Education for a Sustainable Future


Many people considering our program wonder if and why they should get an MA in Sustainable Design (MASD), rather than an MBA or an MSSD. 

Often first in their mind is what an MASD could do for their careers — what new or increased revenue-generating opportunities might become available? That is clearly a reasonable and important question; however, it is interesting that ultimately, that is not why most people join the program.

Why do they join?

Perhaps they are driven by some of the progressive thinkers of our time:

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
~ Eldridge Cleaver

Design is the problem. The future of design must be sustainable.
~ Nathan Shedroff

We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.
~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Or perhaps they know that to be relevant in our increasingly complex and rapidly changing world, they need an education that prepares them to contribute to a sustainable future.

In their recent article New higher education literacies for a sustainable future, Patrick Blessinger, Enakshi Sengupta, and Mandla Makhanya make some points that you readers are likely already aware of: 

“… new [education] literacies are also needed to address not just the economic demands of society but also the growing complexity of global problems facing the world.”

“In addition to increasing globalisation, today’s societies are also in the midst of transitioning from a carbon-based economy to a green economy which has huge implications for how students are educated and how societies function.”

“…new demands for food, water, sanitation and other basic living requirements, brought about by rapid growth in urbanisation and the world’s population, require not only innovative technological solutions but also a new humanistic paradigm and way of thinking that address these problems on a global scale.”

They suggest that “educational institutions must implement new teaching and learning approaches, which are all inter-related and inter-dependent, to more effectively deal with these changes:

  • Inquiry-based learning (problem-based and research-based learning).
  • Creative learning (experiential and product-based learning).
  • Meaningful learning (relevant and holistic learning).
  • Humanistic learning (inclusive and equity-based learning).

We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we created our program — an education for a sustainable future.

Do you want to be part of the solution, contribute to the future of design, be an architect of the future?  

Consider joining our fully online MA in Sustainable Design program, created for busy working professionals who are passionate about sustainability, enlisting a global community of students and world-class instructors working together to push the sustainability envelope forward across a variety of disciplines and industries. Courses are project based, so you can creatively explore ideas and projects that are meaningful to you and to the world. 

The Priority Decision application deadline for Spring 2020 is November 1!  

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]