Make Impact

IMPACT 2015 is Minnesota’s most cross-disciplinary sustainability and green building conference.  Education sessions feature leading industry experts on a variety of topics that will inspire ideas in smart and sustainable design, high performance construction, leadership, marketing and company culture.  The Expo will showcase what’s next in green building products and services. This conference is the place to


Alumni Update: The Hero’s Journey Webinar

The Hero’s Journey to the Circular Economy: An Innovative Methodology to Guide Businesses in the Transition to a Circular Economy Please join (and support!) Shari Welsh, a recent MASD grad (’14), who was selected to present a new methodology -developed as part of her Master’s thesis- at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s online Disruptive Innovation Festival.


Good Visualization Approaches for Sustainability’s Bad News

As consumers, when it comes to sustainability, we are surrounded by bad news: Global warming, water scarcity, air pollution, loss of biodiversity, human rights abuses, carbon emissions, poor working condition… The list goes on and on. Fortunately, technology increasingly allows us to track and trace the back-stories of everyday products related to these sustainability topics


About Arlene

Did you know we have a fabulous MA in SD instructor who lives in Brussels (but hails from Iowa) who is a former Fulbright scholar and renowned background story teller of sustainable products and companies? We do. Her name is Arlene Birt and you need to know more about her and her inspiring work. Check


Alumni Update: 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?


Student Spotlight: 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


Student Spotlight: 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

Alumni Update: 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

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