Why I chose to study Advanced Sustainable Design - MSc
After spending so much time researching the perfect master’s degree, I just couldn’t make my mind up on whether I wanted to specialise in the technical or social side of sustainability. When I found the Advanced Sustainable Design programme at ECA, I realised it was exactly what I was looking for. Even though I don’t have an architectural background (my bachelors degree is in industrial design) the themes we explored in the Advanced Sustainable Design curriculum were absolutely relevant to my career aspirations. The fact that it was in Edinburgh was a plus, the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived!
My time at ECA
During my time studying Advanced Sustainable Design I worked on different projects, varying from making Drem (a village in East Lothian) “completely autonomous”, to re-furbishing Appleton Tower with a natural ventilation scheme, and working on a project where we designed an inclusive and community-empowering Leith Walk nature reserve. All these projects were challenging in their own way, and I had the privilege to bounce ideas off fellow students, lecturers and project advisors, who are some of the most creative and driven people I have ever worked with.
After the Christmas break, I also had the opportunity to visit the Findhorn ecovillage. This was an interesting site as it combined an excellent approach to autonomous living as well as innovative construction materials. I hope to go back to Findhorn to visit and see the impact of implementing new sustainable technology on the village.
The second part of the degree programme had more individual work that team projects, but by that point the rapport between the group had already been created and we were able to collaborate, discuss and learn from each other, as we spent long hours in the Minto House studio. I admit that my final year project could not have been completed without my fellow students' feedback and proofreading.
If I could start again, I would try to spend more time with students from other postgraduate programmes, as there were so many cool and interesting ideas floating around ECA that I can only appreciate now in hindsight.