Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
Inhabitat was started by NYC designer Jill Fehrenbacher as a forum for investigating emerging trends in product, interior, and architectural design. Managing Editor Mike Chino leads the editorial team, while Alyssa Alimurung assists with daily business operations. The rest of the team is made up of the best design editors and writers from all over the world: Yuka Yoneda (New York Editor), Diane Pham (Architecture and Design Editor), Bridgette Meinhold (Architecture Editor), Jasmin Malik Chua (Copy Editor and Fashion Editor at Ecouterre) and Julie Seguss (Kids and Wellness Editor).
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THE INHABITAT TEAM
JILL FEHRENBACHER – Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Jill is the founder of Inhabitat, as well as a LEED-AP green designer and green design consultant based in New York City. She created Inhabitat in the Spring of 2005 as a way to catalog her search for new ways to improve the world through forward-thinking, high-tech, and environmentally conscious design. Educated at Brown University, where she received a B.A. in Art Semiotics, and Columbia University, where she’s pursuing a Masters of Architecture, she currently resides in New York City, which so far has been good for her obsession with rooftop farming and vegan fast food restaurants.
Follow Jill on Twitter at @jillfehr
MIKE CHINO – Managing Editor
Mike is an editor and writer based in San Francisco. He left sunny UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in French and Modern literature and delved into publishing through a stint at ReadyMade Magazine. Inspired by the impact that forward thinking can have on the present, he has cultivated a voracious appetite for developments in architecture, design, and technology. Mike likes to bike, blog, and build things, and in his spare time he also cooks, makes music, and rocks out.
YUKA YONEDA – Managing Editor, Inhabitat NYC
Yuka is a writer and reporter from Queens, New York. She received her bachelor’s in business management from Stony Brook University and holds a degree in exhibit design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. In addition to being the NYC editor of Inhabitat, Yuka is a practicing turophile and a known JeDIY master. Her love of maker culture and crafting has a lot to do with what she’s seen around her in NYC, and she believes that if you can “make it” here, you can “make it” anywhere. Yuka’s refashioned clothing and DIY ideas have been featured on The Today Show, Glamour, HGTV.com and other websites and magazines. Yuka also writes for Ecouterre and has written for The Daily Green and The New York Times.
DIANE PHAM – Senior Editor
Diane is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating from USC’s Marshall School, she enjoyed a brief stint at SCI-Arc, then working for the A+D Museum in Los Angeles, Perkins Eastman Architects and Resoultion4: Architecture handling their marketing and graphic design work. A native Angeleno, she’s also lived and worked in Milan, Paris and Buenos Aires, and still has her sights set beyond the borders of the US. In her spare time she enjoys learning languages, photography, volunteering, reading about fonts and typography, and doing as many new things as she can, every moment she can.
Follow Diane on Twitter @dianepham_
ALYSSA ALIMURUNG – Operations Assistant
Alyssa is an NYC-based writer, but somehow her “title” always seems to be changing; she thinks web coding will be her newest endeavor. In her spare time, Alyssa is constantly trying to be a minimalist, though she will never limit her book collection. She loves supporting ethical companies, products made in the USA and crowdfunding projects. Follow her eco-curations on Twitter @nahnah_alyssa and Pinterest..
JASMIN MALIK CHUA – Ecouterre Editor
A 14-year veteran of the publishing industry, Jasmin joins Ecouterre from TreeHugger, where she wrote about sustainable fashion and beauty. She has an M.S. in biomedical journalism from New York University—she was a founding fellow of the literary reportage program—and a B.S. in animal biology from the National University of Singapore.
In addition to stories published in online and print publications like Alive, Plenty, The Huffington Post, and Sprig, Jasmin has been quoted as a green expert by such publications and outlets as The New York Times, BBC Radio, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and People. Jasmin was previously a copy editor for Computer Shopper and PRINT. (She still reads style guides for fun.)
Follow Jasmin on Twitter @jasminchua
BETH SHEA – Inhabitots Managing Editor
Beth is the Managing Editor of Inhabitots, and the writer and founder of Petite Planet, a blog which focuses on eco-friendly living for families, and informs parents of the best “green” choices for their children and our planet. After earning her B.A. in Creative Writing from The University of Arizona, she explored the world as a travel and spa writer, reporting for multiple newspaper and magazine publications. After having her daughter, Beth swapped airline miles and body wraps for long stroller walks and quick showers. Beth loves writing and editing for several parenting and eco based websites while reporting from the home front with firsthand accounts of raising her son and daughter. There’s a humorous memoir brewing in her daily, which will most likely have to wait to find its way to the page until her kids leave for college.
Follow Beth on Twitter @PetitePlanet
MARK BOYER – News Editor
Mark Andrew Boyer is a writer and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born in Buffalo, NY, he studied literature at the University of Chicago and he co-founded OrganicNation.tv. Prior to joining Inhabitat he served as the editor of Curbed Chicago, and his work has appeared in YES! Magazine, the Global Oneness Project, The Atlantic Cities, and GOOD.
CHARLEY CAMERON – News Editor
Charley Cameron is a writer based in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Born and raised in Northern England, she moved to the U.S. to study photography and new media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. With a disdain for Mid-Western winters and a passion for sustainable development, social justice and live music, she headed south to work for an NGO dedicated to post-Katrina reconstruction. When not plugging away at a computer, she can be found researching the Gulf Coast oil industry, or exploring eccentric corners of the deep south to photograph goats (as well as a myriad of other curiosities)...
TAFLINE LAYLIN - Associate Editor
After receiving her B.A. from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Tafline led “eco-friendly” camping trips throughout North America. It soon dawned on her that she was instead leaving behind a trail of gas fumes, plastic bottles and Pringles. In fact, wherever she traveled – whether it was Viet Nam or South Africa or England – it became clear how inefficiently the mandate to re-think our consumer culture is reaching the general public.
So she has picked up her mighty pen to bring better exposure to environmental issues. At other times, she waxes philosophical about culture and travel on her personal blog. Tafline was born in Iran and raised in the United States, and is currently based in South Africa. She also blogs for www.greenprophet.com and her work has appeared in Africa Geographic, The Ecologist, Urban Green File, and other publications.
BRIDGETTE MEINHOLD - Architecture Editor
Bridgette is a LEED accredited sustainability consultant based in Park City, UT and helps individuals and companies reduce their environmental impact. With degrees in Mechanical and Environmental Engineering, she has experience in renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building and sustainable development. She has written for Low Impact Living and Evolo Magazine. When she’s not calculating carbon footprints, recycling materials into new things, or writing blog posts, she spends her time with her dog hiking in the woods, skiing and painting in her recycled shipping container studio. She recently got married to the man of her dreams, a handsome firefighter/paramedic. And she is currently trying to talk herself into writing her first novel, which will most definitely have something to do with sustainability.
LORI ZIMMER - Art Editor
Lori Zimmer is a freelance writer, curator, art consultant and the creator of Art Nerd New York- part travel guide, part art history, created for the art obsessed, featuring art sites in NYC beyond the obvious and ordinary.
MARC CARTER – Contributing Writer
Marc Carter grew up in Los Angeles listening to the sound of vintage Chevys and Fords being tweaked in his parents’ garage. Today he calls San Francisco his home, but his obsession about the automotive world is stronger than ever. Five years ago he founded The Torque Report, the “go-to” destination for late and breaking news on the auto industry. When he’s not obsessing over the newest electric car, he can be found hanging out with his pug, Baxter. His next adventure: The LA car guy moves to New York!
LAURA COWAN – Road Test Editor
Laura K. Cowan is a writer and editor from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received her bachelors in English and Russian language and literature from the University of Michigan and has ten years of experience in automotive media, book publishing, and blogging on sustainable living topics. Convinced there was a sweet spot where green parenting met frugality, she founded 29Diapers.com, a blog that teaches parents how to raise a green baby on a budget, and published EcoFrugal Baby: How To Save 70% Off Baby’s First Year. She contributes to Inhabitat on the subject of sustainable transportation and is the only mom blogger in existence who can explain variable valve timing and parallel hybrid drivetrains.
ANDREW MICHLER – Sustainable Building Writer
Living off-the-grid in the foothills of the colorful Colorado Rocky Mountains, Andrew Michler LEED AP BD+C and his wife Jennie are learning firsthand what low entropy living really means. He is building a Passive House rest/work space and is currently writing the book [ours] Hyper-Localization of Sustainable Architecture to be published in 2014.
Follow Andrew on twitter @andrewmichler
SHAYNE MCQUADE – Board Member & Business Advisor
Shayne is a social entrepreneur with a passion for environmental issues. He is the founder of solar bag maker Voltaic Systems. Having started, run or sold multiple startups, he contributes breadth of experience to Inhabitat’s board. Shayne’s background is in consulting with McKinsey & Co. and KPMG in London, Taipei, Melbourne and New York. He finally stopped moving when he got to New York for an MBA at Columbia University. His next challenge is designing off grid solar / lighting systems for developing countries, in the hope their electrification can be sustainable..
THOMAS UGO ERMACORA – Strategic Partner & Business Advisor
Thomas Ugo Ermacora is a passionate Dano-Italian urbanist and geographer acting mostly as a creative social entrepreneur focused on sustainability. Unimpressed by the ethos in architecture and planning professions after work with Zero Carbon projects in Europe, in particular on a Frank Gehry Masterplan, he shifted towards a trust in participatory design practices and started the visionary CLEAR Village Initiative to rethink space one village at a time and focus on upgrading existing communities.
TIMON SINGH – News Writer
Timon Singh is a graduate of Liverpool University where he received a degree in Social and Economic History. He has previously worked for the BBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” Magazine, a publication dedicated to the popular genealogy show. He has also written extensively on all aspects of worldwide infrastructure, including construction, renewable energy, transportation, security and communications and waste management. He currently resides in Bristol, where when he’s not writing for Inhabitat, he feeds his film obsession by writing for Den of Geek, and continues to hunt for the perfect pizza.
ANA LISA ALPEROVICH - Contributing Writer
Ana Lisa is a trained eco-designer and sustainable culture producer from Buenos Aires. She received her BA Hons from Goldsmiths, University of London, a city where she spent most of her 20s and inspires her enormously. After gaining experience on designing public events for [re]design through England and China, she went back to her hometown to find out what was going on about her subject of study while she was away. Impressed by the creative use of local resources, her love for sharing knowledge and her belief in learning through experiences, she co-created the Sustainable Festival. A 4-day educational not-for-profit event dedicated to the celebration of emerging sustainable design practices, held at the luscious Botanic Gardens in the heart of Buenos Aires. Ana Lisa cannot help being an environmental activist and is interested on discovering new eco-design concepts and learning about the design of systems. She is a vegetarian who loves riding her folding-bike, playing hand-ball, japanese culture, making her own clothes, gardening and cats. She now works independently doing all sorts of things related to critical sustainable design thinking and practices: she is a consultant for big and small brands, a curator of exhibitions, workshops organizer and now a contributing writer for Inhabitat!
AMANDA COEN – Contributing Writer
Amanda is a writer and photographer based in New York. Originally from the Finger Lakes region of NY, she was never one to sit still. She has lived in the Philippines, Australia, Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Peru and remains an avid traveler. She graduated from Macalester College with a major in International Studies and a minor in Studio Art. She then spent two years in Madrid where she was the theater and dance editor for InMadrid, taught in a public, bilingual school and completed a professional photography course at EFTI. She recently returned from a four month stay in Peru where she worked on several projects with Awamaki, a textile-based NGO in the Sacred Valley. Amanda enjoys covering stories about sustainability, culture, international development and design. In her free time you can find her cooking with friends, going for a run, biking and pursuing her creative projects. Follow her on Twitter @amandascoen.
BETH BUCZYNSKI – Contributing Writer
Beth Buczynski is a freelance writer and editor currently living in the shadow of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Her passion for the planet started with the Truffula Trees, and she’s never stopped trying to make this planet a better place to live. She writes about clean technology, sustainable living, and environmental activism for EarthTechling and Care2, just to name a few. Beth believes collaborative consumption and opensource innovation is key to ending our mindless waste. Read her thoughts on the overlap between sharing and sustainability at Shareable.net. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog.
ANDREW GOODWIN – Contributing Writer
Andrew Goodwin is the co-founder and principal designer for ConsciousBuild, Inc, a design, build, and development firm with its roots in sustainability and design activism. As a LEED accredited architectural designer he had seen his share of corporate, government, and private projects working towards a better environmental responsibility. His humanitarian side has led him to projects in random corners of the earth, which are geared towards a greater social responsibility. Through it all he remains actively grounded in San Luis Obispo, California. Though he was raised in Cincinnati, Andrew’s California blood brought him back to San Luis Obispo where he received his degree in Architecture from Cal Poly. When Andrew isn’t lecturing students at Cal Poly or in ConsciousBuild’s “Research, Education and Design” (RED) Studio you can find him in the mountains with an ice axe and some crampons. He is an avid outdoorsman and if he isn’t with his first love, then he is with his loving wife.
MORGANA MATUS – Contributing Writer
Morgana joins Inhabitat after graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies from Pitzer College and completing a Fulbright Hays Award in Norway in the field Environmental Ethics. Having trained at the San Francisco Clown Conservatory, she is excited to use her experience as performer and scientist to engage audiences and share her enthusiasm for the natural world. She currently resides in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California where she performs, writes, and makes terrible puns without any provocation.
LIDIJA GROZDANIC – Contributing Writer
Lidija is an architect and environmental journalist. Going back and forth between writing and designing, she finds the two areas mutually inspiring. After graduating at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, she stepped into the uncharted territory of freelancing. She reported on the RIO+20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where she learned about the politics of sustainable development and caipirinha cocktails. Lidija has also produced work for Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, GreenUp Blog and eVolo Magazine. An incurable cinephile, she plans on creating a blog that will serve as an outlet for her obsession with cinematography and film production design.
KRISTINE LOFGREN – Contributing Writer
Kristine is a writer and designer from Salt Lake City, Utah. Passionate about green design and pretty words in equal parts, she spends her days blogging, writing, designing and working towards her Masters in English at the University of Utah. Kristine discovered her passion for the environment while growing up on the trails of the Rocky Mountains and has had her feet (and hands) in the dirt ever since.
LANA WINTER-HÉBERT – Contributing Writer
An avid permaculture gardener, locavore, and novice (but enthusiastic!) canner, Lana Winter-Hébert joins Inhabitat after spending the last decade working as a writer and event guru for non-profit/eco organisations. In addition to her work with this site, she writes features and blog posts for Vegan Cuts, Green Pigeon, and several event planning websites based in London, UK. Currently, Lana divides her time between writing, and doing collaborative projects with Winter-Hébert: the design studio she runs with her husband. Best described as “endearingly eccentric”, she spends any spare moments wrestling with knitting projects, and devouring novels by obscure Czech writers. A Toronto native, she has recently chosen to leave that splendid city in favour of a tranquil lakeside nook in rural Quebec, where she and her Sir co-habitate with two hand-raised sparrows that live in their writing-desk.
TAZ LOOMANS – Contributing Writer
Taz Loomans is a licensed architect who is the principal at an architecture and development company called Blooming Rock Development. She is also a writer and publishes the award-winning Blooming Rock blog which focuses on urbanism, sustainability and architecture. Taz writes for other publications as well, including Modern Phoenix, the Firefly Living blog, Arizona Community Contractor magazine, Java Magazine and the Atlantic Cities. She serves on Phoenix’s Historic Preservation Commission, is co-chair of the Phoenix Post-War Architecture Task Force, co-chair of the American Institute of Architect’s Advocacy Committee and also serves on the Phoenix General Plan Update Task Force. Along with being involved in a variety of community-building projects, she partners with Women Design Arizona to curate and organize the Sustainable Communities Lecture Series that brings together experts and the community to talk about how to make Phoenix a more sustainable city.
AL BREDENBERG – Contributing Writer
Al Bredenberg is a writer, analyst, consultant, and communicator. He writes about the environment, energy, innovation, management, and sustainable business and design. Al is a lifelong learner with intense curiosity and no off-switch. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, with his wife Virginia.
STARRE VARTAN – Contributing Writer
Starre Vartan has been an environmental journalist for almost a decade, focusing on natural beauty, eco fashion and sustainable living on her blog, Eco Chick, on which her book, The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to Be Fabulously Green (St. Martin’s Press), is based. Starre was chosen as one of Glamour Magazine’s ‘Green Women’ for their 70th anniversary issue last year, and has written for a number of online and print venues, including guest-blogging at elle.com, contributing to E/The Environmental Magazine, writing the ‘Green Guru’ column at Audubon Magazine, and style editing at Plenty Magazine. She was most recently managing editor for Greenopia.com. She is currently a regular contributor to The Huffington Post in the Green and Style sections, as well as writing for MNN.com. Starre has fun appearing on TV and radio as a green living expert and also consults on green and lifestyle topics for Fortune 500 companies. Starre lives on the Connecticut shore in a 100-year old Victorian house (that she is slowly greening) with a rescued cocker spaniel and two fluffy cats. When not on the road visiting her family in Australia or checking out swimming holes the world over, she gardens, makes videos, hikes, mountain bikes and snowboards.
LEA STEWART – Contributing Writer
As Chicago-based industrial designer and self-proclaimed master multi-tasker, Lea is most excited that her career has been riddled with such a variety of opportunities. Back in 2002, her sustainable design thesis at Philadelphia University was internationally awarded the First Place Professional Winner of the International Design Resource Awards and winner of the Saint Étienne International Design Biennial award for eco design. She has been published in the Eco Design Handbook, and is also a part of the permanent collection of the Huxley College of the Environment at West Washington University. Her successive product design work and her time as a design professor at the Art Institute in Philadelphia have sufficiently kept her on her toes! Lea spends her days designing energy efficient lighting, kitchen and bath fixtures, and a range of other products. She also stays busy with her hobby of amateur photography.
MOLLY COTTER - Contributing Writer
A Detroit native, Molly strongly supports the movement for green design and innovation. She moved to New York years ago to attend the Christie’s MA in Art Business program. After years of working with 19th Century American paintings, she joined the living art world, and has become a freelance writer and researcher for artists, galleries, and curators. She spent summer 2011 studying Art Crime in Italy, and that is all she is allowed to say about that.
HELEN MORGAN - Contributing Writer
Helen is a freelance journalist and photographer currently based in Buenos Aires. Moving from London to pursue a writing career, she enjoys the greener side of the literary capital by riding her bike and visiting local markets. A graduate in Literature and International Relations, she combines reporting on microfinance with policy research for an NGO. But above all she loves to write about art and design, sustainable initiatives and community schemes. To help seek out new article ideas she tries different projects, most recently spending the summer working on a French farm by watching sheep (which means running up and down mountains and trying not loose them) and making organic cheese.
EMILY PILLOTON - Contributing Writer
Emily Pilloton is the founder of Project H Design, a charitable organization that supports, inspires, and delivers product design initiatives for Humanity, Habitats, Health, and Happiness. She is also a freelance design writer, furniture designer, and nomad “based” in San Francisco. Trained in architecture with degrees from UC Berkeley and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she has written for GOOD Magazine, Innovative Home, and ID, and has also taught design theory in Chicago. When she isn’t traveling or emailing, Emily enjoys baking cupcakes and playing trivia board games.
SARAH RICH - Contributing Writer
Sarah Rich is a writer and editor working where sustainability intersects with design, architecture, art, food, urbanism, branding and consumer culture. She is an editor at Dwell magazine and the editor of Dwell Digital. Previously Sarah was the managing editor of Worldchanging and co-authored the book by the same name. She launched and edited the Slow Food Nation blog in 2008 and co-founded the site that emerged from that event, CivilEats.com. She lives in San Francisco.
JORGE CHAPA – Contributing Writer
After finishing his architecture degree at the University of Monterrey in 2001, he realized that he wanted to focus on sustainable architecture, and knew nothing about it. Foolishly thinking that it would become important in fifteen years time, he packed up his suitcases, left Mexico and headed for Australia, where he studied a Masters in Design Science at the University of Sydney. During his time in Sydney he worked as an ESD consultant and product assessor, looking at everything from the thermal performance of a building, to the environmental impacts of a particular product. Currently working at the Green Building Council of Australia, he continues in his quest to learn what sustainability is and how to achieve it. He figures that it will take some time, but refuses to make any estimates..
RADHIKA SAWHNEY – Contributing Writer
An industrial designer by background, Radhika runs CreoDesignWorks, a studio based in New Delhi, India. She finds design to be an exciting place to be, and believes in its potential for initiating positive change and meaningful connections between people. She loves to dance, cook and most of all, travel.
AYASHA GUERIN – Contributing Writer
Ayasha Guerin is an artist and a graduate student who studies the complex relationships between urbanism and environmental ecologies. Her photography, installation, research and writing concern themes of urbanity and the public sphere, collaborative design, community and ecology. These interests once took her across the Atlantic ocean to study at various universities and art/architecture practices in Europe – a journey that ultimately led her right back to New York, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in American Studies at NYU. With a focus on New York City, her research questions the implications that U.S. capitalist land-use values and grassroots activism have for understandings of, and experiences in, the public spheres of 21st century cities. When she’s not writing or blogging about this, Ayasha enjoys urban gardens, vegetarian cooking, vintage jewelry, and organizing pop-up art exhibitions on vacant lots. Follow her on Twitter at @urban_praxis.
KATHERINE PASCUCCI – Contributing Writer
Katherine is a Canadian-born designer, with a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba. She spent a year working for Smith Carter Architects, contributing to sustainable projects in both the Architecture and Interior Design departments, before deciding to continue her education in Interior Design at Domus Academy. Katherine uses her spare time to travel, explore, dream and aspire. In addition to design, she’s most interested in culture, languages, and current events. Currently based in Milan, Katherine is actively seeking her next challenge, wherever it may take her.
REBECCA PAUL - Contributing Writer
Rebecca is a writer and design strategist living in New York City with extensive experience in business operations and digital media. She received her BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and her Master’s in Design Management from the Pratt Institute.
Her previous work includes her position as a New York Editor and Business Operations Manager at Inhabitat. Since leaving her position as Operations Manager, Rebecca has been involved with the design and development of several online and mobile products including uMarkit, a bookkeeping system that utilizes SMS text messaging for cash based businesses in emerging economies. She is also the Executive Editor for Catalyst Strategic Design Review, an online publication produced by the participants of Pratt’s Design Management program.