University of Pennsylvania announces sustainable design qualification

The Executive Program in Design for Sustainability (XDS), aimed at emerging and established architects and other design professionals lasts seven months. It covers bioclimatic design, daylight simulation, energy modelling and assessment of embodied carbon. The course culminates with a 3-week integrative, mini-design studio where the learners will apply their knowledge to a current project from their office. “Architects and designers have a major role to play in the response to climate change,” architect Rob Fleming, director of online innovation at Weitzman and president of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects explained. “Many people in my field, including some very accomplished professionals, want to do more, but simply don’t know how to get started. This program was created for them. It’s also more cost-effective and less time-intensive than a degree program.”

XDS is accepting applications and the early application deadline is September 21. Program details are available online at



Pictured above is the Hydroculus—a prototype for building cooling in desert environments designed by Dorit Aviv, assistant professor of architecture at Penn and director of the Thermal Architecture Lab, with colleagues from Princeton University and the University of Arizona.