Green Launchpad

Faculty Focus

After pursuing one of her BHAGs, former and founding Director of our MA in Sustainable Design program Cindy Gilbert is now Senior Project Officer with VentureWell. Congratulations, Cindy!

One of her upcoming projects: VentureWell is offering the interactive + hands-on workshop Green LaunchPad Educators Workshop this fall (Oct 16+17) in Boston, MA to train faculty how to integrate sustainability frameworks and principles (e.g. LCA, whole systems thinking, etc) into their curricula. Jeremy Faludi (now teaching at TU Delft) will be leading the workshop and Cindy be facilitating. Ben Linder (from Olin College) will join as a guest speaker to cover sustainable innovation and venture development.

According to the event website:

Engineering, design, and business are not just disciplines to teach, they are disciplines that build the material world we live in. Our students can build technologies and businesses that benefit the world and humanity rather than harming them.

This interactive workshop will equip you with the knowledge and skills to integrate sustainable invention and innovation curriculum and practices into your courses, whether they are existing core courses or sustainability-specific ones.  You will leave the workshop ready to teach basic and intermediate sustainability principles at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Some of the concrete actionable student exercises that you’ll come away with include: 

  • sustainable design strategies
  • metrics for measuring environmental and social impacts (including basic life cycle assessment and eco-labels)
  • material choice
  • energy effectiveness
  • systems thinking
  • green business model design
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • pedagogical tools to help students work in groups
  • tips to help students work with companies or other external stakeholders

If you want to dive even deeper into how you might engage sustainable design in your teaching, take a look at our fully online MA in Sustainable Design program!

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]