Field Notes



A 15 Year Design Retrospective
of The Ecology Center

From our inception, The Ecology Center recognized the power of design, not merely as an aesthetic, but as a compass pointing toward change. In a world rife with distractions, design emerges as a clarion call.

When our journey began in 2008, David Rager–a cherished friend and stellar designer–imbued our vision with an identity, breathing life into everything from our brand aesthetics to educational exhibits. He didn’t just design, he channeled the essence of our mission, ensuring we extended our reach beyond the already initiated. Our goal was never to preach to the choir, but to welcome everyone in their own relationship of how they may participate in ecological stewardship. It’s always been about showing the beauty inherent in cherishing our planet and community.

A pivotal moment of inspiration came from an exhibition at the UN in NYC titled “Nine Planets Wanted.” It showcased the transformative power of design, prompting introspection and urging action. Soon after, our paths intertwined with the brilliant minds behind the exhibition, Nereo Zago and Manuel Toscano from Zago. Collaboratively we embarked on projects like “How Good Water Works” in partnership with Hurley International, an endeavor that was lauded with Gold at the IDSA awards, later journeying to European Audiences.

Posters laid on a wooden table featuring colorful fruit designs.

The early years were instrumental, anchoring our commitment to intertwining design with advocacy. For a decade and a half, we’ve seamlessly woven design thinking into every aspect of our outreach — be it programs, print, digital interfaces, or tangible experiences. As we step back to appreciate this 15-year journey, we’re filled with gratitude for the artists who’ve spun their brilliance into our cause. Immense thanks to David Rager, Nereo Zago, Cody Hudson, Katie Hibbard, Casey Andrews and all the gifted souls who’ve lent their passion and talents to our unfolding story.