Zachary Elder

MA in Sustainable Design / MCAD (2017)


Zachary is a graduate of Bemidji State University in Minnesota, with a BS in Design Technology. He is currently an industrial designer for Nike NXT footwear innovation in Portland, OR. Previous to his work with Nike he was an independent industrial designer working with several local Portland startups to develop eco-related solutions for change. He worked with Veranda Solar to develop a modular system to allow for personal solar power generation for inner city and densely populated areas limited on space. Additionally he collaborated with R.E.D Rabbit and the Abundant Seas Foundation on the Pelagic Pod Project, a system for filtering and sequestering plastic pollutants from the pelagic zone of the North Pacific Gyre. This is a long way away from the farm and cattle ranch of central South Dakota where he was raised, but that childhood provided the foundation for finding creative solutions to problems and an understanding an appreciation for the natural world that he draws inspiration from to this day.  As a designer he’s focused his career on developing and adapting technologies such as computational design, additive manufacturing or inspiration from the natural world to inform design. At heart, Zachary is a futurist and creator where he explores the boundaries between art, science, humanity and interaction. Zachary completed his MA in Sustainable Design from MCAD in 2017. He is based in Oregon.

Thesis Title: Circular Model for Sustainable Automotive Child Safety Seats