BioEmpathy: A Catalyst for Regenerative Design

Alumni in Action

Back in April, Denise DeLuca (Director of the MA in Sustainable Design program) brought Stefanie Koehler (MASD 2013) to Kenya to help teach a 4-day field course called BioEmpathy for the Amani Institute.

Stef, a 2013 graduate of MCAD’s MA in Sustainable Design program, recently taught a semester-long course called “Design Futures and Ecologies” in the MA of Collaborative Design / Design Systems program at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) , where she is an Adjunct Faculty.

When asked to write a post about her experience, Stef chose instead to visually communicate her take-aways. You can see what she created on the website for her business Green Crane Innovation.

A peek into her creation is below. Click here for the complete image.

By Stefanie Koehler, MASD 2013
For the complete visual go to Green Crane Innovation

If you’re interested in learning, combining, and applying biomimicry and empathy to sustainable design or social innovation, we welcome you to explore our fully online MA in Sustainable Design program!

Stefanie Koehler

Stefanie Koehler is a designer of things and non-things. As a sustainability-focused human, she aims to create solutions that work to regenerate our environmental, cultural, and creative global and local economies. Trained as a product designer, she also likes to play with the art of not making things, or rather doing smart (not clever) design. Stefanie practices designing with extreme user empathy and leveraging whole systems and service design to realign innovation, business, and natural cycles. Stefanie has a traditional industrial design background (BS in Industrial Design; Western Michigan University (2009)) but has an inherent desire ‘do more good’ rather than just ‘doing less bad’. Struck by how little she knew about materials and product life cycles, she pursued a degree focused on sustainability; she graduated from MCAD with a MA in Sustainable Design in 2013. Stefanie is based in Oregon.

Denise DeLuca / Former Director

Denise DeLuca is the Director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program. She was co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry Creative for Innovation, a network of creative professional change agents driving ecological thinking for radical transformation. Denise is author of the book Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation, which was illustrated by MASD alum Stephanie Koehler. She also teaches with the Amani Institute.

Denise’s previous roles include Education Director for the International Living Future Institute, Project Manager for Swedish Biomimetics 3000, and Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute. Denise is a licensed civil engineer (PE) and holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on modeling landscape-scale surface and groundwater interactions.  In addition, Denise is a Biomimicry Fellow and a member of the Advisory Council of The Biomimicry InstituteBoard Member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), on the editorial board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering, and an Expert with Katerva. Denise is based in Oregon.

contact:  [email protected]