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Tag Archives: AIA

Women Shaping the Future of Design: Meet Kat Holmes, Director of UX at Google and Founder of Mismatch.design

In 2018, Kat Holmes published her book, Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Designand launched mismatch.design, a digital media enterprise dedicated to providing inclusive design resources and education. Currently a director of user experience (UX) at Google and formerly the principal director of inclusive design at Microsoft, Holmes knows a thing or two (an understatement) about designing and optimizing a product for massive audiences of users. While at Microsoft, she was the leader of the company’s executive program for inclusive product innovation; her award-winning inclusive product design toolkit was subsequently inducted into the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.

But it would be a mistake to think that Holmes limits her purview to the world of technology. A glance at both mismatch.design and the first few pages of Holmes’ book make evident that Holmes champions inclusive design—and the pros who execute it in their respective fields—everywhere from the built environment (she curated an exhibit for AIA Seattle in 2016) to education, and of course, the pixels of the tech world. Interior Design sat down with Holmes to discuss her work with Mismatch and the impact of inclusive design.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Enter the 2019 HiP Awards by May 17th

Interior Design: How does your work with Mismatch relate to your day job?

Kat Holmes: Mismatch is the name of my book and the name of my website. The word “mismatch” also refers to the World Health Organization’s definition of disability, which in 2001 was redefined as the mismatched interaction between the features of a person’s body and the features of the environment in which they live. Known as the social model of disability, this definition helped to shape my thinking about inclusive design. I approach all of my work from the perspective of trying to understand how design can be the cause of exclusion (intentionally and unintentionally)—but design can also be the remedy for exclusion.

ID: Did you have an ‘aha’ moment that prompted you to veer your career in the direction of inclusive design?

KH: My aha moment came when I was working on a digital personal assistant at Microsoft. At the time, there weren’t any voice-conversational design tools to help us develop this AI assistant. We discovered that one of the best resources for us was to talk to actual human personal assistants to find out what it takes to create a great experience for another human being. Their expertise was crucial to our work.

What led me to inclusive design was exploring the many kinds of human expertise that are missing from most design processes. Most notably, the expertise of people with disabilities who have long been innovating a diversity of ways to interact with technology.

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design by Kat Holmes. Photography courtesy of Kat Holmes.

ID: You mention in your book that inclusive design can be challenging to implement successfully across multiple teams in a large organization. How have you personally overcome this in your role as a leader at some of the biggest multinational technology companies?

KH: It takes a lot of people and collaboration to build an inclusive design practice within an organization. The important thing is to keep asking whose voices and whose expertise are missing. If you keep asking the question, then it forces you to consider how you can create a diversity of ways for people of different abilities to engage with the solutions you design. I firmly believe that inclusive design fuels innovation and makes good economic sense. Reminding senior leadership about all the ways that inclusive design helps the bottom line is key. 

ID: The approaches you outline in Mismatch extend to a variety of disciplines (ex: the built environment, software, education) and incorporate a variety of professionals who are experts in those fields. Why was it important to you to look beyond the specifics of your own field?

KH: Exclusion happens everywhere. When I was consulting, I worked with companies across sectors. Regardless of the line of business, the questions were similar: Everyone wanted to know how to start and how to get buy-in. I wanted my book to help set a foundation. Once grounded in some basic principles, companies can begin to incorporate and adapt inclusive-design practices for their respective needs.

ID: What changes have you seen in the way the design and engineering community approach inclusive design in their practice since releasing Mismatch (the book) and launching the digital media company?

KH: Interest in inclusive design has been growing and preceded the publication of my book. My book was published last October and there hasn’t been enough time to be be able to gauge its impact. Anecdotally, the response from the people who have read the book has been positive and I’m grateful.

ID: What are your hopes for the future of inclusive design?

KH: I always tell people that inclusive design is a daily practice—like brushing your teeth. You have to do it consistently to receive the full benefits. There are many different forms of exclusion that we don’t fully understand. The practice of inclusive design will help us navigate those waters.

Read more: Meet Malene Barnett, Founder of the Black Artists and Designers Guild

Continue reading Women Shaping the Future of Design: Meet Kat Holmes, Director of UX at Google and Founder of Mismatch.design

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Pace of remodeling activity expected to pick up after slow start to 2019

Michael J. Berens

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Pace of remodeling activity expected to pick up after slow start to 2019

Coming off a strong period of sustained growth, demand for remodeling services softened somewhat in the first quarter of the year. Although growth remained positive, industry professionals reported lower levels of business activity and shortened periods of project backlogs compared with the previous quarter. Nonetheless, remodelers are optimistic that better business conditions in the second quarter will revive demand.

Early forecasts had predicted that industry growth in 2019 would remain positive but at a more modest pace than in the past several years.

The most recent Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) release, for example, projected that gains in renovation and repair spending to owner-occupied homes in the U.S. will shrink from 7.5% in 2018 to 5.1% in 2019. MetroStudy anticipates that remodeling growth will stabilize and ease slightly, dropping from a 4.8% increase in 2018 to 3.0% this year.

Signs of a slowdown can be seen in some recent industry reports. The just-released Q2 2019 Houzz Renovation Barometer finds activity in the first quarter dropped across most sectors compared to the fourth quarter of last year. The Recent Business Activity Indicator for architects and design services fell two points. The Project Backlog Indicator remained steady at 4.7 weeks but was down 1.4 weeks from the same period a year ago.

Overall, the construction sector experienced flat growth compared to the previous quarter, which had declined from earlier in the year. The backlog of projects remained steady but were 4.8 weeks below that of a year ago.

Similarly, the American Institute of Architects, in releasing the results of its first quarter 2019 Home Design Trends Survey, reports business conditions were positive but softened in the fourth quarter of 2018 for architects working on home remodeling projects. Billings in the fourth quarter slid 7.7 points from the previous quarter, and new project inquiries were down 6.1 points. Year-over-year, demand for remodeling additions or alterations plunged from 61% in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 41% in the same period of 2018, and kitchen and bath remodel projects slipped from 57% to 43%.

According to Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, professionals participating in the Barometer survey attributed the slowdown to “unusually cold and wet weather conditions, in addition to consumer apprehension caused by the government shutdown, tax refund uncertainty, and the high costs of products and materials.” They expect that, with business conditions and weather improving, activity will revive in the coming months.

The Expected Business Activity Indicator for architects and designer services professionals rose five points from the previous quarter, and for the construction sector was up two points. Professionals anticipate that both the number of new committed projects and project inquiries will increase over the next quarter. Recent indications that the housing market also is picking up should give remodelers an additional boost.

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About the Author

Michael J. Berens

Michael J. Berens is a freelance researcher and writer with more than 30 years of experience in association communication and management. He can be reached at mjberensresearch@gmail.com.

Continue reading Pace of remodeling activity expected to pick up after slow start to 2019

Vote For The 2020 ASID National Board Of Directors

Vote Now!

Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS
Chair-Elect

Kerrie Kelly founded Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, a Northern California residential interior design firm focusing on new construction and working with home builders, in 1995. Kerrie is an award-winning interior designer, author, contributor, product designer, and multi-media consultant, helping national brands reach the interior design market.

Kerrie is a fellow, board member, and foundation trustee of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID); a Houzz Pro Advisory board member; and a member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). She is also an avid representative, speaker, and on-air talent for Outdoor Living and Livable Design initiatives, and a Certified Aging in Place specialist (CAPS). Kerrie has authored two books and is the interior design national spokesperson for Zillow Inc., writing monthly articles for their website and speaking to media outlets about interior design, including The New York Times, Forbes, Globe and Mail, and The Wall Street Journal. She also writes a monthly design column for Style Media Group and is on the editorial board of Furniture, Lighting & Décor magazine.
Kelly’s ASID involvement includes serving as past president of the California Central/Nevada Chapter, as an ASID speaker at High Point Market and Dwell on the topic of thriving in place, as chair of the ASID Aging in Place Council, and as recipient of the Nancy Vincent McClelland Merit Award.

1. Do you approve Kerrie Kelly, FASID, NKBA, CAPS for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

John Cialone, ASID
Director at-Large

John Cialone, a nationally recognized interior designer, leads a team of more than twenty professionals while managing operations at Chicago-based Tom Stringer Design Partners. As a partner and vice president of his firm, John’s enthusiasm for promoting the interior design industry is contagious. With over twenty-five years of experience, his work has been recognized with many awards and has been widely published. John credits his business sense and success to the training he received as a young professional through leadership roles in ASID, particularly in strategic planning, public speaking, and business development.

John is a member of the Guild Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago and is a member of the Leaders of Design Council. He has served as a public speaker to many organizations and has mentored students across the country. John has participated in the 1+ Program, donating his firm’s services and aligning his belief that Design Impacts Life with the firm’s work.

John’s ASID involvement started as a student with positions on the ASID National Student Council. He was a member of the ASID Board of Directors concurrently with his position as National Student Council president. He has held committee and board positions in both the ASID Florida South and ASID Illinois Chapters, and has been active in government affairs starting in Florida as a design student and continuing today as a Registered Interior Designer in Illinois. John was recognized as an ASID Medalist in 2017 and is currently the 2018-2019 ASID Illinois Chapter president. John is the chairperson of the ASID Foundation Fundraising Committee overseeing the Society’s efforts to grow the Foundation’s endowment through individual and corporate gifts and legacy planning.

2. Do you approve John Cialone, ASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Ellen Fisher, Ph.D., FASID
Director at-Large

Ellen Fisher is vice president of Academic Affairs and Dean at the New York School of Interior Design.  She is a Certified Interior Designer in New York, and earned a Ph. D. in Architectural Studies/Human Environmental Sciences from the University of Missouri, where her line of inquiry addressed how teachers use the physical classroom as a tool for teaching literacy.  She was inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers in July 2018.

Ellen is the author of the recent book, “HOME: Foundations of Enduring Spaces,” published in 2018 by Clarkson Potter/Random House.  New York School of Interior Design is ranked as one of the top interior design programs in the U.S. by DesignIntelligence, which also named Ellen Fisher as one of 2018 and 2019’s Most Admired Design Educators. A member of the Interior Design Educators Council since 1985, and recently named President-Elect, she has presented numerous times at conference and has served IDEC in many volunteer roles.

3. Do you approve Ellen Fisher, Ph.D., FASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Ken Wilson, ASID, FAIA, LEED Fellow
Director at-Large

Ken Wilson is a design principal and the design director for Interiors in the Washington, D.C. office of Perkins+Will. He is also one of two co-global design directors for interiors and serves on Perkins+Will’s Design Board and Sustainability Council.

Ken has been practicing for over 35 years and his portfolio includes architecture, interiors, graphics, and product design. He is the only architect in the world to hold fellowships in the AIA, IIDA, and the Green Building Certification Institute (LEED Fellow). His projects have been published in seven different countries and have received over 120 national and local design awards.

In 2005 Ken was named “Designer of the Year” by Contract magazine, and in 2018 he received the ASID Designer of Distinction Award which annually honors one professional who has established a body of superior work demonstrating creativity, excellence, and innovation. He serves on the Environmental Task Force for the city of Park City, Utah and is a member of the ASID Design Impacts Lives Steering Committee.

4. Do you approve Ken Wilson, ASID, FAIA, LEED Fellow for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Elizabeth Von Lehe, Allied ASID
Director at-Large, Allied

Elizabeth Von Lehe is the design & brand strategy principal at HDR. A seasoned design leader with professional experience across multiple industries, she leads the architecture firm’s efforts to advance a holistic approach to design, embracing not only the built form, but branding, curation, and the development of user experience from every angle.

Von Lehe previously worked at ICRAVE Design, where she served as director of strategy, brand, and architectural design for more than seven years. Before that, she worked for both Target and Lands’ End. Her experience includes developing product collections for both fashion and furniture industries as well as guiding master plans and interior design concepts.

Based in New York, Von Lehe is well known throughout the design professions as a leader in the field of experience design. She is a regular keynote and workshop speaker at the national and chapter levels for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), advocating for experience design to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and integration beyond what most designers usually practice.

Von Lehe is chair of the Executive Advisory Committee for ASID and is a regular graduate mentor and panelist for her alma mater, Columbia University. Her work has been featured in several industry publications and she has been interviewed by national outlets such as Bloomberg and NPR.

5. Do you approve Elizabeth Von Lehe, Allied ASID for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *

Patty Dominguez
Industry Partner Representative

Patricia (Patty) Dominguez, vice president of Architect and Design Sales for Cosentino North America, oversees commercial business development and the kitchen and bath studios business for the global surfacing leader. In her 12 years with Cosentino, the relationships she has cultivated with the country’s leading architects, designers, and kitchen and bath dealers have played an integral part in its exponential growth in the United States, which makes up more than 60 percent of its global sales.

In every role throughout her tenure with Cosentino – Kitchen & Bath sales manager, director of Public Relations, marketing manager, and director of Field Marketing – Dominguez has spearheaded the development and strategy of its invaluable relationships with leading industry organizations, including the American Society of Interior Designers, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and the American Institute of Architects, among others.

Dominguez’s leadership at Cosentino and commitment to the industry have earned her numerous accolades, including the 2015 ASID Industry Partner Merit Award and the 2010 ASID Presidential Award. Her passion for people and relationships is reflected in her commitment to service and philanthropy. She previously sat on the Board of Trustees for the ASID Foundation, and has given her time to many Houston nonprofits, serving as the president of the Latin Women’s Initiative for three years, and working with Prepared 4 Life, Lemonade Day, the Junior League of Houston, and the Neighborhood Centers.

6. Do you approve Patty Domiguez for the 2020 ASID Board of Directors? *
*Only interior designer and educator members in good standing are eligible to cast a vote for approval of the candidates; member verification will occur upon receipt of ballot from asid@asid.org. 

Continue reading Vote For The 2020 ASID National Board Of Directors

Design For Daylighting

Brighten the outlook of building occupants and reduce lighting costs by bringing natural light inside.

By Jody Andres, AIA, LEED AP
From the April 2019 Issue

In today’s climate of sustainable design, it’s rare that a newly constructed facility or one being renovated does not include some level of eco-friendly features. Overlooked in the past, daylighting is one of those features and is no longer an afterthought. It could be argued that how to best use natural light should be a primary consideration in the design of any new facility. But why is it so important?

 

daylighting
Today’s schools typically include a significant number of windows on exterior walls, contributing to an environment where students and teachers can excel. (Photo: Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction)

The Physiological Perspective. The bottom line—daylight is good for us. Research has demonstrated the positive effects of exposure to natural light. Daylight has been shown to combat the effects of depression. It can help improve a person’s mood and maintain a calmer disposition. In addition, exposure to daylight is one of the primary ways we can get and maintain healthy vitamin D levels in our bodies.

When we incorporate windows and natural light into facilities, we’re helping fulfill a basic desire for a connection to light and nature. The biophilia hypothesis—introduced by Edward O. Wilson in his book, Biophilia—proposes that humans have a desire to seek out connections with nature and other forms of life. Biophilic design and planning increases access to nature, light, and biodiversity to reduce stress, promote healing, foster creativity, and improve cognitive function.

The Productivity Perspective. In the workplace, daylighting is a critical design element for employers and their facility planners to consider. Not only does daylighting and controlling artificial lights in the workplace save money, but it’s been proven to help create a more comfortable work environment and make employees more productive.

“Daylight and Productivity—A Field Study,” a study conducted by Mariana G. Figuerio, Mark S. Rea, and Anne C. Rea of the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Richard G. Stevens from the University of Connecticut Health Center, Department of Community Medicine, explored the occupancy rates, amount of time subjects spent on work-related tasks, and electric lighting operation in daylit and interior offices. They found that people located in windowed offices spent considerably more time (15%) on work-related tasks compared to employees in interior offices. These results matched their hypothesis that people who work in interior spaces would spend less time in their offices and be less productive than people working in windowed spaces.

When it comes to educational facilities, consider the results of the Heschong Mahone Daylighting Study (conducted by Heschong Mahone Group), which involved more than 21,000 students. Study results presented a significant correlation between learning spaces with natural light and student performance, finding that both reading and math scores improved for students in spaces with abundant daylight. Additionally, there was a 20% faster progression in math and a 26% faster progression in reading.

Meanwhile, school administrators are continually seeking the means to retain the best faculty and staff. Abundant daylight in well-designed work environment is sure to be looked at favorably by current and potential employees.

The Economic Perspective. While there are a bevy of health and production-related reasons to incorporate daylighting, we shouldn’t lose sight of the financial benefits. More natural light means a decreased need for artificial light. This trade-off reduces a building’s power consumption. Additionally, latent (passive solar) heat in the winter decreases the demand on heating systems.

EXAMINING DAYLIGHTING STRATEGIES

Whether in a school, office, or senior care facility, natural light can benefit building occupants by providing a healthier, more interesting, and dynamic environment in which to learn, work, or live. So, what are some of the best strategies to utilize when incorporating daylighting?

daylighting
The use of daylighting is key to providing employees with a comfortable, desirable work environment that helps increase their productivity. (Photo: Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction)

In the case of new construction, orientation of the building is critical. Siting the building on an east-west axis, with south- and north-facing windows is a key design strategy. And with technological advances, windows can be altered to control how much daylight will enter the space. When planning areas that will contain display equipment, such as high-definition televisions and whiteboards, the design team should take special care with window placement to control lighting levels and to prevent glare or blinding conditions in the space.

Daylighting and control options that are becoming standard design elements include sun control and shading devices, light shelves, clerestory windows, tubular daylight devices, and translucent skylight systems. In the case of a renovation, the use of natural light can be further enhanced by using window films to contain glare. While timers and motion sensors designed to reduce light levels are not new, the next wave of sensors actually measures daylight levels in a room (or portion of a room) and adjusts accordingly.

Although at first mention it seems counterintuitive, artificial lighting can contribute to a good daylighting strategy. A popular design element is the installation of direct-indirect lighting fixtures. With these, more than half of the light generated can be directed upward, reflecting off of the ceiling and other surfaces. This results in reduced glare, a more uniform ambient light level with fewer “hot” spots, the need for fewer artificial lights, and decreased energy use and costs.

MODELING AND ASSESSMENTS

Energy modeling and computer generated building models can be extremely helpful evaluation tools when determining daylighting strategies. Using these, facility owners and maintenance staff will not only be able to observe how natural light and views will exist in their building, but they’ll get an understanding of how much energy—namely in lighting and cooling—can be saved. Whether new construction or renovation, modeling should be incorporated to inform the design effort and guide decision-making. As early as possible, the project team should evaluate the most appropriate ways to bring daylight and views into a facility and how these will be integrated with artificial lighting and controls. As more design and product options are entered into modeling software, facility planners are able to make informed design decisions.

Another critical element to consider when pursuing daylighting is assessing lighting quality and levels compared to the visual tasks being performed. Not to be overlooked is controlling glare in environments awash in daylight. Building occupants will close blinds and shades if they decide too much daylight is obstructing their view. This not only removes views to the outside, but may also necessitate use of artificial lights.

When using natural light to help achieve lighting levels, the selection of window glass (based on the orientation of each window) is vital. While spaces that are over lit waste energy and money, occupant productivity may be negatively impacted by inadequate or poor quality lighting. As a guide for determining a good lighting level for most offices or educational spaces, daylight balanced with an average of 40 to 50 foot-candles of artificial light capability is ideal. (A common unit of measurement in the lighting industry, foot-candle is roughly defined as the amount of light that actually falls on a specific surface.)

The benefits of daylighting are numerous and should be enjoyed. When planning your next project, discuss potential strategies with your design team to create an environment where occupants can thrive.

daylightingAndres is a senior project architect and the K-12 market leader at Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc. in Appleton, WI. He is a LEED AP, past President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Wisconsin, and the regional representative to the AIA Strategic Council.

Do you have a comment? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below or send an e-mail to the Editor at acosgrove@groupc.com.

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Measuring Up: Using Pre-and Post-Occupancy Evaluation to Assess High-Performance School Design

Jana Silsby

Speaker: Jana SilsbyAIA, LEED AP, MCPPO
Perkins Eastman

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Heather Jauregui

Speaker: Heather Jauregui LEED AP BD+C, O+M, CPHC, Assoc. AIA
Perkins Eastman

View Bio


Sean O’Donnell

Speaker: Sean O’Donnell FAIA, LEED AP
Perkins Eastman

View Bio

How does one know whether the design of a building has achieved its goals; what metrics and processes are necessary to ascertain project success; and how does a design firm develop a practice of evaluation to inform innovation? Join us for a discussion of how a new, comprehensive Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluation process is being developed for a design firm in order to collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative information that can demonstrate actual building performance. This process will be illustrated via a case study of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School, a new PreK-8 school located in Cambridge, MA. The presenters will discuss the goals of the school, the process and design strategies implemented, and how the project success has been measured using a comprehensive Pre-OE/POE process including the collection of actual indoor environmental quality metrics and surveys of occupant perceptions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define factors that create a 21st century learning healthy environment.
  2. Learn how sustainable design strategies can be used to improve occupant comfort and performance in school environments.
  3. Discover how a design firm is piloting a Pre-OE and POE process to develop environmental protocols for research initiatives.
  4. Understand how to evaluate the success of a design project using quantitative and qualitative data including indoor environmental quality metrics.

Co-produced by EDmarket and ASID

EDmarket
ASID Logo

Title: Measuring Up: Using Pre-and Post-Occupancy Evaluation to Assess High-Performance School Design
Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST)
Price: Members: FREE
Non-Members: FREE
Register
Credit: 1 AIA LU/HSW

Pedagogical and Technology Trends in Education

Nancy Strum

Speaker: Nancy StrumPrincipal Consultant / Learning Space Consultant
The Sextant Group

View Bio

Campuses are shifting to new and exciting learning space models that provide real opportunities for architectural design innovation. During this webinar, we will explore emerging pedagogies and enabling technologies and the related planning, design, and infrastructure issues that architects face in designing contemporary buildings for education.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss how student demographics and new pedagogies are changing expectations for higher education facilities.
  2. Define how emerging technologies are impacting the design of educational facilities of the future.
  3. Adapt architectural and interior design to meet new pedagogical options.
  4. Apply how emerging technologies will impact the programming of architecture for higher education.

Title: Pedagogical and Technology Trends in Education
Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Time: 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST)
Price: Members: FREE
Non-Members: FREE
Register
Credit: 1 AIA LU

The Intrinsic Need for Healthy and Sustainable Materials

04.08.2019

Carolyn Ames Noble

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The built environment accounts for over two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the majority of the places we live, work and play, research has realized that indoor air quality is more polluted than the outdoors, even in the largest industrialized metropolitan areas. This is cause for concern because humans spend over 90% of our time indoors.

The case for healthy and sustainable materials in this time of turbulent climate change is ubiquitous. Sustainable materials help reduce carbon emissions and nurture the overall health of the planet. Harmoniously, healthy materials produce meaningful eudemonia to the inhabitants of the space.


WasteBasedBrick Composition, StoneCycling

These types of holistic spaces are vital, fundamental to the health and equity of humans and to the health of the planet. There’s also an intrinsic and perhaps even a philosophical need for these materials in our dwellings. In the future, perhaps these materials should become the baseline for all building projects.

A Look at Organizations

There are many admirable organizations that support healthy and sustainable design philosophies, included and not limited to:

McLennan Leaves His Handprint on Sustainable Design

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American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), founded in 1975, champions that “design impacts lives” and uses evidence-based design and research to demonstrate how.

USGBC began its LEED program mission in 1993. Twenty-six years later, LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI), founded in 2009, defines its mission to make communities socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. The ILFI’s Living Product Challenge is a philosophy first, advocacy tool and product certification program that defines the most advanced measures of sustainability in product manufacturing today. The Challenge is comprised of seven performance categories called Petals:

  • Place
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Health and happiness
  • Materials
  • Equity
  • Beauty

Launched in 2014 after years of extensive research and development across disciplines, the International Well Building Institute (IWBI) strives to revolutionize the way people think about buildings. It explores how design, operations and behaviors within the places where we live, work, learn and play can be optimized to advance human-health and wellbeing. IWBI offers the WELL certification program focused on seven guiding concepts:

  • Air
  • Water
  • Nourishment
  • Light
  • Fitness
  • Comfort
  • Mind

The mission for viable buildings starts with the people, processes and products that comprise them.

The Product: A Cascade for Sustainability

Wall finish and flooring selections are fundamental on the six planes of interior selections. Paint color is appointed perfectly with coatings like Sherwin-Williams Harmony, which was a green industry-first in 2001. Harmony meets the most stringent VOC regulations and has achieved GREENGUARD Gold Certification satisfying LEED v4 v4.1 criteria. Its additional qualities of odor-eliminating and formaldehyde-reducing technologies help improve indoor air quality by reducing VOCs from possible sources such as cabinets, carpets and fabrics.

 

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Regarding color for spaces of vitality and retreat alike, Emily Kantz, interior designer at the Sherwin-Williams Company, recommends the following palettes:

“The Electric Exploration palette features the striking Rivulet, Rejuvenate and Izmir Purple. These colors bring energy and life into the space. The Off the Grid palette is a breath of fresh air with the nature inspired colors of Almond Roca, Copper Mountain and Cascades, bringing the earthy elements of the great outdoors inside to give us a sense of health and well-being.”

Mohawk Group has a suite of Living Product Challenge Petal-certified flooring including:

  • Lichen carpet plank
  • Nutopia carpet plank
  • Nutopia Matrix carpet Plank
  • Sunweave broadloom/area rug
  • Pivot Point enhanced resilient tile


Mohawk Group SmartFlower Installation, Mohawk Group

Representative of the Living Product Challenge, Sunweave’s Petal Certification aims to leave a handprint rather than a footprint. Mohawk Group engaged in a special handprinting partnership with Groundswell to install 10 SmartFlower solar systemsin underserved communities and at educational institutions with STEM programs across the U.S.

George Bandy Jr., chief sustainability officer at Mohawk Flooring North America, considers the designer’s role expanded well beyond the typical project scope to being the connector between carbon and social change. He asks, “How can the designer bring the enormity of the climate change issue to each individual client and make it personally relevant?”

He considers his own place in the design industry as CSO not as a career pinnacle, but instead part of a greater journey that began in the 1990s at the University of Texas – Houston. He served as the Chairman of the USGBC and worked alongside Ray Anderson at Interface before joining Mohawk Group three years ago.

At Mohawk, Bandy also sees himself as the connector – in his case, connecting the dots between the internal and external product creation, between the industry and the community. He envisions the product as a cascade for sustainability, utilizing sustainable practicesthroughout manufacturing, and leaving a lasting, positive social impact on the communities where Mohawk plants are located.

Waste Reimagined

Striving for a circular economy, designers have reimagined, repurposed and reused what was supposed to be waste. A category of new and innovative composites from plastics and other discarded materials has been invented. Foresso is such a composite: a sheet material composed of timber and wood waste from sawmills.

Conor Taylor, creative director at Foresso, says, “We consider ourselves very lucky to get to work with timber every day, the richness of wood adds warmth to interiors and can make any space more welcoming. Nowadays it is hugely important to consider the sustainability of our work so we endeavor to use every part of the tree in Foresso and hope that by doing so we can encourage others to make the most of this incredible material.”


Foresso Charcoal Mono Detail, Foresso

Tom van Soest and Ward Massa founded StoneCycling in the Netherlands in 2013, their shared vision that the need for reimagined waste products was also the opportunity. They created a building material whose main input is the waste output from construction sites, which massively pollute the earth. Their product, WasteBasedBricks, which as an early prototype was conceived in a homemade industrial blender, has evolved – and their circular and sustainable products are being used across Europe and the U.S.


Ward Massa + Tom van Soest, StoneCycling

Also a product of the Netherlands, the tulip may be the single most iconic image from the region. In fact, 77% of the world’s tulips come from this small country of 12 provinces, comprising for roughly two billion tulips. “Strangely, the most beautiful part of the flower, the head, has no economic value except being a coveted photo object of many a tourist,” says Tjeerd Veenhoven of Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven. By a process of extraction from what would be the waste residual of the dried flower head, pigment is distilled. Color is a wonder in this artisanal process, and applications range from uses in finger paint to biological plastics.


Tulip Pigments, Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven

Mother Nature Engineered

In the quest to save Mother Nature, nature itself is investigated and replicated. Bolt Threads developed Microsilk after studying the silk spun by spiders and produced their own protein. Whereas 60% of fabric fibers are petroleum based, Microsilk is generated mostly of sugar. Bolt Threads has partnered with iconic brands such Patagonia and Stella McCartney. The company currently doesn’t have any specific plans for the interior design material industry, though the brand is excited about what the future holds and will continue to introduce new materials for a more sustainable world.


Bolt Threads Necktie, Bolt Threads

Renee Hytry Derrington, vice president and global design lead at Formica Corporation, reports of the company that the past several years, Formica has introduced a suite of sustainability décor-based products including Reclaimed Denim Fiber and Paper Terrazzo patterns. Reclaimed Denim Fiber is real reclaimed denim fiber made from post-production waste collected at cloth production mills, embedded in paper. No one sheet is alike due to the natural papermaking process, which will be seen as a slight linear direction to the laminate sheet. Paper Terrazzo utilizes small fragments of post-production solid color paper that would otherwise have gone to waste. These paper chips are re-used to create a new paper sheet that is 30 percent reclaimed material. This paper technique uses small-batch craft production so that each sheet is unique and natural.

Bio-based plastics are forecasted to be a $35B business by 2022. Corn starch, sugar, cooking oil and even waste avocado stones are re-engineered for use in this material category. Algae and fungi-created materials will continue to bloom in use and scale. And designers continue seeking solutions reimaging the ultimate waste product – carbon – itself.

“In the future, healthy and sustainability materials will be considered the standard and not called out as special or unique. This will be the result of product designers reusing and reducing waste, considering the human interface and thinking about the environment during the design process,” predicts Hytry Derrington.

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Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects Recieves Two COTE Top Ten Design Awards

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA) has received two AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Design Awards, which celebrate integrating design excellence with environmental performance. The firm has now received a total of ten COTE Top Ten Awards. 

“Radically reducing the resource consumption and carbon emissions of our buildings and communities is one of the most critical challenges of our time,” principal William Leddy says. He believes it is an issue that architects “have a profound responsibility to address through integrated design thinking.”

Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House, Mission Bay, by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects.

 

The two projects that received accolades were the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House in Mission Bay, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute at Fort Mason. Family House provides free temporary housing to the parents of children receiving treatment at the University of California, San Francisco Children’s Hospital. The design team focused on providing healthy and healing living spaces, and the project was certified LEED Platinum with an energy performance 49% above the national baseline performance for a similar building type.

San Francisco Art Institute, Fort Mason Pier 2, by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects.

 

For the new campus of the San Francisco Art Institute, LMSA renovated the U.S. Army warehouse Pier 2 at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. It uses attributes of the historic building such as the thermal mass of existing concrete walls to achieve 83% less energy use than benchmark buildings, making it a model for sustainable renovation.

Continue reading Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects Recieves Two COTE Top Ten Design Awards

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects Recieves Two COTE Top Ten Design Awards

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (LMSA) has received two AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Design Awards, which celebrate integrating design excellence with environmental performance. The firm has now received a total of ten COTE Top Ten Awards. 

“Radically reducing the resource consumption and carbon emissions of our buildings and communities is one of the most critical challenges of our time,” principal William Leddy says. He believes it is an issue that architects “have a profound responsibility to address through integrated design thinking.”

Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House, Mission Bay, by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects.

The two projects that received accolades were the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House in Mission Bay, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute at Fort Mason. Family House provides free temporary housing to the parents of children receiving treatment at the University of California, San Francisco Children’s Hospital. The design team focused on providing healthy and healing living spaces, and the project was certified LEED Platinum with an energy performance 49% above the national baseline performance for a similar building type.

San Francisco Art Institute, Fort Mason Pier 2, by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects.

For the new campus of the San Francisco Art Institute, LMSA renovated the U.S. Army warehouse Pier 2 at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. It uses attributes of the historic building such as the thermal mass of existing concrete walls to achieve 83% less energy use than benchmark buildings, making it a model for sustainable renovation.

Continue reading Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects Recieves Two COTE Top Ten Design Awards

AIA: BILLINGS INCREASE FOR SIXTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH

The Hanley Wood Data Studio reports that the AIA’s monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) came in at a score of 51.0 in March, marking the sixth consecutive month of gains.

The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity in the U.S., and reflects a nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending nationally, regionally, and by project type. A score above 50, as seen this month, represents an increase in billings from the previous month, while a score below 50 represents a contraction.

Continue reading AIA: BILLINGS INCREASE FOR SIXTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH

Demand for major remodels remains strong

As more long-term homeowners make the decision to stick with the home they have, they are undertaking larger-scale remodeling projects, such as complete room renovations or additions.

Due to the complexity of these changes, more homeowners are hiring professionals to assist with or do the entire project for them. While that’s great for business, it is pushing out wait times as project backlogs begin to pile up.

Continue reading Demand for major remodels remains strong

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