Program Staff & Faculty

The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design (BSSD) is a truly interdisciplinary field of study. Faculty in the program ranges across environmental arts, social sciences, performing arts, and more.

Program Administrators

Faculty Committee

Aneesha Dharwadker

Assistant Professor, Illinois School of Architecture and Department of Landscape Architecture

Aneesha Dharwadker is an assistant professor of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her teaching and scholarship examine globalization, colonialism, and social issues in relation to the built environment. She is the founder of Chicago Design Office and editor of Transect, a journal of design criticism.

Connor O’Shea

Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture

Conor O’Shea is an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture. His design, research, and teaching focus on the urbanization of the hinterland, operational landscapes, logistics landscapes, and the geography of freight transportation in North America. He directs the Landscape Strategies Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is founding principal of Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape.

Eric Benson

Associate Professor, School of Art and Design

Eric Benson is an associate professor of the Graphic Design program in the School of Art and Design. He worked professionally as a UI/UX designer at Razorfish and Texas Instruments before he received his MFA in design from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. His MFA thesis became the internationally recognized and award-winning sustainable design website Re-nourish. He created the Fresh Press Agri-Fiber Paper Lab. Fresh Press explores the potential of papermaking to be zero waste, environmentally sustainable, and a catalyst for a thriving local economy. Benson has published and lectured internationally on the importance of sustainable design. His work has also garnered numerous design awards and has been seen in notable venues like the Walker Art Center, the Hammer Museum, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, RISD, and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. He is also an active participant in the national design scene and local Champaign community serving on the American Institute of Graphic Arts Design Educators Community and on the board of directors at 40North and Common Ground Food Co-op. Eric recently helped launch a new project for climate designers.

Fang Fang

Lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning

Fang Fang researches urban forests, land use, and environmental planning. She uses geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, machine learning, and spatial modeling to understand urban tree canopy and greenspace for environmental justice. She examines urban tree species distribution using high spatial resolution images, as well as object-based image analysis to describe urban tree health. She has taught courses in physical geography, GIS, making sustainable design studios, urban informatics, and data science for planners. Fang received her PhD in geography from West Virginia University in 2019. She earned her master’s degree in environmental engineering from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology and a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning and resource management from Beijing Forestry University.

Daniel Schneider

Past Sustainable Design Faculty Program Administrator
Retired Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Daniel Schneider was a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and faculty program coordinator for the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Design. He has been an ecologist and environmental historian whose research focused on the interrelations between natural and human systems in sustainable planning and management. He completed a book on the history of the biological sewage treatment plant that examined the interrelations between the “natural” and “artificial” in this critical infrastructure. He investigated the ecology and management of bed bugs in U.S. cities, examining bed bug infestations as an issue of environmental justice. His teaching covered ecological applications to planning, watershed planning, urban ecology, and environmental history. He is a furniture designer and maker, focusing on using locally and sustainably grown hardwoods.

Affiliated Faculty


  • Christina Bollo—green affordable housing and equity
  • Mohamed Boubekri—indoor environments, health, and sustainable architecture
  • Aaron Paul Brakke—public space design and design for climatic conditions
  • Benjamin Bross—urbanism and material culture
  • Sara Bartumeus Ferré—architecture and landscape architecture
  • Lynne Dearborn—health and equity
  • Ralph Hammann—energy and architectural design
  • Kevin Hinders—urbanism
  • Tait Johnson—history of architecture and materiality
  • Paul Hardin Kapp—historic preservation
  • Sudarshan Krishnan—lightweight and transformable structures
  • John C. Stallmeyer—history and theory of architecture
  • Mark Taylor—solar design and renewable materials

Art and Design

  • Teri Weissman—history of design
  • Billie Theide—sustainable materials, metals
  • Molly Briggs—design theory
  • Karin Hodgin Jones—digital art and sustainability
  • Deana McDonagh—empathic design
  • Chiara Vincenzi—sustainable fashion design


  • Jennifer Monson—urban ecologies and movement

Landscape Architecture

  • Brian Deal—sustainable planning and design, modeling, and climate
  • David L. Hays—landscape theory and history
  • Kelley Lemon, PLA, LEED AP, EDAC—vernacular design
  • Mary Pat McGuire—water and sustainable landscapes
  • Pollyanna Rhee—modern environmentalism
  • William C. Sullivan—landscapes and health
  • Stephen Sears—landscape design
  • D. Fairchild Ruggles—landscape history


  • Michael Silvers—traditional ecological knowledge and materials


  • Kim Curtis—sustainable theatre and costume design

Urban and Regional Planning

  • Arnab Chakraborty—land use and environmental planning
  • Lindsay Braun—sustainable transportation
  • Bumsoo Lee—land use and transportation
  • Fang Fang—geographic information systems and urban forest
  • Alice Novak—historic preservation
  • Lou Turner—community organizing
  • Magdalena Novoa—historic preservation
  • Dustin Allred—urban sustainability
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