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As if the future matters : teaching design for sustainable communities
conference contributionposted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by T Williamson, David Jones, S Shannon, A Radford
Between 2007 and 2010 a series of intensive annual field trips took around 100 predominantly city-based Australian and international students from The University of Adelaide into rural communities (numbers ranged from 82 in 2007 to 105 in 2009). Country areas/towns (rather than the city) were chosen because in them issues of sustainability are ‘in your face’ and much clearer for students to comprehend than in the city. The trips required co-operation between the respective communities, the School and the students. The organization required for this number of students was time-consuming and prone to disruption, and the series ended when the principal organisers moved on to new positions and the School reverted to less time-costly modes of teaching. This paper provides a retrospective insight into the series of field trips and examines their educational and professional value for the participants – students, staff and communities. We begin by describing the aims of the course and argument for an immersive educational approach, then present the logistics and process for the field trips, discuss the outcomes for the stakeholders, and finally present some conclusions.