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"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."      – Albert Einstein


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Project Goals & Outcomes

The "Project Description" provides and overview of the team goals, process, and outcomes. 


College of Design

The "College of Design Seed Grant" provides funding to foster collaboration and to explore the intersections across design disciplines and issues.


Fall Expert Conversations

Sonja Bochart, Principal, Shepley Bulfinch, Boston, MA

Sonja Bochart’s background in creating meaningful and healthy spaces can be found in her over 20 year of experience as a designer; shaping spaces for connection, healing and overall well-being. She is a Principal with Shepley Bulfinch and also provides consulting services through Lens Strategy, a consulting studio within Shepley Bulfinch.  With her design, approach and workshops informed much in part by her expertise as a certified master-level yoga teacher and Reiki master, she brings a unique, effective and thoughtful approach in mindfulness for the projects. Sonja partners with leading researchers, architects, landscape designers and other professionals, continuing to help evolve and expand the research and metrics that is relevant to the value of wellness, and of well-designed spaces leading to overall human well-being. (

Bill Browning, Founding Partner, Terrapin Bright Green, Washington DC

Bill Browning is one of the green building and real estate industry’s foremost thinkers and strategists, and an advocate for sustainable design solutions at all levels of business, government, and civil society. His expertise has been sought out by organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 companies, leading universities, non-profit organizations, the U.S. military and foreign governments. Bill was a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Board of Directors, and served as Chair of USGBC’s Governance Committee. In 2006, Bill founded Terrapin with longtime partners Bob Fox, Rick Cook and Chris Garvin. He is co-author, with Catherine Ryan and Joseph Clancy, of the “14 Patterns of Biophilic Design”. This design resource articulates the relationship between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment so that we may experience the human benefits of biophilia in our design applications. (

Richard Graves, Director and Associate Professor, Center for Sustainable Building Research

Richard is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Building Research and an associate professor in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.  From 2012 to 2014, he was the Executive Director of the International Living Future Institute, leading the operations and strategic efforts around all of the Institute's signature programs. His research focuses on regenerative design as a fundamentally new approach that must be required of architecture across scales (from the building to the neighborhood to the city) to achieve sustainable and resilient urban development in a dynamic world. (

Lauren Mandel, Associate and Integrative Researcher, Andropogon

Lauren Mandel, PLA, ASLA is an associate and integrative researcher at Andropogon, where she works to advance the field of landscape architecture by integrating interdisciplinary collaboration and fringe solutions into professional practice. During her 15 years of practice, Lauren supported diverse clients including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Drexel University, and U.S. General Services Administration. She is a leading expert on green roofs, and in 2013 authored “EAT UP: The inside Scoop on Rooftop Agriculture” (New Society Publishers), the first full-length book about rooftop food production. Lauren also studies the social, environmental, and financial performance of Andropogon’s built landscapes, and in 2017 authored the Site Commissioning White Paper (U.S. General Services Administration), a federal, policy tool aimed at elevating the value of landscapes. Her work earned the 2019 ASLA Award of Excellence in Research. Lauren holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Environmental Science  (