New Patterns: http://www.sierraclub.org/misc/sprawl.html

Sprawl Net: http://www.riceinfo.rice.edu/~Ida/Sprawl_Net/About.html; The Center for Livable Communities: http://www.lgc.org/clc/

International Bulldozer Blockade: http://www.norfolk-county.com/users/claytons/main.html