Recently after finishing university I came to question how we as students could be educated about issues of sustainability, when most of us are studying something totally unrelated? Interestingly I found the answer lies not essentially in the course, but on campus.
This led me to Macquarie University, which has recently been ranked as the third greenest campus in Australia. Quite an impressive feat really that required a pretty big transformation of the way things were previously done there...
Macquarie seeks to challenge and change public perceptions by operating green and educating green. What’s cool about a lot of their initiatives is that they focus on active participation from the students so instead of just a greenie handing out flyers to save the rainforest, sustainability becomes part of student life and student activities.
To spread the word about their passion for sustainable enterprises Macquarie launched a Green Campus Guide that was designed by none of the above studio. When I tried to find out more about these guys all the info I could find was this: “We are none of the above studio. We just do what we believe in, it starts here and ends there.” I love their straightforward, cut-the-bull approach.
The site they designed invites the user to explore and interact with the different facets of sustainable solutions established on campus that we can all embrace- whether you are studying, in the office, or at home. Ultimately demonstrating a working model, which other universities and other education institutions can adopt. I think what makes the site successful is that you can play around inside it and appreciate the nature of design that’s gone into it.. It’s this style that makes sustainable design so sexy.
To find out a little more about the sites intentions I caught up with Belinda Bean, the Sustainability Officer at Macquarie. Belinda's passion lies in behaviour change and creating social norms for sustainability. When asked about the focus of the design for the micro site she replied, "The reason for creating the Green Campus Guide was to centralize a lot of the information surrounding our campus's sustainability features, tips, and FAQs. We wanted something that would be engaging and user-friendly which is why we opted for a social media enabled, interactive site that used illustrations that were representative our campus."
There are so many inspiring sustainable campaigns and activities operating out of the Macquarie hub, it’s definitely worth checking out. You can follow and explore the micro site at www.mq.edu.au/sustainability/greencampusguide/