Metropolis Magazine - Metropolis Magazine October 2010

 

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,…

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,…

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: 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…

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: 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: R is for Recycled

Designed by Kevin Crowley: UNSTITCHED UTILITIES Once used primarily in construction and for mailing envelopes, Tyvek has become the darling material of industrial designers, who have fashioned it into everything from lamp shades to shower curtains. Just as we were bemoaning the sight of yet another Tyvek wallet, the shoe company Unstitched Utilities alighted on a novel application for the stuff….

The Green Vanguard: Q is for Q Collection

This collection of contemporary kids’ furniture, bedding, and accessories combines beautiful design with strict environmental standards and smart material choices. The Solare crib, shown, is handmade in the United States, using locally sourced ash from sustainably managed forests and water-based glues, paints, and stains. It’s the first Greenguard-certified baby crib ever. www.qcollection.com October 1, 2010 Categories: Uncategorized

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: 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: 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: 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…

The Green Vanguard: L is for Linoleum

Green designers love to incorporate the latest technologies in their projects, but they shouldn’t lose sight of tried-and-true solutions. Linoleum is a good example. Developed in the mid-19th century, true linoleum (not vinyl flooring, with which it is often confused) is made primarily of natural materials, including linseed oil, pine resins, limestone, and wood or cork flour. Now in its…

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…

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. www.jj-invision.com October 1, 2010 Categories: Uncategorized

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 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,…

The Green Vanguard: G is for Growstone

For many, throwing a glass bottle into the recycling bin has become a way of life. Now a Santa Fe, New Mexico–based company, Growstone, is finding innovative ways of bringing that bottle right back into our homes and gardens. After observing pumice being scraped from the nearby Jemez Mountains, Growstone’s creators wanted to find a horticultural alternative to pumice and…