Bieber who? For us green design fanboys and girls, it's not the ScarJos and the Clooneys that get our heartstrings fluttering -- (though we will make an exception for Brad since he's been on our site a few times), it's the Bjarkes and the Behars. We're nursing some serious design crushes on some of the established and hottest up-and-coming designers in the fields in architecture, product design, social design and fashion design, and we figured that Valentine's Day was the perfect opportunity to express our love. We can't tell you how much we admire the following eight designers for being visionaries and innovators, and they sure as heck don't lose points for being easy on the eyes. Read on to see who we're crushing on, and sending our green design valentines to this year.
Design crush: Bjarke Ingels
Ode to Bjarke:
Buildings worthy of climbing, cascading roofs of green, on you I am so keen.
Do you happen to have a wife, your designs are larger than life.
Although I don’t know how to pronounce your name, I love your work all the same.
Design crush: Rogan Gregory of Loomstate
Why he’s hot: Mr. Rogan Gregory has a lot of labors of love. He’s the owner and designer of the street-wise sustainable fashion — and lesser known furniture — line Rogan and co-founder of Barney’s darling Loomstate. We adore everything he comes up with from hand blown mirrored glass lamps to organic cotton threads — for men and women — to his recycled rubber kicks. Even his New York store has been recycled, from a historic theater to floor space dedicated to purveying his über-modern designs. From his chiseled features to his chiseled style, we are big fans of all this thoughtful designer’s projects.
Design crush: Mila Zelkha of Mint Condition Homes
Why she’s hot: Roses are usually red and violets are definitely blue but Mint Condition Homes come in a lot more colors. Mila Zelkha’s transformation of abandoned and bank owned homes throughout Oakland, California into little polished jewels makes our hearts skip a beat. Architect, restoration artist, real estate agent, and green building advocate, she doesnt just restore houses, she wakes the hidden talent in these humble craftsmen abodes. Her work is not only for the love of vintage housing but for first time home buyers to have an affordable heirloom that is healthy and energy efficient. Alas, we are not the only admirers — the members of Build It Green selected her as the Green Building Champion for 2010.
Design crush: Emily Pilloton of Project H
Why she’s hot: Oh, Emily. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways. We love that you believe passionately and steadfastly about the power of design to improve life. Your conviction and dedication is inspiring. When we start feeling cynical, we can just look at you and believe again. We love that you’re the founder and director of Project H Design – the H, by the way people, doesn’t stand for “hot” though we could have sworn it did when gazing upon you ( it actually stands for Humanity, Habitats, Health, and Happiness). We love that you believe in the process of design and not just the resulting product, and travel the world empowering communities to use design to teach, build and learn. And, of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our appreciation for the many talents and inspiring articles that you have lent to Inhabitat over the course of the years. And despite your ravishing eyes, raven-colored hair and feminine appeal, you have no qualms about getting down and teaching at Studio H High School in rural North Carolina.
Design crush: Yves Behar of FuseProject
You make green design hot, Yves
Very sexy chairs
Sustainable undies, too!
Design crush: Ray Kappe of LivingHomes
Ray Kappe, you wouldn’t settle for silver, and not even for gold, but you showed that every good design deserves a platinum glow.
The first to achieve LEED Platinum with your prefab modular house, you prove that a love for healthy and sustainable building is something to tout.
Classic, cool and truly an inspiration to every generation, your beautiful green designs make our hearts soar with elation.
Design crush: Scott Hahn of Loomstate
Why he’s hot: We’ve always been a bit gaga over Scott Hahn, who heads up the casual-yet-chic organic clothing label Loomstate. Since 2004 he’s been working hard with his partner Rogan (another hottie, featured above) to bring thoughtful, good-looking, eco design to the masses with affordable, ready-to-wear jeans, t-shirts, and apparel made from 100% organic fibers. Now expanding into footwear and home decor, Loomstate has managed to bridge the divide between aesthetics and ethics, and marry the two in a beautiful partnership that can coax even the most stalwart fashionista on board the eco train. We love how committed Scott is to social and environmental issues, which was evident this past week in his dedication to the Zero-Waste project at Parsons in 2010.
Design crush: Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano of LOT-EK
Why they’re hot: Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano are the foxy dynamic Italian duo behind the inspired architecture firm Lot-ek, which is best known for artfully building homes, schools, pop-up shops, museums and pretty much everything-under-the-sun out of refurbished shipping containers. We love that Giuseppe and Ada transcend the stereotype of chilly, overly-academic architect, with their engaging style, and embrace the dynamic reality of messy modern urban life with gusto and a passion for transformative design. The duo’s enthusiasm for finding the beauty in ordinary structures that most people take for granted is infectious, and very very sexy.