Welcome Anita Nowak!

Faculty Focus

There are several interrelated themes that are woven throughout our MA in Sustainable Design program, including systems thinking, biomimicry, and innovation. Underlying everything we do is, of course, sustainability and design, both of which require leadership and which, in turn, require empathy.

Arguably, “design thinking” and “human centered design” are applied empathy.  Leading creatives and sustainability efforts requires deeply understanding nature, humans, and human nature — again, empathy.

This is why we are tremendously happy to welcome Anita Nowak to the MA in Sustainable Design faculty where she will be teaching our Creative Leadership course in Spring 2019.

As she says,

Empathy is the most positively disruptive force on the planet,
but only when it leads to action. 

It’s time for an empathic action revolution.

Anita, a Montreal native, holds a doctoral degree from McGill University where she was named Professor of the Year in 2014. She’s held a variety of leadership and advisory roles within the private and non-profit sectors and has served as a volunteer for many social purpose organizations over the past 15 years, both locally and internationally.  

Watch her captivating TEDx talk, The Power of Empathy.

Join me in welcoming Anita Nowak!


Are you ready for an empathetic action revolution?  Come explore our MA in Sustainable Design program!  Check our Admissions Calendar for the next informational webinar.

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]