A New Way of Thinking

We all know the plight of the typical industrial designer: make (more) stuff; repeat. But with the nexus of vast technical abilities and support systems to deliver ideas, where does responsibility and “design sensitivity” come into play? How will we be able to design with an understanding that every design decision is connected in some


Visual Communications for Sustainability

Arlene Birt (MDes) is an information designer who is dedicated to sharing the ‘visual stories’ of companies’ sustainable products and services. We recently caught up with her to discuss her career with Background Stories as well as her new Summer 2014 fully online course devoted to the subject of how to communicate sustainability stories, Visual


Planting Seeds for Minds, Hearts and Hands

When I think about what a community needs to be healthy, sustainable and thriving, my mind goes immediately to food. You don’t have a 4th of July celebration without food and you don’t have a community without it either. But how do we get these healthy foods? Where do they come from? Who grows them?


Blogging for Sustainability

During my spring 2012 semester in the Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program at MCAD, I had the opportunity to deepen my engagement in social media through a practicum with Joshua Foss from Metro Hippie. Josh is an adjunct faculty member of MCAD’s MA in Sustainable Design and teaches the Introduction to Sustainable Design


Perspectives from a Learning Journey

When I try to explain to friends and family what sustainability is, I try to avoid the definition of being ‘green’ because everyone automatically assumes I am a hippie and am going to chain myself to a tree. I define sustainability in a broader sense, not just in terms of meeting today’s needs without compromising


NYFW GreenShow Stopper

Last week, London-based eco-fashion blogger, Rebecca Butler of Designer Insider published an interview with MCAD’s very own Sustainable Design Online program alumnus, Susan Crow. Here’s our chance to shine a light on the incredible work Susan is doing in the field of eco-luxury fashion and to hear about her first chance to show her work


Wear What You Eat

Last spring I was invited to participate in Cittadellarte’s (City of Art) University of Ideas (UNIDEE) thanks to a grant from Fondazione Zegna. I was eager to examine sustainability in the context of the Italian luxury fashion industry and I am pleased to share a two-part post about my experiences. This second installment of my


Eco = Lux Jewelry Design

Paradigm shift: how systems thinking shifted a designer’s vision Creating a sustainable luxury jewelry brand involves a bit more than just using reclaimed or recycled metals and following the Kimberly Process for your gemstone supply chain. It requires a paradigm shift to one’s attitude by using holistic systems thinking at the beginning of the design


Celery + Living Principles = Sustainable Graphic Design

Design: A Powerful Conduit for Change Celery Design Collaborative’s cutting-edge green design and brand strategy is proving that sustainability can have both a positive impact on the world and be good for business. With over 10 years of experience working with industry leaders in corporate responsibility, clean tech, organic foods, renewable energy and community development,


7 Handy Tips to Change the World

Wendy Jedlička, MCAD Sustainable Design Online program faculty, offers sound advice on “leaving the campsite better than you found it.” From simply being open to epiphanies to systems thinking, Jedlička covers the whole range of sustainability on the individual scale. Wendy’s 7 tips: Be open to epiphanies. Make it personal. Get pissed off. Learn. It’s