Robert Fleming is an AIA, LEED AP, NOMA, an award-winning educator, author, keynote speaker, sustainability advocate, and architect. In all his work, Rob strives to: Advocate for social equity in the built environment; Regenerate the natural world, Design beautiful places; and Bring economic viability to sustainability projects.

Rob is an educator

He is the Director of Online Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design and he Is the Director of the Design Leadership Program. From 1996 to 2021, Rob served as the Founding Director and Professor for the Award-winning Master of Science in Sustainable Design Program at Thomas Jefferson University, where he taught hundreds of emerging sustainability professionals who have made important contributions in the world.

Rob is an author

His 4th book, Sustainable Design for the Built Environment, has become a required textbook for many college courses around the country. In all his books, Rob breaks down complex topics using straightforward language and compelling graphics, leading to a better understanding of how we can address the challenges of the climate emergency.

Rob is a speaker

He has delivered over 250 public presentations on sustainability where he brings humor, enthusiasm, inspiration and hope for a sustainable future to audiences around the world.

Rob is an advocate

Rob co-founded the Justice Alliance for Design Education which features an alliance of six universities and six non-profit organizations all working together to transform the principles and practices of design programs across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Starting in 2022, Rob will become the President-Elect of the Philadelphia AIA.

Rob is an architect

Rob works with clients and design firms around the country to facilitate integrative design charrettes using co-creative, stakeholder driven design processes. In this way, built environment projects reach higher levels of sustainability and the design teams themselves develop stronger bonds through a shared sense of purpose.


  • Design education has a long way to go before it begins to transform the curriculum to be authentically sustainable.
  • NOMA, National Organization of Minority Architects is an influential group of young emerging leaders in architecture.
  • Robert shares pet peeves with the building industry and how to fix them.
  • Shifting away from mitigation into resilience to prepare for “survivability.”
  • The debate if Sustainability and resiliency fit under one another or they are separate.
  • One of the greatest challenges that we face with wellness and climate change.
  • AI framework for design excellence and how we need it to get through the challenges that we’re facing in the future.
  • Joining organizations is critical and effective to pull out the best in yourself through collaboration.

Get the episode transcript here!!


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