Innovator Interview: The Benefits of Mistakes and Multiple Personalities
Dawn Danby – Sustainable Design Program Manager at Autodesk
An Industrial Designer merged with a Sustainability Consultant merged with an MBA: Meet Dawn Danby.
Another down to earth thought leader as part of our EbE Sustainable Innovators interview series, Dawn Danby explores the intersection of design, sustainability and business. Which is a fancy way of saying that she wants the things we make to benefit both people and the world.
In this interview Dawn shares the benefits of a diverse background, the upside of making mistakes and the importance for designers to look at the social sustainability context in which their environmental sustainability initiatives lives. An early game changer to the sustainability space, Dawn remans excited by the possibilities that design presents.
An industrial designer by training, she’s a boundary-spanner and synthesist who has acted as a cross-disciplinary designer, strategist, art director, project manager, producer and artist. She currently manages Autodesk’s Sustainable Design Program, integrating sustainable thinking into the digital tools used by 9 million designers and engineers worldwide.
Through Autodesk’s Education Program – Sustainability Workshop – Dawn is now connecting withstudents putting tools for change – and a dose of inspiration – in their hands.
Dawn holds a design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design (2000), and an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (2007). She apprenticed in green building and policy with the Fisk-Vittori team at CMPBS, and in furniture design with Macek Furniture. She collaborated with international artist Noel Harding on Windsor, Ontario’s Green Corridorinitiative, where she helped teach an interdisciplinary course at the University of Windsor. She designed a $3.5M tree-covered, wind-powered pedestrian bridge on the US-Canada border, has developed closed-loop manufacturing strategies for a leading outdoor footwear manufacturer, and helped establish a public art master plan for a major American airport. Dawn was also one of the founding writers behind Worldchanging.