Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine October 2010

 

Reviving the General Store

I’d love to see this idea in my neighborhood in Minneapolis (“The Suburban General Store,” by Belinda Lanks, May 2009). Zoned in the 1950s, we have 1,500 residential lots and about 3,500 residents, bordered on the south by an industrial area, a suburb to both the west and north, and another residential area to the east. Near its center, the…

The Green Vanguard: P is for Pocket Doors

Telecommuting may be a way of life for many, but creating a home office is often an afterthought. Häfele’s Hawa Concepta pocket system provides an easy-to-fit solution for wood or glass doors, which pivot and disappear for maximum efficiency of space. And the ease of installing and making adjustments to the system also saves time and money. www.hafele.com October 1,…

The Green Vanguard: E is for Electric Bicycle

Designed by MIT’s SENSEable City Lab Copenhagen may seem pleasantly rife with bikers—36 percent of commuters cycle to work—but the city wants even more of its citizens to take to the paths. In order to get half of the population on bikes by 2015, it enlisted students at MIT’s SENSEable City Lab to figure out how to convince would-be bikers…

The Green Vanguard: Z is for Zero-Carbon

INTERFACE, DESIGNTEX, TANDUS, and SHAW The carpet industry has made great strides in pushing sustainability. Now that virtually everyone is touting a green story, the bar has been raised. Fortunately, most of the big companies have zero-carbon initiatives under way. Interface’s Mission Zero, the most ambitious program, wants to lower the company’s environmental footprint to zero by 2020. Designtex, meanwhile,…

Design + Pedagogy = Fit Cities

Associate professor of social-ecological history and design, Parsons the New School for Design As always when a new issue arrives, I turn to “Notes from Metropolis” to find out what is on Susan Szenasy’s mind. Invariably, a dialogue starts: my thoughts engaging with hers. This time, I can’t resist writing, as my research of the last few years may add…

The Green Vanguard: O is for One of a Kind

Designed by Phil Cuttance When Phil Cuttance found a plastic fabricator that was tossing scraps into a landfill, the London-based designer found a way to make vases out of them. “I wanted to try to add value to a material that is seen as cheap and disposable, by handcrafting it into an object,” says Cuttance, who gets the plastic from…

The Green Vanguard: D is for Dual-Flush Toilet

CAROMA In this country, “dual flush” usually translates to flushing the toilet twice. But in response to federal laws mandating reduced water use, companies are starting to introduce the technology in the States. Caroma’s Profile Smart, for instance, ingeniously boosts the efficiency of the standard dual-flush model by integrating a sink. Water used for hand washing is siphoned into the toilet tank, where…

The Green Vanguard: Y is for YLiving

The online furniture retailer YLiving has always carried some ecofriendly products in its portfolio of modern designs, but lately the company seems to be pushing sustainability to the forefront of its business. Last summer it introduced three new collections noteworthy for their green credentials: Loll outdoor furniture made of 100 percent recycled materials, Arktura seating and tables with nontoxic finishes,…

Great Collaboration

Our 2011 Next Generation Design Competition challenges designers to get the General Services Administration to zero.

The Green Vanguard: N is for Nanimarquina

The Spanish manufacturer is known for pushing the boundaries of rug design, but it has also pushed sustainable design in some creative directions. Its Bicicleta rug, from 2006, was made of recycled bicycle inner tubes, and last year’s Global Warming collection depicted the effects of climate change. (The design incorporated a polar bear on a shrunken ice floe.) A portion…

The Green Vanguard: C is for Ceramics

Ceramic tiles have been around for thousands of years, and it’s no wonder. They’re easy to maintain, long lasting, and recyclable—in other words, inherently sustainable. The Italian and Spanish ceramic-tile industries are powerhouses, together accounting for almost 12 percent of world production. They produce high-quality products with a wide variety of decorative and technical applications, ranging from delicate tiles that…

The Green Vanguard: X is for Xeriscaping

Written by Olivier Filippi Published by THAMES & HUDSON After the hottest summer on record, with drought conditions in many parts of the country, the idea of creating a garden that doesn’t need watering is an important one. Olivier Filippi’s new release, The Dry Gardening Handbook: Plants and Practices for a Changing Climate (Thames & Hudson), can help you do just…

The Green Vanguard: M is for Minimalism

Is minimalism an inherently green approach to design? It is, after all, about living with less stuff and choosing items of lasting quality. To test this theory, we called up the “father of architectural minimalism” himself, John Pawson, whose new monograph, Plain Space (Phaidon), presents his studio’s designs from the last ten years. “Well, I think it’s a very difficult…

Systems Thinker

Allan Savory espouses a holistic approach to environmental renewal, tackling problems from the ground up (literally).

The Green Vanguard: B is for Bentley Prince Street

Inspired by precious metals from different regions in the country, Bentley Prince Street’s Domestic Alchemy carpet features a woven, flat-weave construction, making it ideal for high-traffic areas such as retail spaces, institutions, and corporate environments. It is manufactured in a LEED Silver–certified facility in California, powered by one of the country’s first privately owned industrial solar arrays. www.bentleyprincestreet.com October 1,…

The Green Vanguard: W is for Wind Turbines

Designed by Bogle Flanagan Lawrence Silver Today, when wind turbines appear on tall buildings, they tend to be tacked onto roofs like appendages, producing modest amounts of electricity. But a high-rise residential tower that recently opened in London incorporated turbines into the structure of the building for the first time. Looking like a mammoth electric shaver, the Strata SE1’s form…