Designing with the Sun


This paper explores creative engagement activities using the Designing with the Sun solar curriculum series to build campus solar charging stations with energy and air quality monitoring tools at universities across the United States. This in-depth curriculum covers renewable energy, electricity basics, solar energy design principles, and solar mobility innovation. As universities plan for the challenges of the twenty-first century, incorporating multifaceted forms of sustainable energy and transportation services into their climate adaptation plan is imperative. Creative rethinking on a massive scale is required to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement for global energy consumption. An interdisciplinary sustainable design curriculum with interactive renewable energy prototypes that engage students in designing transformative options for the campus-community environment can inspire green energy adoption. Campus solar charging stations provide a solar living lab for research, an outdoor workspace, and a place to recharge e-bicycles and e-scooters. Shared micromobility has exploded in popularity on college campuses and can help reduce car ownership and carbon emissions when solar charged. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have inspired universities and cities to rethink how to shape land previously dedicated to the automobile and transform it into sustainable infrastructure with clean energy moving forward.


Beth Ferguson
Assistant Professor, Design, University of California Davis, United States


Presentation Type

Workshop Presentation


Design Education


Solar Design, Sustainable Design, Climate Change, Transportation