David Bergman: Architect, Ecodesigner, Author, & Professor at Parsons School of Design

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David Bergman is, at various times, an architect, an ecodesigner, an author, an environmental economist, and a professor. This sometimes gives him an identity crisis, and he says his elevator pitch requires a skyscraper with a slow elevator making many stops.

David has a unique background blending several fields. As an architect, LEED Accredited Professional and Certified Passive House Designer, he runs a multidisciplinary design studio emphasizing the application of sustainable/eco design principles to architecture, interiors and product design. As an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design, he has created and taught courses in sustainable design and environmental policy across several programs. He is the author of Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide and writes the blog EcoOptimism.com as well as contributing to other sites. He co-authored “Sustainability Districts for NYC: Building an Equitable and Resilient Future” and is currently involved in a project to bring eco districts to NYC. He has a BA from Yale with a dual major in architecture and economics, and M.Arch from Princeton.

What do you do best?

Looking at things from different vantages. Distilling complex information to make it understandable.

What makes you the best?

An unusual background in design, sustainability and economics allows me to break down silos and combine approaches across disciplines to come up with solutions others might not.

What are your aspirations?

Figuring out how to put together my fairly unique set of skills and experience in order to offer new ideas and paths in sustainability and resilience. Oh, and maybe peace on earth.

Biggest Success?

Completing my book, Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide

Most Challenging Moment?

Completing my book

Favorite Mottos?

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

“Sorry I haven't been around much lately but I'm easily distracted by shiny objects.” – The Tick

Favorite People?

Charles & Ray Eames, Jimmy Carter, Jon Stewart, Neil deGrasse Tyson, my wife. Not in that order.

Favorite Places?

New York City in general because it doesn’t let me relax. My home and friends’ homes in specific because they let me relax.

Favorite Products?

Both of these. On top is an anodized aluminum bottle opener from the ‘80s. I show it to people and ask them to guess what it is.

It’s sitting on my dining table made of a rough-cut slab of what’s sometimes call “Fossil Black Granite.” It contains 350 million year old pre-historic fossils. I found it sitting off to the side in a stone yard while checking other slabs for a client. When I asked them how much it was, they said “no, we have to square the edges.” They didn’t understand why I wanted it as is.

Current Passions?

Getting rid of things.

Science Fiction -- because it helps me think outside my assumptions.