Dawn Danby has spent 13 years working across disciplines in sustainable design. Her projects have ranged from a tree-covered pedestrian bridge on the US-Canada border to closed-loop manufacturing strategies and furniture design. At Autodesk, Dawn leads the Sustainability Workshop, which provides free, lightweight videos and resources online to teach young engineers, designers, and architects the principles and practice of sustainable design. Dawn co-authored the bestselling sustainability book Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century. She has given dozens of talks around the world, spoke at TEDGlobal in 2005, and was recognized by Fast Company in 2009 as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. Dawn teaches in the Design Strategy MBA at the California College of Arts and is a board member at Catapult Design. She has an industrial design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.

_in life

I’ve paid the rent by hand-drawing precise anatomical illustrations, by creating teaching tools for engineers, and by advising companies on environmental impact. I was taught industrial design by elder craftsmen; I was taught business by people who sought to change how business is done. I’ve made stacks of sketchbooks. I teach sustainability to business students in a design school. I’m good with power tools. I believe in making as a way of learning. I believe in drawing and writing and building by hand. I have a passion for singing and fooling around on the piano. I grew up in Kingston, Ontario by a huge lake, and spent my childhood in French-Canadian schools. I've lived in Providence, Austin, Toronto, Seattle and San Francisco, with lengthy stopovers in rural New Hampshire and Maine, San Miguel de Allende, Milano and Savoie. I live in Oakland.

_reach me

Send me an email to talk about consulting projects:  


  • Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
  • INDEX: Award Finalist, Autodesk Sustainability Workshop   2011
  • Rising Talent, Women's Forum for Economy & Society (Deauville France)   2009
  • Fast Company Most Creative People in Business   2009
  • Metropolis NEXT Generation Competition Runner-Up    2007
  • Winner, RSA Design Directions/ Doors of Perception Competition (UK): Food Information Systems    2007
  • Selected Speaker, TEDGlobal, Oxford UK   2005
  • Competition Winner, with Noel Harding Studio Team: Ft. Lauderdale Airport Public Art Master Plan   2004
  • Viridian Design + Global Business Network Biofuture Competition Winner   2002
  • SXSWi Festival Web Design Competition Finalist, ‘Best Green/Non-Profit Site’   2002
  • Rachel Carson Environmental Award, RISD Department of Industrial Design   2000