Gallery: Green Design Predictions For 2011!

Katie Fehrenbacher - Editor, and Writer, Electric Car Crunch Time: Now that the first mainstream electric vehicles launched in late 2010 – the Nissan LEAF and GM’s Volt – 2011 will be the year that we will see if the demand

Katie Fehrenbacher - Editor, and Writer,

Electric Car Crunch Time: Now that the first mainstream electric vehicles launched in late 2010 – the Nissan LEAF and GM’s Volt – 2011 will be the year that we will see if the demand for these cars remain high. I think in the short term, at least throughout 2011, the demand will be there, though it will take a good decade for EVs to make a dent in the mainstream vehicle market.

2011 will also be the year to examine how the Nissan LEAF and GM’s Volt perform in real conditions on the roads. Will LEAF owners be happy with a potentially fluctuating range, given a 100-mile range is advertised but the range could drop substantially depending on temperature and driving methods? I think the average owner will be satisfied, but some owners could be dissatisfied if they are not aware of the discrepancy before they buy the car.

Energy Software Innovation: At the end of 2010 the phone companies AT&T and Verizon made some significant moves into home energy management, and Verizon plans to launch a smart home and energy management pilot program in New Jersey in January. I think in 2011 there will be much more innovation in terms of software and web applications for home energy management. Intuitive UIs and well-designed gadgets in homes could make a real difference in terms of cutting energy consumption.

Using the Web to "Share Stuff” Will Explode: Car sharing, via companies like Zipcar, has taken off – Zipcar has 530,000 members and over 8,000 cars in its fleet. But the interesting thing is that research shows that people who join car sharing networks are more likely to join communities that share other stuff, like goods (, or apartments ( 2011 will be a major year for sharing stuff via the web, as consumers get more comfortable with the idea and new startups begin to launch their websites.

1. William McDonough (Eco Designer & Thought Leader, Founder Cradle To Cradle, MBDC, and William McDonough + Partners)

2. Graham Hill (Founder, and Vice President, Interactive Media, Planet Green)

3. Jill Fehrenbacher (Designer, Founder & Editor-in-chief of Inhabitat)

4. Michelle Kaufmann (Architect and Founder, Michelle Kaufmann Studio)

5. Emily Pilloton (Green Designer and Founder/Executive Director, Project H)

6. Lloyd Alter (Architecture and Design Writer,

7. Zem Joaquin (Founder, Ecofabulous)

8. Sarah Rich (Founder, Longshot Magazine and Co-Founder, The Foodprint Project)

9. Kira Gould (Author and Director of Communications, William McDonough + Partners, co-author of Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design)

10. Katie Fehrenbacher (Editor, and Writer,

11. David Johnson (Architect and Partner, William McDonough + Partners)

12. Bridgette Meinhold (Designer, Artist & Architecture Editor at

Did our experts’ predictions for 2010 hit or miss the mark? Read what they had to say about last year.


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Starre Vartan January 4, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I’ve been watching designers pushing the boundaries in green- and putting sustainable ideas front and center to the public for the past decade that I’ve been reporting on environmental issues. Keep going guys!! It’s working :)

  2. greenstreetinc January 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    It’s so inspiring to see green design continuing to become more than just a ‘passing’ interest – especially in New York. Great Article and looking forward to helping NY become ‘greener’ in 2011!

  3. davidbrodeur January 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Some great predictions! Really enjoyed the contributions – especially the ones from Sarah and Bridgette.

  4. Andrew Michler January 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    What a great group of voices. I would have to agree with Kira Gould that the thinking professionals in the environmental disciplines will have to take charge rather than counting on a short term thinking political class. If we create undeniably superior designs and systems then the political process will have no choice but to support it.

  5. kestrel January 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Inhabitat…always keeping my optimistic for the future of green design.

  6. Jessica Dailey January 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I completely agree with Bridgette’s prediction that 2011 will be the year of green renovations. We’re already starting to see this with the multiple passive house retrofits taking place in NYC!

  7. Jasmin Malik Chua January 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Let’s hope that “green design” becomes redundant in 2011!

  8. Erik van Lennep January 2, 2011 at 5:47 am

    My own predictions for 2011 were recently posted on my blog, in a summary of the emerging Living Economy. I summarized a few of the game-changing frameworks, and linked to a number of useful documents. Everyone welcome in that discussion:)”The Shift Hits the Fan”, on erikvanlennep(dot) com. Really, this isn’t an egregious self-promotion. Really.

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home