Out-of-the-bag Thinking

I recently read an article celebrating a collaboration among major retailers as part of an initiative to address the problem of single use plastic bags. Normally I would praise such efforts, especially because they brought in designers to better understand the system, the context, and the end users. But with two of our students currently

What are your choices?

Given my role, I’m often asked: What is sustainable design? As some of you know, design is both a noun and a verb. End-users may focus on design as a noun — the end result of a design process. In our program, we focus more on design as a verb — the process of design,

The Role of Designers in Driving Sustainability

This blog is based on a presentation called The Role of Designers to Drive Sustainability, delivered by Denise DeLuca, Director of MCAD’s MA in Sustainable Design program, for Sustainability Drive 2021. There are so many of us working to drive sustainability. We come from business and science, consulting and engineering, education and advocacy, urban planning

Sustainable Design: Radical and Rational

One thing I love about design is how it can span the gap that exists for most of us between imagination and reality.  What I love about sustainable design is that it goes a step further to span — and ideally close — the gap that between idealism and pragmatism, between sustainability and humanity.  For

Sustainable Design?

Earlier this fall, Anne Quito interviewed Denise DeLuca for her article What is sustainable design and how can consumers identify it? The longer responses provided by DeLuca are shared below. AQ: What’s the biggest misunderstanding about the term “sustainable design”? I’m surprised at how often people ask me, “What’s sustainable design?” when I tell them


If you’ve been considering going to graduate school, you might have noticed that most of the Masters programs in sustainable design are Master of Science programs and are housed in engineering and/or architecture schools.  MCAD is an Art+Design school and our masters is a Master of Arts in Sustainable Design. What’s the difference between an

Are your designs beautiful?

The 25June2019 post of this blog suggests that there have been many discussions and declarations around the definitions of sustainability and sustainable design, but not so much around what it takes to be a sustainable designer, which the blog explores. Here I want to revisit the challenges of creating sustainable designs from the perspective of