Mike Chino

INHABITAT 2009 EDITOR'S PROJECTIONS

by , 01/02/09

Inhabitat Predictions for 2009, Green Design Predictions, editors predictions for 2009, design predictions, new years predictions

Part of the fun of following future-forward design is tracking the trends of each year and seeing how they inform future developments. With this in mind, we’d like to cast our projections for the coming year in green design! From a more environmentally sound political climate to conscientious changes in the way that goods are designed, produced, and consumed, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2009 – read on for our editor’s predictions!

Jill Fehrenbacher, Green Design, Green Designer, Eco Designer, Green Design Blogger, Green ArchitectJILL FEHRENBACHER, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, New York, NY

Most of us realize that 2009 is going to be a challenging year economically, and this is going to force people to reexamine their priorities and values, and get back to basics when it comes to spending. With less money to go around, everyone is getting more cautious about their consumption, which means that competition for quality, durability and usefulness is rising. I keep reading articles arguing that the slowing economy is going to kill the environmental movement because ‘green’ is often seen as a luxury choice that many people can no longer afford. This may be true in a limited way, but I believe that in the long run, this economic downturn will actually help the green movement grow stronger by weeding out the greenwash, the unnecessary, the conspicuous consumption that is not sustainable economically or environmentally. Because this economic downturn is encouraging consumers to be more thoughtful about what they buy, and designers about what they create, I predict we will see a rise in the quality of goods and services in 2009. Necessity is the mother of invention, and I predict that we will a surge of innovation in 2009 as individuals and companies are forced to seek better, more efficient ways of doing things. I also predict we will see a rise in craftiness and DIY creativity as more and more people rediscover their inner designer as they are forced to make do with what they have and make things for themselves.
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor, mike chinoMIKE CHINO, Managing Editor of Inhabitat, San Francisco, CA

2009 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in the course of the green movement. Economic downturn means that many businesses will focus less resources towards innovation, but this also has the effect of clearing space in the market for breakthrough developments. We’re also likely to see more practical, durable and economically realistic designs and less costly and out-of-control superstructures, which may well be a good thing. Finally, I’m looking forward to the administration of Barack Obama creating policies that will push for renewable energy and create green jobs, helping to ease the further integration of sustainable practices into mainstream living.
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new yearOLIVIA CHEN, Senior Editor

I’d like to think that as more people start to think about sustainable living, they will consider the influence of their surrounding built environment on the way they live their lives. Then, as everyone starts to pay more attention to open space planning, everyone will stop asking me what “landscape architecture” is. Okay, maybe that last part is wishful thinking!
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new yearSARAH RICH, Contributing Editor, San Francisco, CA

I predict that designers are going to be looking for ways to keep their own creativity and productivity afloat even as their users use less. This means that designers will be working with new ideas around the relationships between people and their stuff, placing greater focus on longevity and durability, take-back programs and renewability, and hopefully on ways to place community at the center, using social networks and human relationships to be sure people have what they need.

Of course in 2009, we will also see a rise in green jobs as the Obama administration takes office and hopefully a spike in public understanding and support for renewable energy and sustainable industry. Finally I’ll make a prediction (and a hopeful resolution) that 2009 will be the year that the White House once again gets an edible garden on the lawn and the American food system sees the sustainable change it needs.
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor, evelyn lee EVELYN LEE, Senior Contributing Editor, San Francisco, CA

In 2009 I see more people choosing a sustainable lifestyle partly due to the need to be conservative and save money. I also see greater potential for the lines to be blurred between what is really sustainable and what is green-washing as more companies look to green their brand, but I have faith that our readers will make educated choices.
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor
JORGE CHAPA, News Editor, Brisbane, Australia

Let’s face it, this next year promises to be grim and difficult. The temptation to fall back into our older cultural framework will be there: to look out only for ourselves and be suspicious of everyone. Where last year it was all about being better informed, this year is about being aware, and not letting fear guide you. The old temptations will be there, magnified by the stress of the economic downturn; blaming others such as the poor and immigrants will be an easy sell. Do not be afraid. Be aware, realize that this year offers an opportunity to improve ourselves, cut down on unnecesary things and to learn more. Always look out for that opportunity to do better; and never hesitate to take a chance.

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new yearBETH SHEA, Managing Editor of Inhabitots

I predict that Americans are going to return to simpler times in their ideologies and focus more on reusing and appreciating what they have, as opposed to buying, consuming and always wanting for more. I think people are getting exhausted with the "never be satisfied" concept that is always promulgated through ads and social ideals.

Hopefully, environmental issues will take center stage in our government and the crisis of our ailing planet will really begin to affect the way people live and act. With regard to green design... my hope is that the trend becomes so popular that 'green' products become more economical and easier for everyone to afford. One of people's biggest 'beefs' with green design is that only the elite can afford it. I think green design will continue to grow into the everyman society and start replacing the status quo as more people demand quality for their homes and lives, and integrity for our earth.
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor, Abigail DoanABIGAIL DOAN, Art & Style Editor, New York, NY

I believe that 2009 will bring us closer to a shared, though diverse and dynamic understanding of what constitutes good, green design. We are perhaps entering an era where the term ‘design’ might fully encompass eco-friendly attributes and the intrinsic benefits without our having to continually create separate niches for green products and systems per se. I am also excited to see what sorts of solutions students in architecture, industrial design, and fashion design continue to pioneer as approaches to sustainability are further integrated into school curricula and methodologies.

‘Future forward fashion’ might also incorporate more ‘mainstream fashion designers’ who are further encouraged to experiment with and are better informed about the range of sustainable textiles and innovative eco-fibers available. Despite the gloomy economic predictions, I am optimistic about our ability to forge ahead with resourceful approaches to materials and need-based design, allowing for a whole new respect for the life cycle of products and gadgets. I also predict that there will be further dissolution of the boundaries between home and work environments as folks try to eliminate long commutes and the costly maintenance of vehicles, as well as find rewarding and satisfying ways to raise their families and/or simply spend more time with children, loved ones, or the things that they are passionate about.

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1 Comment

  1. LiveAssetInsurance LiveAssetInsurance January 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    I really find myself agreeing with Beth Shea! While it is only a hope that she is correct about people getting tired of the consumer mentaility, I’ll still have my fingers crossed!

    And I think the economic turmoil has come at the right time for this country as a whole. We NEED to CHANGE!
    Sadly, I agreee that we will only do so on a mass level when it effects everyones bottom line. However, I do know that the Insurance industry is the oil that lubricates the risk taking and innovation engines in society. Look what the demands of the insurance industry did for the repsonse rates and actual attention given to domestic violence in this country!

    I love being part of the solution.. as an insurance specialist, as a protector of live things and environmental initiatives..by doing our small part we hope to change the world, one insured tree at a time!

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