St. Lucia Campus, August 9, 2023 – The University of Queensland‘s Bachelor of Design program is making waves in the world of sustainable innovation with its new multidisciplinary offering, UQ DESIGN 2200. The course, which centres around the principles of the circular economy and design, is paving the way for future designers to create solutions that harmonize environmental consciousness and creative excellence.
Semester assignment “Timber Reuse in a Circular Economy” has gained the attention of students, sparking innovative ideas and discussions on the possibilities of sustainable timber use. This past week, the course welcomed Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries, a seasoned timber industry expert and technical wood scientist, to deliver Lecture 3 of the 13-week semester.
Simon’s lecture provided students with a thorough, yet practical source of inspiration for their project work. His presentation was enhanced with supporting visuals from his PowerPoint presentation, effectively illustrating the significance of timber within the framework of a circular economy. The lecture highlighted the potential of timber reuse, shedding light on its benefits not only to design but also to the Australian and global timber industry.
Dr. Paola Leardini, the Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Design program, expressed her gratitude to Simon for delivering a comprehensive overview of the timber industry’s potential within the circular economy. She emphasised that Simon’s lecture had provided students with a clear understanding of how timber could become a cornerstone of sustainable design practices.
Following the lecture, Simon engaged with students in a dynamic 15-minute impromptu Q&A session. During this interaction, he shared his insights and answered students’ questions. Simon echoed the sentiment of his presentation,
“I was encouraged by the enthusiasm and energy of the students, understanding that circular economy thinking was critical to greater success in the Australian and global timber industry. Presenting the role that certification plays in protecting forests globally is foundational to the supply and use of timber in a circular economy.”
The diverse makeup of the class, including students from business, engineering, IT architecture, and even international participants, highlighted the multidisciplinary appeal of the course. A full class of 45 students attended the lecture, showcasing the high level of interest and engagement in the topic.
The next lecture in the series will be presented by Dr. Pene Mitchell, a Research Fellow specialising in the Circular Economy at the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life at UniSC. Dr. Mitchell’s lecture, titled “Timber Treatments in a Circular Economy: Issues and Solutions,” promises to delve further into the practical aspects of timber reuse and its treatment within the circular economy framework.
Responsible Wood’s contribution to the student’s academic journey doesn’t end with Simon’s lecture; he has been invited to review the final project works of the students later in the year. His expert feedback will undoubtedly guide students in refining their ideas and ensuring their projects align with the principles of the circular economy.
As UQ DESIGN 2200 continues to challenge and inspire its students, it becomes a testament to the power of education in fostering sustainability, innovation, and collaborative problem-solving. The course’s dedication to integrating circular economy principles into design education signals a brighter, more sustainable future for the world of design and beyond.