View full story vmsdcia3.jpg


Apr 23, 2014

CIA grads win 25% of nation's top retail design honors

View details CIA's Traveling Sketchbooks make a last stop at MOCA


Mar 15, 2014 @ MOCA Cleveland in Cleveland, OH

CIA's Traveling Sketchbooks make a last stop at MOCA

View full story geemay.jpg


Apr 17, 2014

Design major gets zombie's reception at her former school

View details The Accident: Recent Work by Nicky Nodjoumi

cia exhibition

Mar 28, 2014

The Accident: Recent Work by Nicky Nodjoumi

View Link


about 3 hours ago via Facebook

CIA students presented NEO: A Runway Show in which they modeled wearables – in the form of accessories, design, and conceptual art – before nearly 200 audience members in CIA’s Reinberger Galleries last night. The award winners for the evening were Sculpture major Graham Baldwin, Best of Show; Jewelry + Metals major Hongzhe Ma, Best Accessory; and art education major Raisa E. Cabrera, Best Material and Technology.

View full story mcpbrianbendisfinalrmuller414.jpg


Apr 16, 2014

Alumnus and superhero comics writer Brian Bendis visits CIA

View details Dinner by Design – Art of the Table, and a runway show

cia exhibition

Mar 28, 2014

Dinner by Design – Art of the Table, and a runway show

View full story abbeyblake.jpg


Apr 15, 2014

Students win $11,000 in Dealer Tire art competition

View details 2014 Spring Design Show

cia exhibition

Apr 22, 2014 @ Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in Cleveland, OH

2014 Spring Design Show

View details picresized1396640639citizenkane2.jpg


Apr 22, 2014

4/24-27: Bernard Hermann weekend with CITIZEN KANE, MARNIE & more!

View full story princeton-reviewcopy.jpg


Aug 20, 2013

CIA named one of the "Best in the Midwest"

View details 2014 Spring Illustration + Animation Show

cia exhibition

Apr 22, 2014

2014 Spring Illustration + Animation Show

News . Feature Stories . Thinking Green: CIA hosted "Designing a Sustainable Cleveland"


November 17, 2011

Thinking Green: CIA hosted "Designing a Sustainable Cleveland"

Local designers come together to discuss sustainability.

Thinking Green: CIA hosted

The opportunity to listen to new ideas in sustainable design – and contribute ideas of their own – drew some 130 designers, design students, entrepreneurs and others to the Cleveland Institute of Art on October 26 for Cleveland’s first Designers Accord Town Hall.

The event, “Designing a Sustainable Cleveland,” was co-sponsored byCIA, smartshape design, the Northern Ohio chapter of IDSA, and the Cleveland chapter of AIGA, and featured brief talks by students and professionals working on projects ranging from public charging stations for plug-in vehicles to environmentally friendly courier bags. After the talks, participants broke into groups to brainstorm with the presenters and offer their own solutions to ongoing design questions.

Students Present Bright Ideas

CIA Industrial Design majors presented the concepts and prototypes they developed in response to a challenging assignment: re-design a standard consumer product for sustainability. They looked at materials used, number of parts, and packaging required, among other considerations. Alex Starinsky presented his “Amplifone,” an audio amplifier that uses no electronics, but relies on the curved surfaces of two porcelain cups. His prototype had the beauty of a sculptural object and he said he envisioned it would be treated as a family heirloom.

Savannah Eby’s “e.courier” is a messenger bag made from hemp, a biodegradeable material which she said grows using 30% less water than cotton. Beautifully styled, her bag also incorporates a bamboo base for stability.

Andrew Schad deconstructed a store-bought dehumidifier and found it had more than 125 parts, not including the compressor and condensor. His version would use thermoelectric technology, a heat sink and a cold sink, to compress the humidty from air without using toxic refrigerants. Water would collect in an elegant vase-like vessel that could be used to water houseplants.

Designers and Entrepreneurs Think Big... and Small

David Levine talked about the “ah-ha moment” that led him and a business partner to establish Wireless Environment LLC, a Chagrin Falls, Ohio company that manufactures battery-operated portable light-emitting diode (LED) consumer products. The company makes various ceiling lights, motion-sensing step lights, and outdoor security spotlights, and remote-control path lights. Levine noted that the efficiency of LED lights has increased expotentially in recent years and that pairing highly efficient LED lights with motion sensors means he can create a very green lighting solution: off-the-grid lights that are only on when they’re needed.

Looking ahead, he talked about what sounded like the Toyota Prius of lighting products: lights that will draw from the standard power grid during off-peak (cheap rate) hours and draw from rechargeable batteries during peak (expensive) hours.

In 2008, P.J. Doran co-founded of APOC (A Piece of Cleveland), which designs and constructs quality furnishings and accessories out of materials reclaimed from deconstructed buildings in the Cleveland area. He told the Designers Accord Town Hall participants that his current focus is on the small house movement, or microtecture. Inspired in part by Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House, P.J. is designing dwellings of 150- to 200-square feet. He envisions settlements of such dwellings surrounding community centers which will bring people together to meet daily needs.

The advantages of these very small houses include affordability of construction, low utility bills, low maintenance, and low impact on the land. His challenges include making such structures environmentally sustainable and appealing in design. He left the meeting with lots of suggestions and even some new sketches from participants.

According to Plug In America, "virtually every major auto manufacturer in the world, along with numerous smaller outfits, is developing a plug-in vehicle." When those vehicles hum off the assembly line and onto the American market, King Heiple will be ready. He founded his Solon, Ohio company, Recharge Power, three years ago in anticipation of the coming boom. Recharge Power produces charging stations for plug-in and hybrid vehicles that will be installed in commercial parking garages and surface lots.

But will plug-in and hybrid vehicles take off in America as long as gas prices remain relatively low and stable? Heiple will have to wait to find out, but he told the Town Hall that, as a true entrepreneur, he can handle that uncertainty. “I can tollerate a lot of ambiguity and stress and not knowing what’s next.”

Doug Paige, a CIA graduate and associate professor of industrial design, was the last of the professional presenters but addressed the environmental and social issue that may eventually eclipse all others: global access to clean drinking water. After presenting a few sobering statistics from Geography 101 – only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water; more than two-thirds of that is locked up in polar ice caps and glaciers while another 30% is ground water; 70% of the available fresh water is used for agriculture, and as many as 1 billion humans lack access to sufficient amounts of clean drinking water – Paige talked about his work to create efficient, small-scale desalination systems that mimic the principles of nature.

Paige is working on this project with classmates in the biomimicry certification program offered by the Biomimicry Institute. Asking participants to remember their high school lessons on the water cycle, Paige said the challenge is to devise ways that humans can use water and return it to the water cycle in good condition, “like a library book.”

“Designing a Sustainable Cleveland” was one of a series of Town Halls inspired by The Designers Accord, which describes itself as "a global coalition of designers, educators, and business leaders, working together to create positive environmental and social impact." The organization offers a toolkit for integrating sustainability into design education.

Anthony Buehrer, project manager/product designer at smartshape, served as emcee. He said the goals of the Designers Accord are to increase awareness in the creative community, evolve design education and support professional development, and influence policy through design thinking. Buehrer urged participant s to becomeDesigners Accord adoptees.

Read the event recap on

YouTube Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Flickr

Social Feed

Check out these innovative designs from CIA's student-run event, NEO: A Runway Show, last night:

about 2 hours ago via Twitter

Sign up for our alumni + friends newsletter



For more information about this or other CIA news, contact us here.

Read More

Pre-College Program

Sharpen your artistic skills at CIA's Pre-College Program this summer.

Read More

Nicky Nodjoumi and Dinner by Design exhibitions

CIA welcomes spring with two wildly different shows.

Read More

Cores + Connections

Learn more about CIA's proven method for academic and professional excellence.