The main objective of the Department of Human Environment Design is to create a comfortable, high-quality living space where all people can lead an equal social life, while connecting "creators" with "users". The Department trains students to have abilities to achieve this with specialized knowledge and technical skills.
The need for Universal Design for everyone is based on the modern society which sees declining birthrates and an aging population as well as diverse lifestyles. In order to create Universal Design suitable for the current needs, architecture, environment, products, medical care, and transportation are required to be integrated in order to produce a comfortable life. Since its foundation, the Department has established a unique position in Japan in that students can learn comprehensive design fields ranging from architecture and housing design to community product design with a focus on people and their lives.
The Department offers three courses so that in the junior year, students can choose their own specialization area: Space Design Course, Life Environment Design Course, and Product Design Course. While students are trained to acquire specialized knowledge and skills, these three courses are collaborated and integrated to produce "Human Environment Design".
Students learn design in architecture, living appliances, and products based on the concepts of "Universal Design".
In the Space Design Course, students learn about designs of human living space. The course contents include a wide range of living spaces surrounding people including project design, construction planning, and building methods of buildings as well as exterior and interior designs of buildings. The Course also offers opportunities to study about town and city planning, barrier-free environment design, and other related living spaces. The focus is on the study of environments for affluent living from the viewpoint of spatial design.
In the Life Environment Design Course, students learn about design of living places based on the dweller’s viewpoint. The Course aims to improve the living environment through universal design based on the actual needs of residents and users, while students also learn about design of devices for people with disabilities, welfare living environment planning, barrier-free building design, as well as basic housing studies.
In the Product Design Course, students study how to improve living conditions for people by extensive examination of product design, information design, interaction design, and mechatronics fields. In order to realize an environment wherein all people can lead equally comfortable lives through the designs of various products, human living conditions will be studied in terms of design of "materials" and “non-materials.”
One of the major features of the department is the "Human Environment Design Laboratory,” which is the center for its major practical activities such as exercises, experiments, presentations, and lectures. This laboratory has workshops in which specialized work such as woodwork, metalwork, painting, and measurement can be conducted. Sophomore and junior students have their own workspace in the studio so that they can work on sketching, drawing, and model production. Students are encouraged to participate in club activities and design competitions, while receiving career development programs for future employment and further research opportunities in collaboration with corporations, regions and communities, as well as local governments.