Have a bigger impact

About the MA Program

If you’re concerned about the state of the world, you may be recycling and bicycling, gardening and composting, consuming less and voting more.  But if you’re a designer, you can have a bigger impact. 

It is estimated that 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined at the design stage.

Many designers are not aware of this, or feel they don’t have the knowledge, skills, and understanding to make sustainable design decisions. 

Sustainable design can include swapping out materials, recycling waste, and seeking eco-labels, but it is more than that. It is mapping and leveraging the full lifecycle of a product. It is understanding and reflecting what is life-friendly. It is exploring and emulating nature’s design principles and strategies. It is imagining and innovating design solutions that do not yet exist. It requires empathy, collaboration, and visual communication.  It requires creative leadership.

If you’re a designer, or understand the power of design, and want to have a bigger impact, we invite you to explore our fully online MA in Sustainable Design program. Our program is designed for working professionals who need the convenience of asynchronous coursework, but who crave connection with fellow students. 


Curious? Our next informational webinar is Thursday September 16 at 1:00pmCT.  Even if you can’t make the date, register and we’ll send you more information. You’re also welcome to contact me to set up a time to chat.

Denise DeLuca / 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]