mock up of a sustainability project

Denhart Family Sustainability Scholarship Prize

The ability of natural and human systems to sustain themselves and flourish is the critical challenge of our time. Art and design sit at the nexus of these systems and create the connections that give us shelter, mobility, communication, comfort and quality of life.

How artists and designers steward those connections—between material and function, culture and technology, ecosystems and commerce, and equity and well-being—is the key to our future and the basis for the College's Environmental and Sustainability Initiatives.

ArtCenter, together with the Denhart Family, created the Denhart Family Sustainability Scholarship Prize in 2011, to support the College's developing curriculum in comprehensive design and fosters in students, faculty and staff recognition of environmental responsibility and a commitment to social good.

To date, over $350,000 in scholarships has been awarded to students whose work prioritizes environmental, social and/or economic sustainability.

Environmental and Sustainability Initiatives at ArtCenter

Our program prepares students to become creative professionals with the ability and will to contribute to sustainable development.

The Denhart Awards recognize a range of outstanding projects that exemplify thoughtful research, responsible design, innovation and invention.

Heidrun Mumper-DrummDirector, Sustainability Initiatives

Nomination and Selection Process

To be nominated for The Denhart Family Sustainability Scholarship Prize, individual students or student teams submit a concept or project for review by completing an application packet.

A small committee—including a guest juror with subject matter expertise—makes their selection based on our students' ability to create and present new, exciting, holistic steps forward through art and design.

Current students can find more information on Inside ArtCenter (login required).

Award Recipients


Guest Juror | Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia

1st Prize | Wooyoung Lee | Think Sink
2nd Prize | Sung "Ryan" Hoon | This Is a Man's World
3rd Prize | John Roelofs | Map of the Stumps, Graft, Pine Forest


Guest Juror | Henrik Fisker, Fisker Automotive

1st Prize | Rayyan Toh | EATUP
2nd Prize | Katrina Hercules, Sam Li and Yang Cai | Saga
3rd Prize| Alex Carbunon and Ji A You | GiraDora


Guest Juror | Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla

1st Prize | Sam Julius | Sustainable Urban Housing
2nd Prize | Carolina Rodriguez | Papa
3rd Prize | Connie Bakshi and Rudy Rummel | Tejo Conejo


Guest Juror | Kristin Browne, Walt Disney Imagineering

1st Prize | Martin Francisco | Oath
2nd Prize | Mariko Higaki Iwai, Sohyun Kim and Tatijana Vasily | Flo
3rd Prize | Daniel Bromberg and Carolina Rodriguez | c.r.o.p.


Guest Juror | Dr. Jerry Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific

1st Prize | Alvin Oei | The Healing Tree
2nd Prize | Busarin Chumnong | Warmth of Nature
3rd Prize | Miranda Lapour | spout
SR | Reese Butler | CARE: Climb and Remove Alpine Waste
SR | Bernard Mitchell | Anoscape


Guest Juror | Carrie Childs, Patagonia

1st Prize | Adriana Avendano and Alejandro Jimenez | Casa-Ikiru
2nd Prize | Miranda Lapour and Matthew Simon | Coaniquem red
3rd Prize | Cullen Townsend | 'zine (salmon overfishing)
SR | Anna Meddaugh | Night Loo
SR | Charlie Hodges | The Urbanette


Guest Juror | Jessie Kawata, Microsoft

1st Prize | Marie-Louise Elsener | Aquora
2nd Prize | Mana Koike | sweep
3rd Prize | Andres Zavala | Nest
SR | Dewey Yu | packlight


Guest Juror | Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO, TerraCycle

1st Prize | Yanhui Ban, Jamie Jooyoung Lee and Jihae Lee | Airo
2nd Prize | Weixin Huang and Veilinda Rusli | The Healing Garden
2nd Prize | Vivian Chen (with Yuning Tang, Connie Zhou and Michael Zhu) | Reimagine EXPO
2nd Prize | Yanqi Li | Dropian
3rd Prize | Weizi Song | Grounded
3rd Prize | Cosme Cruzfor | Healing Buddies
SR | Atif Ekulona | ArtHaus
SR | Joey Serricchio | What We Leave Behind
SR | Keiji Ishida | International National


Guest Juror | Margaret Sanchez, California Air Resources Board

1st Prize | Andy Seunghark Cho | Wella re-design
2nd Prize | Ahyoung Roh | eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicles
3rd Prize | Fangting Liu | Plastic Armor
SR | Diego Buller | KOA Connekt
SR | Jordan Atkins | Destroy World Save Earth


Guest Juror | Juan Barraza | VertueLab

1st Prize | Yi Ding, Shuxian Hong and Yuhan Zhang | OSOME
2nd Prize | Jordan Atkins | SANCTUM
3rd Prize | Kelsey Hawthorne | SKID ROW COFFEE
SR | Yutong Zhang, Jianong Sun and Yue Geng | SEED


Guest Juror | Felicia Williams, President, FWD Consulting LLC - Specializing in Clean Energy and Transportation

1st Prize | Lucy Lue, Doris Xinyue Tao, and Tina Yiyuan Tang | TRES
2nd Prize | Alexia Shannon Wibisono | TEVA FOR YOU
3rd Prize | Matt Zihang Zheng | TOYOTA-KINTO 98%
SR | Na Eun Choi | SPROUT

* SR = Special Recognition

** In recognition of the 10th Anniversary of the Denhart Sustainability Prize, and the 90th Anniversary of ArtCenter, the jury awarded an additional $25,000 in 2020