“Sustainable design is smart design.” –Dion Zuess, ecoLingo
Zuess applies this catch phrase to all aspects of her work, whether she is using design ecology or systems methodology in a project for a client, consulting or expert-sourcing for a non-profit or Fortune 500 company, or writing, editing or teaching sustainable design.
She has over a decade of experience in eco design and visual communications. She is a green advocate and educator who believes designers have a unique opportunity to integrate talent, communication strategies, and social responsibility. Her studio, ecoLingo, is dedicated to green design, blending design ecology, style, and sustainability.
Zuess knows firsthand how greening one’s workflow and business in an authentic way creates new opportunities. Her knowledge and experience draw clients from across the country who are not only looking for meaningful design, but who are also seeking guidance to ensure that their project matches or exceeds their environmental goals and values. Zuess works with like-minded clients such as EFFECT Partners, Reverb and Billboard Music Award/ Grammy nominee Jack Johnson, who inspires his fans with his environmental commitment, especially while on tour.
Over the years, Zuess has seen her role expand from designer to educator to change-agent. She is regularly asked to guest speak or teach about eco design and act as a sustainability consultant for various organizations. As part of education and awareness efforts, she writes and contributes to articles and books on sustainability and design thinking. Zuess is a faculty member and course developer for MCAD’s groundbreaking Sustainable Design Online (SDO) Master’s Program.
Zuess has received an American Graphic Design Award for excellence in communication from Graphic Design USA, and has been nominated as a candidate for a Communications Design Award as part of the prestigious Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s National Design Awards program.
Her work has been published in a variety of publications, including GDUSA and The Big Book of Green Design. Recently she was asked to be a contributing author/contributing associate editor for the book Sustainable Graphic Design: Tools, Systems and Strategies for Innovative Print Design. In addition to writing about paper and inks, Zuess was invited by editor Wendy Jedlicka to contribute a chapter on green business practices. From there, her “Working Smarter” chapter became the basis of a new course offering in MCAD’s SDO program. Since then, Zuess has developed other courses, including part 1 of the Graduate Sustainability Thesis Project” and “Citizen Design,” which explores ways that designers can play a vital role in social, political or cultural change.