Learning From Nature

During the 2012–13 Biomimicry Student Design Challenge (BSDC) competition, I discovered that solving humanity’s biggest design challenges requires new skills applied within a comprehensive framework that integrates sustainability. I gained a deeper understanding of the Buckminster Fuller Institute‘s tenet of what Fuller described as “comprehensive anticipatory design scientists.” (Fuller, 1999) Learning from nature Biomimicry, the


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


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


Educating Global Change Agents

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is pushing the design envelope with their new Master of Arts in Sustainable Design—an interdisciplinary, studio design-oriented degree that is also offered completely online. The Designers Accord talks to Director (and biomimicry education leader) Cindy Gilbert about the inspiration for the program and how MCAD plans to shape


Random Acts of Beauty

What is it about the reoccurring patterns and palettes that randomly occur in nature that make them inherently appealing? I can’t imagine not being enthralled by the rhythmic pattern of sand caressed by waves or even by the inviting waves as they crash and dissipate along a shoreline. Or the way dappled sunlight draws me

boda boda

A Seat for Sustainable Transportation

I love to ride bikes. I grew up in Minneapolis riding to Dinkytown and commuting on Minneapolis’ Midtown Greenway. When I moved to California five years ago, my love for bikes didn’t waiver. As I started to think about what type of company I wanted to intern for as part of my Master’s in Sustainable


Design For (Your) Product Lifetime

Core77 is having a design contest: Design For (Your) Product Lifetime. In addition to fame and glory, there are cash prizes. Design for lifetime includes design for recycling, reuse, disassembly, upgrade, and repair. It’s an often-neglected but extremely exciting aspect of sustainable design, because it can make an enormous impact. DEADLINE to apply is November 15,


Making the Business Case for Sustainability

Wendy Jedlička (CPP, MIM) is a front-line sustainable packaging designer. We recently caught up with her to discuss her fully online course devoted to the subject, Making the Business Case for Sustainability. The course begins August 27, 2012 and registration is open. This is a 15-week course that is part of MCAD’s Sustainable Design Online


The Reputation Economy

Suddenly Bucky is everywhere. The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, a show at the Whitney, books evaluating his work, and an overview in Wired. What is going on? The time is ripe for his ideas. Sustainable design was a new concept when he started in the 1930’s, and even by the 1970’s it was part of the


Creative Leadership

Denise DeLuca is an experienced biomimicry educator who devotes much of her time to challenging the way professionals think and act as leaders, from business executives to designers. We recently caught up with her to discuss her unique career as well as her fully online course devoted to the subject of Creative Leadership. This is