Design for Ronda, Spain, by Melika Hajishafieiha
Program Administrators

Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and International Education, College of Fine and Applied Arts

Nicole Turner is assistant dean of academic programs and international education for the College of Fine and Applied Arts and supports the administration of the Sustainable Design Program. She received her PhD in higher education from the University of Illinois, an MEd in counseling and career development from Colorado State University, and a BA in psychology with an environmental sciences minor from Northern Illinois University. As an undergraduate she studied abroad at the Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences in Sicily, Italy, where she focused on Mediterranean ecosystems. Nicole supports sustainability initiatives in her daily life and enjoys learning about the incredible design projects our faculty have led.

Sustainable Design Faculty Program Administrator
Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Daniel Schneider is a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and faculty program coordinator for the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design. He is an ecologist and environmental historian whose research focuses on the interrelations between natural and human systems in sustainable planning and management. He has recently completed a book on the history of the biological sewage treatment plant that examines the interrelations between the "natural" and "artificial" in this critical infrastructure. He is currently working on an interdisciplinary project on the ecology and management of bed bugs in U.S. cities, examining bed bug infestations as an issue of environmental justice. His teaching covers ecological applications to planning, watershed planning, urban ecology, and environmental history. He is also a furniture designer and maker, focusing on using locally and sustainably grown hardwoods.

Faculty Committee

Assistant Professor, Illinois School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture

Aneesha Dharwadker is an assistant professor of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her teaching and scholarship examine globalization, colonialism, and social issues in relation to the built environment. She is the founder of Chicago Design Office and editor of Transect, a journal of design criticism. 

Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture

Conor O'Shea is an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture. His design, research, and teaching focus on the urbanization of the hinterland, operational landscapes, logistics landscapes, and the geography of freight transportation in North America. He directs the Landscape Strategies Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is founding principal of Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape.

Associate Professor, School of Art and Design
Past Chair of the Graphic Design Program

Eric Benson is an associate professor and chair of the Graphic Design Program in the School of Art and Design. He worked professionally as a UI/UX designer at Razorfish and Texas Instruments before he received his MFA in design from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. His MFA thesis became the internationally recognized and award-winning sustainable design website Re-nourish. He created the Fresh Press Agri-Fiber Paper Lab. Fresh Press explores the potential of papermaking to be zero waste, environmentally sustainable, and a catalyst for a thriving local economy. Benson has published and lectured internationally on the importance of sustainable design. His work has also garnered numerous design awards and has been seen in notable venues like the Walker Art Center, the Hammer Museum, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, RISD, and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. He is also an active participant in the national design scene and local Champaign community serving on the American Institute of Graphic Arts Design Educators Community and on the board of directors at 40North and Common Ground Food Co-op. Eric recently helped launch a new project for climate designers.

Affiliated Faculty

AnnaMarie Bliss—historic preservation

Christina Bollo—green affordable housing and equity

Mohamed Boubekri—indoor environments, health, and sustainable architecture

Aaron Paul Brakke—regenerative ecological design

Lynne Dearborn—health and equity

Sara Bartumeus Ferré—architecture and landscape architecture

Ralph Hammann—energy and architectural design

Kevin Hinders—urbanism

Tait Johnson—history of architecture and materiality

Paul Hardin Kapp—historic preservation

Sudarshan Krishnan—lightweight and transformable structures

John C. Stallmeyer—history and theory of architecture

Mark Taylor—solar design and renewable materials

Molly Briggs—design theory

Karin Hodgin Jones—digital art and sustainability

Deana McDonagh—empathic design

Chiara Vincenzi—sustainable fashion design

Jennifer Monson—urban ecologies and movement

Brian Deal—sustainable planning and design, modeling, and climate

David L. Hays—landscape theory and history

Mary Pat McGuire—water and sustainable landscapes

D. Fairchild Ruggles—landscape history

Stephen Sears—landscape design

William C. Sullivan—landscapes and health

Michael Silvers—traditional ecological knowledge and materials

Kim Curtis—sustainable theatre and costume design

Dustin Allred—urban sustainability

Lindsay M. Braun—sustainable transportation

Arnab Chakraborty—land use and environmental planning

Fang Fang—geographic information systems and urban forest

Sean Kennedy—energy transition planning

Bumsoo Lee—land use and transportation

Alice Novak—historic preservation

Magdalena Novoa—historic preservation

Hugo Sarmiento—planning for climate change and natural disasters