Sarah Rich

CO-LAB STUDIO: Integrated Sustainable Design

by , 01/30/06

co-lab

Since the auto market headed off overseas, some parts of the Motor City could use a little tune-up. Fortunately, there are innovators like Co-Lab Studio, whose urban renewal projects promise to reinvigorate delapidated areas of Detroit. Co-Lab practices “integrated sustainable design,” which includes everything from building to product design to landscaping.

One of Co-Lab’s defining agendas involves increasing community access to clean, green space and fresh, local produce. Their prototype produce stand (below) was designed for the Detroit Urban 4H program. Built with salvaged materials and utilizing renewable energy, the neighborhood retail location will sell locally grown organic products, and can be adapted to fit various sites.


Co-Lab collaborates with numerous Detroit organizations and schools to assist in creating places that fit the people they serve. At the Bunche School, they designed a phytoremediation garden, with plants specifically selected for their ability to clean the soil beneath them as they grow. The harvest from these gardens gets turned into paper for labeling goods produced at another of Detroit’s urban gardens, Earthworks, which operates a major food program for underserved neighborhoods in Detroit. Now that’s a networked community!

And that’s not all! Co-Lab also produces some fabulous product designs out of recycled material – what they call “Post-Consumer Prototypes.” Check back this afternoon to see some of Co-Lab’s sustainable product design. You can’t see too much of this at their site yet, as it’s not quite up and running, but catch it here for now and we’ll update you when they launch.

+ www.co-labstudio.org

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