Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine October 2010


The Green Vanguard: A is for Air Purifier

HUMANSCALE Two years ago, Humanscale rolled out a prototype for a desktop air purifier that it hoped would open up new markets for the company. The debut proved quite successful: we wrote an extensive article on the product, it appeared in the Museum of Modern Art’s Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition, and it won the obligatory NeoCon award. But…

The Green Vanguard: V is for Ventilated Building Facade

HUNTER DOUGLAS Ventilated facade panels are a smart way to make a building more efficient. NBK Terracotta Facade Panels, from Hunter Douglas, not only bring a new design element to the exterior; they act as a rain screen, moving water away from the building envelope, creating a chimney effect that also keeps the building dry and reduces the structure’s thermal…

The Green Vanguard: K is for Koolhaas

OK, alphabetically speaking, we’re fudging this one a bit. “Rem Koolhaas? Green?” we can hear the minions at the U.S. Green Building Council cry. “Who are you kidding?” But we’re evoking Koolhaas here metaphorically. (The Seattle Central Library, by the way, was LEED certified five years ago.) He is the father—maybe the grandfather, since his Delirious New York is more…

It Takes a Village (And an Architect)

WEB: In “The (Limited) Power of Good Intentions” (p. 66), Julie Lasky investigates why socially responsible design initiatives often fail, despite a surfeit of good design, goodwill, and real need. Meanwhile, curators at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, have put together an exhibition on a handful of such initiatives that have been successfully realized. Opening this…

The Green Vanguard: U is for USM

Designed by Paul Schärer and Fritz Haller Though ecofriendly materials and production methods are crucial for new products, the truth is that the most sustainable design may be the one you keep the longest. A perfect case in point: USM’s Haller line, a modular shelving-and-storage system created in 1963 by Paul Schärer, an engineer, and Fritz Haller, an architect. Its…

The Green Vanguard: J is for J&J/Invision Carpet

The Light collection of carpet tiles is inspired by the way objects capture and reflect light. The two patterns—Diffusion and Aura, the larger-scale of the two—use subtle bands of color to mimic shimmering and iridescent effects. Both have PVC-free backing and are manufactured with a solution-dyed nylon that includes recycled material. October 1, 2010 Categories: Uncategorized

Feel the Japain

DESIGNERS: CuldeSac For an exhibition of Spanish design at this year’s Tokyo Designers Week, which begins October 29, the Valencian studio CuldeSac has concocted an intriguing bit of revisionist history. Made in Japain, as the 3,750-square-foot exhibit is called, asserts that “tens of hundreds of thousands of years ago” Spain and Japan were actually one country—Japain!—with one people and…

Patriot Acts

Taking on climate change, a new book of posters demonstrates their continued vitality in the age of the Internet.

All Carrot, No Stick

A proposed Senate bill contains some of the most progressive ideas in urban planning today. The catch? The legislation doesn’t quite mandate anything.

The Green Vanguard: I is for IDEO

The renowned design consultancy recently teamed up with 3M to take on a particularly wasteful contingent of American consumers: bottled-water addicts, who run through a staggering 30 billion plastic bottles each year (less than a third of which get recycled). To try to break them of the habit, IDEO and 3M devised the Filtrete Water Station, a tabletop device that…

The Bell Jar

Bing Thom’s daring expansion of the Arena Stage, in Washington, D.C., restores historic structures and creates a new icon by enclosing Weese’s two existing ones.

The Green Vanguard: H is for Health Care

Designed by Gianfranco Zaccai HERMAN MILLER Just over 40 years ago, Robert Propst checked into the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor for back surgery. During his six-week convalescence, the president of Herman Miller Research Corp. and inventor of the company’s Action Office noticed that the hospital’s inefficient supply, storage, and distribution sys-tems placed unnecessary strain on doctors, nurses,…