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A Culture of Green


Yvette Perullo


Yvette Perullo is currently a full-time MFA student at Purdue University, as well as a Teaching Assistant. She was formerly an Art Director at Sage Systems in Boston MA and is currently a partner in Re-nourish, an online tool advocating awareness and action for sustainable systems thinking in the communication design community. Her partner at Re-Nourish is Eric Benson, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She explains: “We are, at the moment, just two people who want to make things better. We believe that 'good design' values people, the environment, and improves lives. Instead design is currently on an unsustainable path centered on overconsumption, waste and ignoring the natural systems around us. Re-nourish aims to help the practicing communication designer, educator and student make positive, greener and pragmatic design decisions. Working on Re-Nourish has allowed me to explore novel approaches to known problems. This sharing of knowledge and the fostering of innate talent is also what drives my academic passion for visual communications design. I am currently working on earning an MFA that will allow me to pursue my ultimate goal of teaching design at the college level — helping to integrate sustainable systems thinking into the foundation of visual communications design education.”

“My goal as a designer is to pursue the reduction of waste as a design concept and explore how I can lead students, clients and myself in re-thinking sustainable design. From my professional experience, I have found people very receptive to implementing sustainability into their projects. Clients are happy and pleasantly surprised when I can even cut costs by designing sustainably.”

Re-nourish.com is a tool and resource for helping visual communication designers integrate sustainable systems thinking into their projects. The overall mission is to mitigate the negative social and environmental impacts of the visual communication design community by facilitating sustainable decisionmaking throughout the design supply-chain. And as educators, Benson and Perullo note that they are aware of the need for more sustainable design and systems thinking in the design classroom. But they also consider the cost of delivering this message. The hosting of the re-nourish.com website requires a substantial amount of energy and resources. To minimize the energy consumption, Re-nourish is hosted with Dreamhost, a carbon-neutral green web-hosting company and a member of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program.

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