On the heels of widespread climate change marches throughout the country, it's clear sustainable design is more vital than ever. See how some innovative designers are seizing opportunities to preserve the environment, and the longevity of our resources, with sustainable projects, products, and initiatives.
Inside The Borden Natural Swimming Pool
Who wouldn't want to swim in a clean, yet chlorine-free pool? One architecture and design firm is making this a reality. Design firm gh3* developed a way to purify pool water with natural elements rather than harsh chemicals. In Alberta, Canada, the firm recently replaced an existing pool at Borden Park in Edmonton with a sustainable, self-cleaning option—the first of its kind in the country. The Borden Natural Swimming Pool incorporates a balanced ecosystem, relying on a triple-processing system using sand and granite filters, algae and aquatic plants such as reed grass and pond lilies, to keep the waters clean and safe.
Georgetown Design Exhibition Spotlights Upcycling
In October, Georgetown University hosted its first exhibition to recognize design innovations created through the process of upcycling, or repurposing waste—Design Transfigured/Waste Reimagined. During the exhibition, 30 international designers and studios—from Asia, Latin America, and Europe—showcased their abilities to transform reclaimed materials into useful products, providing a new direction in design. To create the exhibition space, Dutch Invertuals, a design studio based in the Netherlands, crafted platforms, pedestals, and seating fabricated from REALLY, an innovative fiberboard sourced from textile industry waste. Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of c2-curatorsquared served as guest curators.
Interface Honors Sustainable Design with "Innovation for Good" HiP Award
Though NeoCon 2019 is now a mere memory, for many designers it's just the beginning of more work to come. That's certainly true for Duvaltex, the winner of this year's inaugural “Innovation for Good” HiP award, sponsored by Interior Design and Interface. Duvaltex received the honor for its revolutionary technology that breaks down landfill waste.
"Innovation for Good" is an award brought to life by Interface to recognize a person or company creating work that pushes the design industry forward while benefiting the planet. The flooring company has a long history of creating sustainable products, given its widespread Carbon Neutral Floors program and "Mission Zero" commitment to achieve a zero negative impact on the environment by 2020. "We are a manufacturer who, over 25 years ago, disrupted our own process in order to create our products differently, not for better margins, but for a better planet," says Kari Pei, VP of product design at Interface, "Duvaltex raises the bar on how we think about our waste."
Naturalist Interiors Spotlights Reclaimed Wood Furnishings
Naturalist Interiors, an emerging company based in New Jersey that creates handcrafted furnishings using natural materials including wood, lush greenery, and moss, is launching a collaboration with hospitality and contract designer Beth Donner. The company uses reclaimed wood from the forest floor, rather than cutting down trees, to craft its unique furnishings. The latest collection, designed with hospitality spaces in mind, will launch at BDNY in November.
Farrow & Ball Eco-Paint
The English paint brand Farrow & Ball recently added 16 fresh hues to the eco-friendly water-based paint line it first introduced in 2010. The new Color by Nature collection, developed in collaboration with the Natural History Museum in London, marks the first stand-alone palette outside of the brand’s 132 core colors. Color by Nature is inspired by Werner’s Nomenclature of Colors—a color guide housed in the Natural History Museum’s Rare Book Library, which was used by Charles Darwin to classify colors in nature. The paint collection draws on these records to reimagine the vibrant shades of documented animals, minerals, and vegetables. All Farrow & Ball paints contain low levels of VOC and feature recyclable metal tins. Additionally, the company's wallpaper is sourced from sustainable forests and does not contain vinyl, enabling leftover paper to be recycled.