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Rich WalthersI am Richard Walthers. That's me in the spotlight (sorry Mr. Stipe, I meant to say the photo at right) and I am the founder and informing spirit of PRAIRIE FISH.

When I was in graduate school, I worked on a special prairie restoration for the University of Illinois at Chicago to earn some money while studying for my masters degree in Native American history and philosophy. Immediately putting that degree to good use after graduation, I went to work as a research associate for a famous industrial design firm. Discovering design was an awakening as well as a revelation for me. It was a revelation because I had never thought much about design and particularly its ramifications to the environment. I had not realized that someone was responsible for designing every single thing we come in contact with every single moment of every single day of our lives until death do us part. It was an awakening because I discovered I had some innate design sense – not a lot, but some.

Little did I know that a few years later the convergence of these disparate, and somewhat bizarre set of circumstances would culminate in my formulation of a Native American-based design methodology, and the creation of what may be one of the earliest design firms dedicated solely to sustainable design – one that uses the prairie and laws of ecology as a design model for sustainable design practices.

So I guess Joseph Campbell was right ... it's the journey that counts. A few decades later, and here you are looking at this Web site and investigating my portfolio of various sustainable design and research projects that I have accomplished.

For over 20 years, I have developed expertise in sustainability issues, retail design, and green design techniques. I have been applying this knowledge to the design of experiential environments in various markets for a variety of what I call cult companies. Cult companies have incredibly loyal customers that not only fervently believe in what the company sells, but also demand a lot from these companies – always expecting them to do the right thing, be on mission, and live up to their ideals. I have been a pioneer in the use of sustainable design techniques and have consulted with a wide variety of socially and environmentally conscious clients including Ben & Jerry's, Great Harvest Bread Company, Market Day, Real Goods, Patagonia, Hallmark Cards, and several subsidiaries of VF Corporation.

I have been a spokesman for these new design methodologies and principles via seminars and speaking engagements. For a complete listing, check out the Events page of this web site. I have also taught design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lectured at the Cooper Hewitt Museum of the Smithsonian, Rochester Institute of Technology, Kendall College, Yale University, Archeworks, and others.

I have promoted the use of sustainable "green" design practices in many written articles. For a complete listing of my published articles and book reviews on environmental issues relating to culture and business, check out the Publications page of this web site.