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Ecofutures Design LAB


Let's work together to create futures that foster Hope, Resilience, & Action

EcoFutures Design Lab supports students, researchers, and communities in imagining and creating more just ecological and energy futures.

We use 'design' in the broadest sense--as a term of inquiry, observation, and planning for a future. Our research takes design methods as tools and nature as a guide to help us explore and create these futures.

Environmental conservation

How can we learn from nature?

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Let's learn how to creatively restore ecosystems in your community to create a more resilient environment.


Let's engage in practices that foster hope for the future so we are empowered to act.


Let's collaborate to shifting our society to one that honors the earth and each other.

Our Guides

Transition Design

sustainability design

complex social-ecological-systems

"the work that reconnects"

Science and Technology studies

adaptive epistemologies

participatory research


Ecologist determined a plant.




ecological restoration

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Who We are:

Dr. Shana Lee Hirsch

University of Washington, HCDE

EcoFutures Design Lab was founded by Dr. Shana Lee Hirsch, a research scientist in the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering, who works at the nexus of environmental science and cultural change. She draws from her transdisciplinary background in natural resources science, policy, and management and her experiences working with scientists that are on “the front lines” of climate change in their daily work. Dr. Hirsch established EcoFutures Design Lab in 2022, to create a research program that supports diverse ways of knowing and designing to bring about systemic change and address future challenges. Dr. Hirsch' academic publications can be found here. Her book, published by UW Press can be found here.

Sites of inquiry:

Renewable energy futures

Our research examines how novel forms of renewable energy such as marine energy and offshore wind are supported by innovation ecosystems, how communities and individuals interact with these forms of energy, and how they can be just and equitable.

Ecological Restoration

Our research seeks to understand how those tasked with restoring environments are adapting their scientific practices to deal with new ecological futures. We ask how ecological restoration might serve as a tool for reconnection and relationship..

Engineering education

We support emerging engineers to become fluent in the tools they need to create a more just society and resilient environment. We want to ensure that sustainable and just transitions, environmental affect, and critical stances on modernity become respected engineering competencies.


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Date Ecologies Lab


Pacific Marine Energy Center


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Nippon Foundation

OceanNexus Center

University Marine Energy Research Community


Connect with us


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