Sunnie Joh

Program Director, Institute for Sustainable Design

Sunnie Joh is an ecological designer and builder whose focus is on building regenerative land-based systems that support and foster community-led development and local sustainability through landscape, building and plant systems design.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Cooper Union, Sunnie studied fashion design at the University of Applied Art, Vienna. After which, she worked as a freelance designer concentrating on experimental fabric structures and furniture design while learning hands-on management of a small New York fashion design studio. In 2009, she formed Sunnie Joh Design.

In her work with The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, Sunnie utilizes her knowledge and experience in designing and building of structures, clothing, furniture, and ecological systems under the auspice of entrepreneurial vision.

Sunnie received her Permaculture Design Certification from Whole Systems Research Farm in the summer of 2011 and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Sustainable Building and Design from the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. She lives and works in New York, splitting her time between New York City and Delaware County.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.