• Tishman Environment and Design Center

  • Tishman Environment and Design Center

    The Tishman Environment and Design Center (TEDC) fosters the integration of bold design, policy, and social justice approaches to environmental issues to advance just and sustainable outcomes in the context of diverse community participation.

    From its inception in 2005, the Tishman Environment & Design Center (TEDC) has played a vital role at The New School and has contributed greatly to University’s environmental philosophy, most notably through the launch of an interdisciplinary undergraduate Environmental Studies degree program that has provided students from three divisions a wide array of academic experiences and supported internships.

    TEDC has also played an active role in applying the University’s design and social justice tenants to the climate change movement, including the launch of the University’s first Climate Action Week as a lead up to the People’s Climate March, the largest climate protest in history. TEDC continues this momentum with a renewed and expanded vision to address the increasingly urgent need to integrate design and environment to confront climate change and its impacts on social justice; to foster efforts that enhance urban resilience; and to provide New School faculty, students, and staff opportunities for interdisciplinary research, teaching, practice, and environmental citizenship at a new level of intensity and on a wider range of issues.


    Director, Michelle DePass

    Director Emeritus, Joel Towers

    Administrator-at-Large, Tokombo Shobowale

    Affiliated Faculty

    Our affiliated faculty bring expertise and experience from multiple schools and divisions of The New School, including Parsons, The Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, The New School for Public Engagement and Eugene Lang Liberal Arts College.


    The New School and TEDC continues to push the bar on innovative ways to apply design, policy and social justice approaches to environmental issues. A few examples of such projects are listed below: 

    Corbin Hill Food Project 

    For years, parts of the South Bronx, Harlem and Washington Heights were known as “food deserts”—neighborhoods lacking access to fresh produce. Now, thanks to Dennis Derryck, professor of professional practice at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, and the Corbin Hill Food Project, those neighborhoods are no longer starved for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. Read more here

    Sustainable Fashion

    Zero waste fashion design represents a drastic change from contemporary design practices. For years, Timo Rissanen, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons, has researched the field and recently curated an installation and performance piece that advocates for sustainable changes to the fashion industry. Read more here

    Campus Sustainability 

    The New School received a STARS Silver Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), in recognition of the university's achievements in sustainability. STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Read more here

    See related articles: Inside The New School's University Center: Students Foster Sustainable Behavior ,University Center: Green to its Core

    Community Leadership

    Michelle DePass, the Tishman Professor of Environmental Policy and Management and Dean of Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy continues to share her expertise in climate justice and equity across the country. These events include the Making Cities I³: Innovation, Incubation, Inclusion Third International Symposium (New York, NY), Advancing Equity and Sustainability: Community Based Strategies for Resilience and Renewal (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and the US Human Rights Network 2014 Regional Meeting & Hearing (New Orleans, LA). 

    See related articles: Ana Baptista: "Children of Color Are the Most At-Risk Victims of Pollution"Timon McPhearson: The City's Jungles, Not Quite Concrete

    Climate Action Week @ The New School

    The New School demonstrates our commitment to climate action and our solidarity with people converging on New York City for the historic People’s Climate March on September 21 with a week-long series of events focused on climate change. As a leader and official endorser of the March, The New School’s Climate Action Week includes a perse set of programming directed towards the university and wider community for enriched learning and engagement opportunities, scholarship, innovation and creativity, solidarity and collective action, and highlighting New School’s values around climate justice and action.

    See related articles: People's Climate Climate Ambassadors Symposium This Changes Everything with Naomi Klein , Climate Week Popup WorkshopsMSNBC: The Climate Change Generation Finds Its VoiceKickoff to Climate Action MarchRally Address, #FrackOff


    Choices Conference: How everyday decisions can make a lasting impact
    February 6 - 7, 2015

    Join the Sustainable Cities Club of The New School and business leaders of Wyndham hotels, Jones Lang Lasalle, Telepan restaurant and Helpsy fashion to discuss where New York City stands as a sustainable city, what opportunities exist to fill a market demand and how we form municipal policies to increase the City’s sustainability and resiliency. 

    Women, Climate Change and Cities
    March 5, 2015  at 4pm 

    This event will focus on women’s role in raising awareness as well as providing solutions to climate change issues specifically in the urban environment. Participants will examine what women have brought to the table in the climate movement as well as the specific benefits of having a gendered approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, namely, in terms of disaster risk recovery, green jobs and urban infrastructure such as public transport. 

    March 20, 2015 at 7pm

    To commemorate the six month anniversary of the People's Climate March, TEDC will host an important event with key climate justice community leaders to discuss approaches to keep the march moving onward. The panel will highlight community leaders that participated in the People's Climate March and the New School's Climate Action Week. 

    TEDC Inaugural Earth Day Celebration
    April 22, 2015 

    In celebration of Earth Day, TEDC will facilitate a full day of programming designed to stimulate thought and facilitate action around solutions to complex environmental issues at The New School and in the greater New York City community.  The day will include a panel discussion featuring University faculty and community leaders, a series of lectures and media launch.