Bill Caplan

Bill Caplan

New York, NY, US



Author and Activist for Human Ecological Design

Author of THWART CLIMATE CHANGE NOW: Reducing Embodied Carbon Brick by Brick (Fall 2021), Buildings Are for People (2016) & Contrasts 21c: People & Places (2018)

"Thwart Climate Change Now: Reducing Embodied Carbon Brick by Brick"  addresses an imperative — to slow the pace of climate change within the coming decade — before it’s too late. While climate policy typically focuses on future decarbonization 10 to 20 years out, temperatures continue to rise. Greenhouse gases emitted upfront from the materials fabrication, construction, and renovation of our physical environment — embodied emissions — accelerate the rate of global warming now. Sadly, they increase atmospheric carbon before our buildings and infrastructure are even used. Often ignored or deemed too perplexing to resolve, the need to reduce embodied emissions immediately is the subject of this book. Written for a variety of readers — from architects and developers to policymakers and legislators —Thwart Climate Change Now addresses how to tackle the built environment’s “embodied” carbon emissions, highlighting specific design and policy issues that overlook their own contribution to atmospheric carbon. The book brings together the science of climate change, sustainable design, and green policies in a language accessible to a diverse readership, followed by case study examples to support design, policy and legislative recommendations to slow emissions growth in the near term.

"Buildings Are for People" (Libri Publishing) challenges the effectiveness of building design, critically examining our approach to 'sustainability' and the 'human interface'. A serious read, "Buildings Are for People" is an eye-opener. Enlightening the way we think about design,it reveals how building surfaces, shape and materials "interact" with people and the environment. While exploring building surfaces from their physical, sensible and operative perspectives – how they define space, afford experiences, and create environmental interactions – new possibilities come to light. This is a book about creating people-friendly and environment-friendly architecture.

The evocative photography of "Contrasts 21c" (Libri Publishing) transports the reader into distant locales in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to unveil the incredible contrasts between rural and city life still present in this 21st century. Addressing the cultural diversity of this region and its challenges, it draws attention to the conflicts between self-sufficiency and sustainability in an admixture of ancient tradition and present-day reality. Beautifully expressed in full color with descriptive text, Contrasts 21c is a photo essay about people and places. Expressing a sensitivity to the human condition and the built and natural environments, it brings to life an eye-opening pictorial about human adaptability in these lands of stunning beauty.

After 34 years in high-tech, my career evolved from engineering to architecture. With a passion for architecture and people-friendly design, and an engineer's understanding of sustainable interactions, I devoted 10 years to reconcile the physical, sensible and operative manifestations of architecture – culminating in "Buildings are for People", followed by "Contrasts 21C" and "THWART CLIMATE CHANGE NOW: Reducing Embodied Carbon Brick by Brick" (Environmental Law Institute Press, Fall 2021).

I hold a Master of Architecture from Pratt Institute's Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, a Materials Engineering degree from Cornell University and in 2010, established ShortList_0 Design Group LLC, working to reduce the Built Environment's impact on Climate Change.



ShortList_0 Design Group LLC, Managing Member

Founder and Managing Member

Oct 2010 - current


Pratt Institute Graduate School of Architecture, MArch, Master of Architecture

Aug 2006 - May 2009

Cornell University - College of Engineering, Bachelors, Materials Engineering

Sep 1962 - Dec 1968

Areas of Specialization