Shaun O'Rourke, director of Sustainable Design at The Boston Architectural College, returned last week from Hiroshima, Japan, where he was invited to speak at an international sustainability conference. Shaun presented Optimizing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in the Built Environment, an exploration of strategies for developing high performance ecological landscapes in the urban environment.
The annual conference, The International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, provides an interdisciplinary forum for scholars, teachers, and practitioners with a shared interest in sustainability as it relates to the intersection of environmental, cultural, economic, and social concerns.
"As the sustainable design programs at the BAC continue to increase their global presence, this was a tremendous opportunity to represent the College at a very well respected international forum," said Shaun.
Through the School of Design Studies, the BAC offers graduate and undergraduate degrees with concentrations in sustainable design. The Master of Design Studies (MDS) in Sustainable Design is offered in a low-residency format that includes online learning and brief periods of intensive study in Boston. The Bachelor of Design Studies (BDS) in Sustainable Design is focused on applied learning and provides a solid foundation across design disciplines, and was recently recognized by Azure Magazine for innovation in design education.
Shaun O'Rourke is an urban ecologist and designer with specialization in sustainable, urban land planning. The major focus of his work is how design and ecology can be monitored and optimized over time to increase the overall environmental health of a region. He previously worked at AECOM in New York City as an ecological designer and at the United States Forest Service in Syracuse, New York. He has worked on numerous public and private development and ecological restoration projects around the world as a sustainability specialist among multidisciplinary teams. He holds a MLA from State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a BS from the University of Vermont.