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The following is a listing of Richard Walther's speaking engagements:

Developing Markets for Recycled Materials
Illinois Recycling Association Annual Conference – Alsip, IL
June 12-14, 2006
Will talk about developing markets for recycled materials beyond just the current uses in interior environment applications.
Integrated Not Isolated
Neocon - Chicago, IL
June 14, 2005
This presentation reviewed integrating design approaches on design projects, such as employing green materials and techniques, and cross-pollinating design techniques from other experiential environments into the retail environment. He co-presented with Kevin Snow, Project Designer from Ravenswood Studio in Chicago, IL.
Green Is Not Brown: Designing With Recycled Materials
Illinois Recycling Association Annual Conference – Bloomingdale, IL
June 8, 2004
Utilizing recycled materials in contract design applications not generally associated with recycling was the focus of this lecture. The evolution of recycled materials from the back lot to the high status of contract design was also discussed.
Midwest Summit on the Sustainable Redevelopment of Brownfields
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Chicago, IL
June 26, 2003
Helped to facilitate a charrette on sustainable rehabilitation of buildings on brownfield sites using appropriate LEED standards as a guide.
Green Is Not Brown
Illinois Recycling Association Annual Conference – Urbana, IL
June 24, 2003
Utilizing recycled materials in contract design applications not generally associated with recycling was the focus of this lecture. The evolution of recycled materials from the back lot to the high status of contract design was also discussed.
Using Sustainable Design Principles for Retail Environments
IIDEX/NeoCon Canada – Toronto, Canada
September 20, 2002
Explained how to make more of retail project objectives by identifying initiatives that can improve overall sustainability, specifically in the areas of green building practices and environmentally responsible design. He reviewed some sustainable products and materials and examined them in the context of specific projects for environmentally conscious retailers such as Ben & Jerry's, Real Goods, and Patagonia.
Sustainable Design Principles for Retail Environments
International Academy of Design and Technology – Chicago, IL
September 12, 2002
This lecture to students reviewed the background of sustainable design, the importance of spirituality in green design, and provided examples from the PRAIRIE FISH portfolio.
Using an Organic Design Methodology to Create Sustainable Design Project Results
Neocon 2002 – Chicago, IL
June 11, 2002
Presented this lecture at Neocon 2002 in Chicago. He discussed an organic design methodology, based on natural models, that provides a description of pathways to sustainability. He emphasized how we as designers have a moral and ethical obligation to the environment to follow these pathways and create design projects which are sustainable.
Sustainability in Product Design
Neocon 2001 – Chicago, IL
June 19, 2001

Presented this interactive lecture at Neocon 2001 in Chicago. This presentation was based on current product design methodologies and the latest advancements in material development. This lecture covered the following topics:

  • The history of industrial design/product design and why designers have been resistant to sustainability issues.
  • How sustainability can be affected through legislative and regulatory change and how pioneers or renegades have already begun the process of change.
  • The two core concepts of sustainable product design: design for disassembly and design for upgradeability.
  • Current examples of sustainable products, and how natural solutions can guide us to further product design solutions.
  • A presentation of pathways to sustainability within product design, and how we as designers have a moral and ethical obligation to the environment to follow these pathways.
Panel Discussion: The Future of Sustainability
EnvironDesign 5 – Atlanta, GA
April 26, 2001
Moderated this panel discussion on sustainability. Panelists included: Mac Bridger, CEO, Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings; John Schaeffer, founder and executive director, Solar Living Institute and founder and CEO, Real Goods; Eva Maddox, principal, Eva Maddox & Associates; Lee Hatcher, executive director, Sustain Seattle; Andrea Traber, vice president, Van der Ryn Architects.
LEED and the "Greening of Industry"
Chicago Chapter of the IIDA (International Interior Design Association) – Chicago, IL
February 26, 2001
This lecture explained the LEED rating system and discussed the greening of industry. This event was sponsored by Collins & Aikman Floor coverings.
Sustainability: How Can You Make Your Construction and Maintenance Programs Greener?
2000 Energy & Technical Services Conference – San Diego, CA
September 18, 2000
This presentation at the 2000 Energy and Technical Services Conference, which was sponsored by Food Marketing Institute, covered energy efficiency and green design techniques that retail food merchants could implement at their businesses.
The Greening of Design
Neocon – Chicago, IL
June 14, 2000
Delivered this lecture, sponsored by Kendall College of Art and Design, as part of "Interact with the Stars 2000 at Neocon" – a four-day intensive program of lectures by renowned designers.
Many Shades of Green Exhibition
Archeworks – Chicago, IL
May 14, 2000 to August 15, 2000
Served as a team facilitator/teacher at Archeworks, an alternative design school dedicated to socially responsible and sustainable design initiatives. PRAIRIE FISH designed and curated the "Many Shades of Green Exposition” in Chicago which opened on May 14, 2000 at Archeworks. The exhibition traveled to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and to Ball State University.
The Good in Nature and Humanity: Connecting Science, Religion, and the Natural World
Yale University – New Haven, CT
May 11-14, 2000
Was a Panelist on Sim Van der Ryn's table at this conference, which is a collaborative effort of the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Yale University Divinity School, the Wilderness Society, and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment.
Retail Design and Planning: Green Purchasing Options
SPECS 2000 Conference – Orlando, FL
February 29, 2000
Gave this presentation at Chain Store Age's annual conference for large retail chains construction and development management. The presentation covered a review of green design theory and green materials appropriate for the retail environment.
"Dare to Excel" Fashion Show
Sponsored by Teknion, Inc.
Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art – Chicago, IL
June 11, 2000
Was one of a group of architects and designers who served as "models" of sports apparel used in extreme sports, such as mountaineering, sky surfing, and kayaking. This "Dare to Excel" fashion show, held in conjunction with Neocon, was designed to feature "risk-takers" who want to be challenged in both their personal and professional lives.
Design Theology
EnvironDesign 3
– Baltimore, MD
April 30, 1999
This inspirational session introduced attendees to an earth-based design philosophy and explored a designer's mission to infuse spirit into design as a means of changing modern society's way of life. All designers have the unique ability to give shape to ideas that can either fulfill the human spirit or leave it wanting. Portfolio examples were used to demonstrate this design philosophy in action.
Technotopia or Ecotopia? Which Vision for the Future?
EnvironDesign 2 – Monterey, CA
May 1, 1998
The objective of this lecture was to explore the differences and connections between ephemeral and material culture, biology and technology and how this can be applied to various design disciplines and also to demonstrate how an earth-based philosophy and design tenets can help everyone formulate a positive vision of the future.
Red Path Design
Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design Smithsonian Institution – New York, NY
July 19, 1994
This lecture examined the application of Native American aesthetics and philosophical principles to the design process. With examples ranging from furniture design to innovative uses for recycled materials and more, it explored the complexities of a nature-based belief system in relationship to the human impulse to create.