Kira Gould

Women in Green: Simran Sethi

I’ve written about Simran Sethi here before. She’s an inspiring, energetic green diva—a strategist, educator, and journalist. She’s had a worldwide career, yet somehow she landed in Lawrence, my hometown in Kansas, and taught for some time at the University…

A Taste of the Bay Area's Green Architecture

Boucher Grygier Shipping Container House, Innovation and Transition tour Courtesy Jan Grygier From giant redwoods to adaptive reuse, San Francisco is chock full of memorable sights – green buildings and beyond. At USGBC’s annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held…

Q&A: Jerry James Stone

I was recently asked to join the Advisory Board for SXSW Eco, an offshoot of the huge SXSW conference now in its second year and coming to Austin in early October. In my new role I have organized one panel…

Cultivating the Present

We talk, endlessly, it seems, about the impact of technology on our lives, our relationships, our work, and workspaces and we worry about what it’s doing to our physiologies. Now the inimitable writer, Diane Ackerman offers, in her blog in…

Voices of Sustainability

Five years ago, Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design was published after Lance Hosey and I spent 18 months interviewing hundreds of people and trying to understand why it seemed like there was a preponderance of women doing “green”…

Applying the Occupy Model to Sustainability

There’s something daunting about a speaking slot called “15 Minutes of Brilliance.” At the Living Future (un)conference, these speaking engagements took place before the keynotes each day, a nice way to give individual speakers a platform. But the “brilliance” and…

Nine Lives of Green

Recently at the Living Future event in Portland, Oregon, I had an opportunity to explore “lives of green” with eight other women working in the sustainable design space, as it is often called. We followed the Pecha Kucha format (my…

What if "sustainability" meant just doing the right thing?

Business consultant, regenerative systems thinker, planner, business consultant, regenerative systems thinker, and author of The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability & Success (2011), Carol Sanford gave a keynote address on the last day of the Living Future “un-conference” in Portland, Oregon.…

Dangerous Four-letter Words and more

Jason McLennan has a potty mouth. The head of the International Living Future Institute, which recently hosted the Living Future conference in Portland, Oregon, says that he regularly uses his keynote to christen the conference’s four-letter word. Last year, there…

The case for interdependence

The physicist-turned international environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva gave the opening keynote address at the Living Future “unconference” on May 2 in Portland, Oregon. Shiva is the author of Earth Democracy and Water Wars, among other books, including Soil Not…

Eating Real

Only a species as clever as ours would need to designate a “Food Day” to celebrate and promote the prospect of “eating real food.” Seriously. But the problems with our food system are, as we know, very serious indeed. I…

Our Toxic World

As a writer, Sandra Steingraber has the eloquence and urgency of Rachel Carson. As a biologist, she has a fiercely acute perspective on how human health is affected by the many outputs of so many clever human inventions. Her latest…

Q&A: Framing Nature

Eva Hagberg’s latest book is a collection of gorgeous rooms with views of “nature” as the architectural elite frame it for elite clients. But Nature Framed: At Home in the Landscape (Monacelli Press, 2011) is anything but a book about…

Q&A: David Gottfried

In 2010, David Gottfried founded his latest membership organization, the Regenerative Network; a business consortium that brings together leading green building product manufacturers and service providers and connects them to real estate portfolio owners, architects, engineers, and contractors. The mission…

Q&A: Jason McLennan

Jason McLennan, CEO of the International Living Future Institute (home of the Living Building Challenge, a standard launched by the Cascadia chapter of the Green Building Council in 2006 and intended to push beyond LEED at the time) has published…

Plastiki

Looking at my overstuffed book shelves I wonder if and when I might join the e-reader set. Just then a lovely book reminds me how this media offers something that no digital text nor fun web site nor quality documentary…

Sustainism

Naming “movements” can be a tricky business. Naming a worldwide shift toward systems thinking, social responsibility, and “all things green” has been particularly dicey. For better or worse, all these things, together, have been summed up as the sustainability movement.…

Finding One Good Chair

Late last month I had the pleasure of joining three amazing women on a jury for the One Good Chair competition in Las Vegas. While it’s always confounding to talk about sustainability in windowless convention facilities, in a city that’s…

Q&A: On design, delight, and long-term sustainability

Stewart Brand wrote, “A building is not something you finish. A building is something you start.” Jean Carroon’s book, Sustainable Preservation: Greening Existing Buildings (2010, John Wiley & Sons) cites this Brand quote (and a few others—his book How Buildings…

Learning from New Orleans

Last December, Katherine Grove of William McDonough + Partners and Richard Maimon, of Kieran Timberlake, shared the stage at Ecobuild in Washington, DC. They were invited to discuss their work at the Make It Right project in New Orleans, where…

Q&A: Burke and Meinberg Burke

                          Timepiece by Carrie Meinberg Burke and Kevin Burke, Photo: Prakash Patel Kevin Burke is an architect. Carrie Meinberg Burke is an architect and industrial designer. Together, they…

Women: Systems Thinkers

  On the opening day of West Coast Green (which took place in San Francisco a month ago), I moderated a panel that included architects Carrie Meinberg Burke and Lynn Simon; Valerie Casey, a designer and the founder of Designers…

Telling Stories

Green media maven Simran Sethi believes journalism can change the way people think—and so teaches students to be storytellers for the environment.

Q&A: Prefab

Casa Chiara, Photo: Jim Turley/SweetWater Photography At West Coast Green this year, architect Michelle Kaufmann of Michelle Kaufmann Studio, hosted a panel called “The Future of Prefab,” in which she discussed the topic with Ann Hand, CEO of Project Frog…