NEW! Nature-Inspired Design Wilderness Expedition

Alumni in Action

Shannon Reece [MASD 2016] has a day job in sustainable design, but for him that’s not enough. On the side, he is a certified natural movement instructor and specializes in teaching adaptable human movement patterns – empowering people to become healthier, more mindful, and capable humans. 

Now, Shannon has combined his unique experiences, passions, and expertise (including what he learned in the MASD program!) to create a new 14-day field course called Nature-Inspired Design Wilderness Expedition, run in partnership with NOLS.

According to the course webpage:

While backpacking and canoeing through New York’s Adirondack mountains, you’ll learn to progress through the stages of the biomimicry design spiral to arrive at practical solutions to real-life scenarios. 

NOLS expeditions are full of amazing experiences, from climbing peaks and learning to read topographic maps, to learning about your personal leadership style and how to bake cinnamon rolls in the backcountry. The Nature-Inspired Design Wilderness Expedition will combine the rigorous NOLS curriculum with opportunities to explore biomimicry. 

For instance, teams may be identifying the parts of a system while backpacking to a new destination or identify life’s unifying patterns while canoeing for the day.

Each day the basic format for the biomimicry course will consist of a morning lesson introducing the day’s topic or challenge, a team activity during the day, and group share or brainstorm in the evening. There’ll be plenty of time for private reflection and journaling as well.

Far from home and your normal routine, you’ll open your mind to what nature has to teach.

What are you going to do on your summer vacation?

If you’d like an easy online Introduction to Biomimicry, please check out our upcoming Continuing Education course, offered April 6 – May 12.

If you’re interested in nature-inspired design and wondering what to do AFTER your summer vacation, please explore 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]


Shannon Reece

Shannon helps clients design and build environments that improve life. As a sustainable building consultant for BranchPattern he manages projects and guides clients through various certification processes including LEED v4 and Fitwel. He goes wide with a variety of experience and deep in sustainable design and brand environments design. On the side he continues to research the intersection between movement science, biophilia, and the built environment. As a certified natural movement instructor he specializes in teaching adaptable human movement patterns – empowering people to become healthier, more mindful, and capable humans. Both of his companies, Mud Hut Lab and Move By Design, currently coincide to explore and encourage a more accessible and sustainable movement lifestyle within office settings and urban ecologies. Shannon is based in Missouri.

Thesis title: An Integrated Living Home Exhibit