|Day & Time
644 Seeley W. Mudd Building
|Method of Instruction
Throughout history, societies have discovered resources, designed and developed them into textiles,
tools and structures, and bartered and exchanged these goods based on their respective values.
Economies emerged, driven by each society’s needs and limited by the resources and technology
available to them. Over the last two centuries, global development accelerated due in large part to the
overextraction and use of finite resources, whether for energy or materials, and supported by vast
technological advancements. However, this economic model did not account for the long-term impacts of
the disposal or depletion of these finite resources and instead, carried on unreservedly in a “take-make’-
waste” manner, otherwise known as a linear economy. Despite a more profound understanding of our
planet’s available resources, the environmental impact of disposal and depletion, and the technological
advancements of the last several decades, the economic heritage of the last two centuries persists today;
which begs the question: what alternatives are there to a linear economy?
The premise of this course is that through systems-thinking, interdisciplinary solutions for an alternative
economic future are available to us. By looking at resources’ potential, we can shape alternative methods
of procurement, design, application, and create new market demands that aim to keep materials,
products and components in rotation at their highest utility and value. This elective course will delve into
both the theory of a circular economy - which would be a state of complete systemic regeneration and
restoration as well as an optimized use of resources and zero waste - and the practical applications
required in order to achieve this economic model. Achieving perfect circularity represents potentially
transformative systemic change and requires a fundamental re-think of many of our current economic
structures, systems and processes.
This is a full-semester elective course which is designed to create awareness among sustainability
leaders that those structures, systems and processes which exist today are not those which will carry us
(as rapidly as we need) into a more sustaining future. The class will be comprised of a series of lectures,
supported by readings and case-studies on business models, design thinking and materi
|24 students (40 max) as of 2:06PM Saturday, February 24, 2024
|School of Professional Studies
|Graduate Students Only. Cross-registrations opens 9/5/23.