Carbon Neutrality in Design Education

Alex Lobos, Cong Yao, Jongsoo Gang
Rochester Institute of Technology


Alex Lobos / Cong Yao / Jongsoo Gang
Rochester Institute of Technology

As industrial design education transforms itself into a sustainable environment, many institutions are exploring ways of integrating responsible practices and addressing issues that affect a discipline that creates new products on a daily basis. This presentation shares Rochester Institute of Technology Industrial Design Department’s journey of becoming a carbon neutral unit. The process began with an audit of the department’s current practices and use of materials and resources used to determine the current carbon footprint. Subsequent steps have focused on exploring and implementing more responsible processes without compromising the quality of education and project output. While RIT’s Industrial Design Department still has a long way to go before achieving total carbon neutrality, the steps taken so far are breaking old rules and paradigms for design education and practice, leading to a profession that not only produces sustainable solutions but also operates in that way.