Green Minneapolis Workshop Attracts 99 Participants

As part of the Design:Green initiative, 99 practicing product designers, students, educators attended the second of three workshops scheduled for this spring on Saturday, April 24, discussing concepts such as eco-design, product life extension, and design for disassembly. Design:Green is an educational initiative coordinated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, IDSA, and J, as described below. An initiative to jumpstart green education for U.S. industrial and product designers has been launched by Ottman Consulting, Inc.

The workshop based on the Business-EcoDesign Tools toolkit developed by IDSA’s Environmental Responsibility Section was highly praised by the audience at Minnesota College of Art and Design (MCAD) in Minneapolis. The workshop was praised as a great learning experience by Lester Shen, Director of MCAD’s BS: Visualization Program.

Participants were given the chance to put their newfound eco-design knowledge to work on a real-life design problem in break-out sessions presented by Aveda, Philips, the Hardwood Information Council, and Logic Product Design. During an open-mike session, participants shared information and learned about design resources locally.

A pre-workshop networking party called “Mixed Greens” was organized by the local O2 chapter in conjunction with EnvironDesign the evening before the workshop.

In order to participate in the remaining Design:Green workshop in Chicago, which will take place at the Merchandise Mart on June 17, 2004 (just after Neocon), registration is open now. The workshop is filling fast and spaces are limited, so prospective participants should register as soon as possible. (For more information, visit

A copy of the workshop handouts will be made available to download this Summer. Notes from the New York workshop will be posted in the near future. Photos from the Minneapolis workshop can be viewed at:

What is Design:Green?

An educational initiative called Design:Green aims to create a buzz around green education for industrial designers. This program aims to improve U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace by bringing designers up to speed with worldwide trends in sustainable product development. As a core activity of the three U.S. workshops, the IDSA Environmental Responsibility Section has developed the Business-Ecodesign Toolkit, which has the goals of creating a pool of designers familiar with it, providing networking opportunities, and in general helping their businesses become more competitive.

A multi-stakeholder partnership between the U.S. EPA, the IDSA Design Foundation, and J. Ottman Consulting, Inc. is being funded by an Innovation Grant from the U.S. EPA. A member of the Industrial Designers Society of America, it is sponsored by Philips and the Hardwood Information Council. It is endorsed by the o2 Global Network of Green Designers. Media sponsors include Metropolis Magazine, Core77,,, I.D., and Raymond Communications.

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Alex Jones

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