Diane Pham

Green Design Predictions For 2011!

by , 01/04/11
filed under: Announcements

sustainable design, green design, green design predictions 2011, new year's predictions, new year's forecasts, green forecasts, green future 2011

Lloyd Alter – Architecture and Design Writer, Treehugger.com

I used to be a modernist; it is what I tried to do as an architect and a builder. Then I became an environmentalist, being appalled at how badly all our new glass towers perform. Now I am a heritage activist, convinced that our older buildings, towns and cities can teach us how to live a low energy lifestyle, like everybody did before there was cheap oil, cheap electricity and an automobile based culture.

This year, I finally think the message will get through that transportation efficiency trumps building efficiency; that where you live and work affects your carbon footprint a lot more than what you live and work in. That simple, resilient and flexible systems are better than green gizmos. That bikes will save us, not Teslas and Leafs.

Jane Jacobs said “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.” This year I hope to see a lot of great renovation, restoration, repurposing and reuse. I am not certain that we need a lot of new shiny baubles right now.

sustainable design, green design, green design predictions 2011, new year's predictions, new year's forecasts, green forecasts, green future 2011

Zem Joaquin – Founder, Ecofabulous

Now that it is clear that green design is not just a passing trend, consumers will reward innovative companies and those companies will continue to expand their sustainable initiatives. Americans will continue to be more frugal than they were in the beginning of the Millennium, but I am hoping the trend of fast clothing will slow and people will invest in fewer pieces that are designed to be healthy and built to last. But as ‘flash sales’ keep spreading, sites like eBay will offer more vintage collections.

Yet, my most inspiring prediction for 2011 is that, thanks to Global Green and participating organizations, you will see more green schools and the recognition that these schools improve health, learning and attendance (graduating students will in turn be better environmental advocates). And since schools are just the first step, Global Green is now designing self-sustaining cities, starting with Youngstown, Ohio. Urban farming, water & energy conserving systems and local production are just the beginning. I predict that it will become a model that many cities will chose to follow. Lastly, I predict that ecofabulous.com and inhabitat.com will do some really cool work together in 2011.

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8 Comments

  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.

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