Regenerative Design

Bringing nature's processes and human awareness to the design process

Using nature's principles

  • Process Orientation

  • Systems Thinking

  • Biomimicry

  • Permaculture

  • Mindfulness in Design

  • Consciousness, Presence

  • Collective Imagination


Deep Nature Awareness

Holistic Orientation

Somatic Awareness



  • Landscape Architecture
  • Food, Energy, Water Systems
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Environmental Sustainability and Human Life

Source: Development of a Regenerative Design Model for Building Retrofits - Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: [accessed 7 Jan, 2018]


RD 501: Introduction to Regenerative Design (2 credits)

Regenerative Design is a process-oriented systems theory-based approach to the design and manufacturing of specific goods and services. The term “regenerative design” describes the processes that restore, renew or revitalize sources of energy and materials, thereby creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature. This course orients students (i.e., colleagues) to the operational distinctions between closed-loop versus open-loop systems. Program participants also examine the distinctions between sustainable design and regenerative design (i.e., planning for the future co-existence and co-evolution of humankind and other species within diverse environmental settings). Course content integrates units of study on topics such as Integrated Ecological Design, the Science and Art of Place, and the Science of Living Systems. Program participants also engage in selected case study analyses of regenerative design projects that mimic ecosystems in which organic (biotic) and synthetic (abiotic) material are metabolized and metamorphosized into new sustainable materials.

RD 502: Whole Systems Thinking (2 credits)

As an operational framework, Whole Systems Thinking is a syncretization of the concepts, tools and methodologies of systems thinking, and the vision, values and philosophy of ecological thought. Its core assumption – derived from general systems theory and cybernetics - is self-regulation. i.e. the notion that systems self-correct through feedback. Self-regulating systems are found in nature in the form of physiological systems of the body, in local and global ecosystems, in climate systems, and in human learning processes.

Program participants will explore Whole Systems Thinking as transdisciplinary and multi-perspective domains that integrate the principles and concepts from General system theory, cybernetics, information theory, theories of games, of decisions, ecologism, chaos theory etc.

RD 503: Biomimicry Design (2 credits)

By definition, Biomimetics is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems. Biomimetics has given rise to numerous new technologies inspired by biological solutions at the macro and nanoscale levels. Program participants will effect a close reading and explication of the works of Otto Schmitt (In Appreciation, A Lifetime of Connections, 1963) and Janine Benyus (Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, 1997) as a model, measure, and “mentor” for designing sustainable projects and products. Students (i.e., colleagues) will be oriented to the process of biomorphic mineralization, a technique that produces materials with morphologies and structures resembling those of living organisms by using selected bio-structures as design templates to address complex social, engineering, construction, and economic issues.

RD 504: Mindfulness and Creativity (2 credits)

In this course, program participants explore the relationship among mindfulness, meditation, and the “quiet mind”, which results in creating space(s) for new metacognitive and cognitive processes, generating ideas, and promulgating a more enlightened level of consciousness. Students engage in selected open-minded meditation strategies to induce a control state that promotes divergent thinking, reduces cognitive and meta-cognitive rigidity, and increases the potential for generating novel ideas and adaptive innovations to perplexing social, environmental, educational, political, and economic problems. In essence, the open-minded meditative practices will enable students to access their creative “voice” and embrace a more spontaneous way of being in life, knowing, and experiencing the full spectrum of their epistemology.

RD 505: Consciousness and Sustainability (2 credits)

The overarching goal of this course is to educate, communicate, and nurture program participants’ self-expression and social evolution by advocating and enacting the principles of regenerative design and regenerative sustainability. Ultimately, an awakened humanity in harmony with nature will advance a Postmodern Ecological Worldview (PEW) and engender greater operational coherence and synergy. Program participants are oriented to the enlightenment processes of Appreciative Inquiry (D. Cooperrider) that ignite the collective imagination of a higher consciousness, and to Otto Scharmer’s concept of “presencing” - - strategies for engaging the Postmodern Ecological Worldview that utilizes regenerative design as the fulcrum for “self-actualizing society by awakening the power of each individual’s commitment and declaration to positive social, economic, educational, and political change.

RD 506: Regenerative Design Studio (2 credits)

The Design Studio course was created to facilitate collaborative instruction and promote community-based learning within a laboratory setting, and across regenerative design constructs that are cross-disciplinary in nature and scope. The impetus for this innovative laboratory design is to provide an academic-based alternative to the traditional, outdated models of design thinking and practice (i.e., Design Studio models that operate as isolated professional design silos). In response to the complexity and breadth of sustainable design issues, this program’s Design Studio course will orient program participants to innovative emerging and integrative regenerative design practices that are grounded in hands-on studio and community-based sustainability projects.


Gianna Iannucci, MA

Gianna is a science teacher at Mercy High School in Middletown, CT with an educational background that includes a B.A with a double major in biology and chemistry and minor in the humanities, an M.S.(ABD) in Neurophysiology with an emphasis on marine zoology, and an M.A. in Consciousness Studies, and an ED.S. in Educational Leadership Management and Policy from Seton Hall University. She has developed curriculum in Astronomy and Cosmology, Neuroscience, and Medical Botany. She has also taught at the University of New Hampshire, Quinnipiac University, and Albertus Magnus College. She previously was a museum educator at Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum, and is a registered herbalist. Currently she is also working on projects in education as a consultant for the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame.

Being a teacher in different capacities over the past twenty-five years, she has become firm in her dedication to empowering young women and men to see the magnificence of the natural world, to have confidence in their abilities and gifts, and to succeed in authoring their lives.

Program Coordinator

Bonnitta Roy, MA

Bonnitta Roy is an independent scholar, international presenter and award-winning author. Before earning her masters degree at TGI, she was already considered a pioneer in her process approach to evolutionary theories of consciousness. She won an award by identifying the key characteristics of a new mind which we can see emerging with the complexity sciences today. She applies her models to help organizations become more open and participatory, enabling workplaces to become more authentic to the whole experience of being human. She is passionate about the living world of animals and nature, as mutual participants with us in the unfolding of our planetary potential.

Core Faculty