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The Power of Design

Do you listen to the TED Radio Hour on NPR? It is a great podcast. In a recent episode –The Power of Design– was dedicated to a few fascinating aspects of design from past TED speakers and renowned designers and design thinkers. Design is all around us, but much of it could be better, bolder,

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How Can Sustainable Design Drive Innovation?

How does sustainable design drive innovation in your own practice? A new self-paced online course may help you find answers. The course, Sustainable Design Methods for Product Innovation, is being offered as part of a UC Berkeley research project on the subject. It will introduce students to four sustainable design methods: Whole System Mapping, Biomimicry,

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Innovation Tools & Techniques

Curt McNamara is an experienced engineer, biomimicry educator and Buckminster Fuller scholar. We recently caught up with him to discuss his fully online course devoted to the subject of innovation called Innovation Tools and Techniques. This is a 15-week course that is a core part of MCAD’s Sustainable Design Program and will be offered in

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Student Spotlight: Cascade Designs by MCAD

The field of product design is fertile ground for exploring the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the products consumers use everyday. According to sustainability expert Annie Leonard, 99% of the things Americans purchase end up in a landfill within six months. In the Collaborative Product Design class taught by Jeremy Faludi, students in MCAD’s

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Alumni Update: We Can’t Not Do Something

Design Week Portland (DWP) is a week-long festival made up of independently produced events sprinkled across the city. It’s a celebration of all disciplines of design, and spotlights the critical role design is playing in Portland and beyond. There’s no doubt that Portland has a thriving design community, but it’s often hidden behind closed studio

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It’s the Little Things

It’s the Little Things is the third animation in the award winning Secret Life of Things series created by Leyla Acaroglu and her team. It tells the stories of everyday objects, and how they can inadvertently be misused and neglected, as well as shining a light on ways in which we can all help to

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Leyla Acaroglu @MCAD

We are pleased to announce that sustainability strategist and Life Cycle Analysis guru, Leyla Acaroglu, who hails from Melbourne, Australia, will be co-teaching Collaborative Product Design at MCAD this fall along with Jeremy Faludi. Leyla has a stellar history as a sustainability leader and has been involved in numerous creative and bleeding-edge sustainability projects through

Alumni Update: Putting Theory into Practice

Practicing sustainability-focused design, like any art form, is a skill that requires craft and sensitivity. As designers, we are tasked to skillfully create consumable goods, services and systems that inevitably make an impact on many levels, many of which are not well understood or even measurable. By learning and then practicing various approaches, I have

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Student Spotlight: Green Redesigns by Virtual Teams at MCAD

Halfway through its second year, Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)’s Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program continues to represent the leading edge of advanced design studies. This year, four companies—Cascade Designs, Hamilton Beach, Anthro and Rayne Longboards—all had their products analyzed and brainstormed for sustainable redesign. MCAD’s entirely online program gives students

Designers Emerge as Entreperneurs

Student Spotlight: Designers Emerge as Entrepreneurs

For many designers and artists (myself included), ‘business’ is not a very attractive word. Some may visualize business as sitting in a cubicle, crunching numbers, or hustling people to sell ideas, products, and services. That image is no longer a reflection of reality. The shift in perspective toward more sustainable actions is taking hold –

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