Environmental Design has a dual mandate to offer both professional practice competencies at the first professional degree level in Architecture or Planning and to offer advanced interdisciplinary design and research collaboration opportunities in the Master of Environmental Design and PhD degree programs.
The Faculty of Environmental Design's educational opportunities are for those wishing either to obtain a first professional degree or to expand their current professional or design related degree backgrounds and career experience with advanced interdisciplinary practice-based research and study in one or more of the following thematic areas of study: ecological design, urban systems design, technological systems design, and human and cultural systems design.
Since the Faculty's founding in 1971, the importance of design, planning and management of the interactions among human activities and the built and natural environments has increased substantially. Sustainable development requires deep understanding of many complex and often subtle interrelationships. The outcomes of design intervention in complex problem solving may include plans, policies, environmental and ecosystem management strategies, new social or political institutions or institutional mechanisms, information systems, new technologies, new artifacts, new buildings and urban form, habitats and cultural landscapes.
Environmental design education, research, and professional practice focuses on the appropriate ends, just and equitable modes of intervention, and the qualitative character of the environment to be achieved when design, management and planning projects are undertaken. The Faculty's research, educational programs, and international and community outreach address these concerns in a variety of social, cultural, built and natural environmental contexts.