Starting Next Month, SMU Will Offer a Master's Degree in Sustainability and Development

pallethouse.jpg
I-BEAM DESIGN
That structure you see at left is called a Pallet House, made out of ... aw, you cheated. Anyway: It was initially built in Prince Charles' Royal Gardens as part of a sustainability confab, and on Friday it'll find its way to the SMU campus, perhaps as future housing for head-coaching candidates. No, wait. That's not right. It's actually being set up on the Hilltop to serve as a beacon for the future: On Friday the university will formally announce the creation of a master's degree in Sustainability and Development.

It's no small deal: The Hilltop, you'll recall, had its Engineering & Humanity Week back in April, where Friend of Unfair Park Harvey Lacey debuted his mud-covered house walled entirely with bricks of compacted plastic bags, bottles and Styrofoam. From there, Harvey took his creation from Wylie to Haiti -- all by his lonesome.

But in April, back at SMU, among those pitching in were Hunter and Stephanie Hunt, namesakes of the university's Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity -- which, so happens, is behind the degree being offered by SMU's Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. In short: The April event was far from a one-off. On Friday, Peter Bishop -- who heads the mayor of London's Design for London livable-cities think tank -- will give a talk at 11 a.m. Friday at Caruth Hall; he'll be joined at some point by, among others, Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm, who's been invited "to put the focus on Dallas."

I called Harvey to ask him about the new degree. He's pragmatic enough to know a master's from SMU alone won't change the world. "But the old way's going away," he says. "It's being sabotaged every day. There's a force out there. It's nuclear. They'll find a way. ... These kids are all struggling to find something to believe in. The kids who will take these courses will change the world. It's like teaching a guy to weld. He can become an absolute artist. They're giving them skills to change the world."

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6 comments
pam silleman
pam silleman

This is a stupid waste of time and energy and you guessed it: TAX payers MONEY!....idiots!.......anyone stop to think what happens when the WIND comes??????  OH, I know.........Bush's fault

harvey lacey
harvey lacey

Robert, contrary to his nature, made a mistake.  I have done nothing by my lonesome.  Most days I feel like the person you see on their back being passed across the stadium on the hands of others at a concert.

In Haiti I met this young lady who had a masters in sustainability and development.  She was awesome.  So when Robert told me about this yesterday I immediately thought of her and knew that anyone who went after this masters degree would be a lot like her.  Of course part of her awesomeness for me was her infatuation with our Ubuntu-blox.  She told me that after a year and a half in Haiti we had the best idea she had seen for sustainable housing.

Sustainability and development is the work horse of changing the world.  Most people are quick to jump in and pull someone from the burning car, contribute money for catastrophe, or even volunteer to go to a another nation and work on the ground to provide immediate aid.  Sustainability and development goes to work after the reporters and international interest leaves.  They are the ones that have the smallest budgets, the biggest hearts, and the most difficult jobs.

So if you want to empower someone who isn't a disaster junky that wants to make a huge difference one small step at a time in our world support programs like this.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Wait - I thought Peter Bishop was stuck in the yellow universe where Walter and Olivia don't know him.  How can he be coming here?

Oy
Oy

Wish they'd shown up before Wal Mart moved in.

Ben
Ben

A pallet house is currently sitting west of Caruth Hall, think it was built last week. It does not have the solid exterior like the one featured in the photo. It does have a loft bed and a desk inside, constructed of pallets. I'm not sure how it's all held together. Novel idea.

El Rey
El Rey

I'll be there. I'm probably going to apply for the program, too. My wife is not too keen on my other school choice - in Scotland.

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