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Ecosa Institute

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Education, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Secondary & High Schools, Vocational & Technical Schools

Mission: The mission of the Ecosa Institute is to restore health to the natural environment, and thus the human environment, through education in design. Our vision is of a world that blends the ethical and ecological values critical to the health of the environment with the vitality and dynamism of the design arts.

Results: More than 300 students of all ages and backgrounds have received a Certificate in Regenerative Ecological (RE-) Design since Ecosa's inception in 2000. Nationally-noted guest speakers have enlightened students in the areas of ecology, environmental impacts, alternative energy and whole systems, architecture and alternative building systems, and city, urban, interior, communication, and product design- all with the message of designing sustainable and regenerative solutions to the issues of today. Field trips to Arizona's natural and architectural wonders teach students about the effects of climate change on ancient cultures, the honored place water holds in the Hopi culture, future urban design ideas, and rainwater harvesting in the desert, as well as aboriginal living skills and a sense of tribe.

Target demographics: educate future change agents

Direct beneficiaries per year: Coalition for Compassion and Justice homeless shelters

Geographic areas served: ecological design

Programs: a Certificate in Regenerative Ecological (RE-) Design earned through experiential and hands-on learning of design and designing with nature to provide sustainable and regenerative solutions to problems of the 21st century.

Community Stories

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Former staff

Rating: 5

I was one of the founders of Ecosa in 1999-2000 and built the organization up until I left in 2005. I still go to local Ecosa events and see that Ecosa is sill one of the most progressive and cutting edge sustainable design education non-profits I am aware of. The students I have met and the work I have seen is consistently top notch. The personal conversations I have with the students there always confirms that Ecosa is changing peoples lives and bringing a new ethic of integrity and quality of work to the future problem solvers and designers of our world. Not only this, but Ecosa has managed to expand its outreach and affect in a down economy by adding a professional design arts studio as well that is integrated with the non-profit educational arm of the institute giving students real world experience. THis is true education. Its not the big institutions that need support and recognition, its the smaller ones, like Ecosa, that are able to respond quickly to our changing world, and that are free from large beurocracy to change and experiment with appropriate and timely pedogogy, organizations like the Ecosa Institute.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This experience really changed my life. I feel very connected with the alternative/ecological design world. My professor, Antony Brown, especially inspired me through his knowledge, background and positive energy. I would do this program again in a hot minute.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ecosa was a wonderful educational experience. A collection of like-minded students and professionals in pursuit of environmentally conscientious design strategies. The caliber of professionals we had as teachers and lecturers was absolutely phenomenal; an experience that has been inspirational in my career and made (who I expect will be) lifelong friends.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program has changed my life. It is a school whose radical philosophy is revolutionizing the design field. If all of the other architecture schools required this program we would have a very different society. This program strives and succeeds in creating a much better relationship between humanity and the environment.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in the Ecosa semester intensive as part of my undergraduate degree. Practical tools for the design of human dwelling were explored alongside philosophies of sustainability. The experience left me with a complex understanding of the forces changing our planet today, a desire to work for conditions where life flourishes (human and otherwise), and many methods for doing so. The faculty are gifted designers, as architects and as educators. The combination of readings, discussions, design projects, field trips, and the excellent sequence of lectures is well-balanced, lively, fascinating, and informative. Only after the semester had ended was I able to look back and realize how well crafted the curriculum is. The intelligence and good hearts that make Ecosa are more valuable than I can say.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a graduate of Ecosa, I've found the material and design process to be leaps and bounds ahead of what I've encountered in the

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This program is truly amazing. It transforms young intellectuals into the environmental leaders of the future. Breathtaking curricula and experiential learning.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a proud alumni of the second graduating class and can state with confidence that my experience at ECOSA has enriched my career and life tremendously.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Proud alumni to an amazing establishment. My training at ECOSA revolutionized my approach to life and practice in field of specialty. The program left me empowered to share my experience others.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough positive things about Ecosa to convey the worth of the education I received during my time in the program. I built a more holistic understanding of sustainability and how we might achieve it during my time at the institute than in my four years as an environmental studies major at a large university. Ecosa is committed to true, deep green solutions that really get at the root of the issue and change it for the better. Their non-linear approach to education that is heavily experiential engages all five of your senses to understand our current dilemma. With an understanding of the problems at hand Ecosa then teaches you to literally think differently when crafting solutions so to break free of our problematic paradigms of the present. In a intimate setting the program provides the opportunity to rub elbows with the pioneers and rising stars of the sustainable design field such as Sim Van der Ryn, Pliny Fisk, David Orr and Steve Badanes to name only a few. I would highly recommend the Ecosa experience to anyone who wants to make an impactful change for a better future, no matter your field of emphasis.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

ECOSA is an educational experience that far exceeds the typical university experience. It gets you to think about the world and your place in it, in a way that enables you to become a better designer. Highly recommended!

8

Former Volunteer

Rating: 4

Ecosa was a great learning environment for me. I knew I needed to learn more about sustainable design in-between undergraduate and graduate school, and this was the perfect fit for me. I am certain that the studio project was a big reason on why I was accepted into the numerous prestigious graduate programs that I had applied to. I can't say enough good things about this program, I am a proud alumni.