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 and Senior Editor Yuka Yoneda lead the editorial team, while Rebecca Paul steers business operations. The rest of the team is made up of the best green editors and writers from all over the world: Brit Liggett (New York Editor), Bridgette Meinhold (Architecture Editor), Ariel Schwartz (Tech Editor), Diane Pham (Architecture and Design Editor), Evelyn Lee (Los Angeles Editor), and Haily Zaiki (Los Angeles Editor).
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THE INHABITAT TEAM
JILL FEHRENBACHER – Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Jill is the founder of Inhabitat, as well as a freelance designer, green design consultant, and architecture student. She created Inhabitat in the Spring of 2005 as a way to catalog her endless 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 Central St. Martins, where she received an M.A. in Design Studies, she currently resides in New York City, which so far has been good for her obsession with rooftop gardens and vegan junk food restaurants.
MIKE CHINO – Managing Editor
Mike is a writer, researcher, and musician 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 sustainable architecture, design, and technology. Mike likes to bike, blog, and build things, and in his spare time he also cooks, produces music, and rocks out.
YUKA YONEDA – Senior Editor
Yuka is a writer and designer from Queens, New York. She received her bachelor’s in Business Management from Stony Brook University, and holds a degree in Exhibition Design from F.I.T. In 2008, Yuka looked in the mirror and didn’t like what she saw. Always feeling like there was something missing from her life, she had turned to excess, amassing a mountain of clothes, shoes, bags and random tchotchkes to fill the void. In an act of desperation, she founded Swyyne.com as a guide for urbanites wanting to change their piggish ways and has been learning and smiling more ever since. When she is not writing about sustainable design, Yuka amuses herself by making trash into treasure, hunting for goodies at her favorite thrift shop, The Family Jewels, and trying to eat every type of food in the world.
REBECCA PAUL – Business Operations Manager
Rebecca is a designer, portrait painter, installation artist and writer. After receiving her BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design – Rebecca moved to Los Angeles where she worked as a resident artist for The Hive Gallery and Studios in the emerging downtown art scene. During her time on the west coast she also acted as a Freelance Curator where she produced several art shows converting raw spaces throughout the city into dynamic backdrops for a variety of mediums. Uninspired by the contemporary art market – Rebecca is currently living in Brooklyn and has shifted her career path to focus on sustainable design and architecture. She plans to pursue her Masters degree in industrial design, so she can further her contribution to the field.
DIANE PHAM – Architecture and Design Editor
Diane is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Like so many people out there she too thought she wanted to be an architect when she grew up. 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, PR and graphic work. A native Angeleno, she’s also lived in Milan and Paris, and still has her sights set beyond the borders of the US. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, learning languages, cooking, taking photographs and doing as many new things as she can, every moment she can.
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
JULIE KNAPP – Inhabitots Editor
Julie is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY with her fiancé and French Bulldog Leo. She also blogs about green living at EcoSalon.com and writes regularly for MNN.com. Her articles have also appeared in Parents, Kiwi, iVillage.com and numerous other magazines, websites and blogs. Beyond writing, Julie loves all things related to health and fitness. She holds a personal trainer certification from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and is founder of JivaFit, a health and wellness blog with a green twist. Follow her on Twitter @juliemknapp for green and healthy living tips.
KESTREL JENKINS – Operations Assistant
Whether the driving force was language or fashion, Kestrel’s interest in global issues has led her around the world. After growing up in a littleMississippi River town in Wisconsin, she worked as a journalist with El Diario Austral in Chile, did PR for People Tree in London, and taught English on a Fulbright in Madrid, Spain. She found all of her interests collide in ethical fashion and sustainability, where her energy and spirit inspire a thirst to understand more and more about the field. She has a B.A. from Hamline University in global studies, international journalism, and Spanish. She currently works as a PR & Research Associate for Global Action Through Fashion. In honor of her pledge to only be ethical in her clothing purchases for 365 days, she posts weekly “looks” on her blog, Make Fashion Fair.
BETH SHEA – Inhabitots 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 several newspaper and magazine publications. After having her daughter, Beth swapped airline miles and body wraps for long stroller walks and quick showers. She has lived all over the country and she recently moved to Portland, OR, until the next, sunnier adventure beckons. When unglued from her Macbook, Beth likes to do sidewalk chalk drawings with her toddler, take large bites of gluten free pastries, and catch up on movie watching.
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.
ANDREW MICHLER – Green 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 really means. He built a tire wall shop, catches the snow to feed his WC, and built a modest home to the sun, wind and land. He calls the home’s design Japanese Colorado. Turning his building background to a bit of an obsession he started Baosol LLC Consulting which is concerned with developing sustainable, adaptive building, a.k.a. our third skin. He believes that what we build now creates the legacy of how we will live in the future. If he is not busy writing, he is reading green building technical manuals, checking out new building ideas, conceiving conceptual art installations, attempting to resist the urge to have another local microbrew, or perhaps nothing at all. You can catch his blog at the sustainable line and you can follow him on twitter @andrewmichler.
BRIT LIGGETT – New York Editor .
Brit is a video producer and writer out of Brooklyn, New York. She has a degree in Television and Documentary Production from Chapman University. When she’s not behind the lens of a camera, the keyboard of her MacBook or out on the green scene of NYC, she’s knitting, cooking local organic gourmet meals from Alice Waters cookbooks and dreaming up new ideas for documentaries. She currently has one eco-tinted art-doc idea in the oven and in the few free hours she can find she’s researching and developing the project.
JESSICA DAILEY – New York Editor
Jessica is a Brooklyn-based freelance journalist. A Pittsburgh native, she moved to New York to pursue her love of writing. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Art History from the University of Pittsburgh and received her master’s from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She loves reporting on art, food, and the green community in New York City. When she’s not searching for the next best story, she spends her time foraging at Greenmarkets, whipping up new recipes, and exploring the city’s endless art scene.
EMILY PILLOTON - Senior Editor
Emily Pilloton is Inhabitat’s senior editor, and 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 - Senior Editor
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.
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.
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.
EVELYN LEE – Los Angeles Editor
Evelyn is a 2012 dual degree candidate getting a sustainable MBA & MPA from the Presidio Graduate School. Trained as an architect, she received her Masters in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture’s (SCI-arc) Metropolitan Research and Design Program. Prior to going back to school, she was program manager for Public Architecture in San Francisco, CA, where she oversaw all aspects of their 1% Program, encouraging architects to give 1% of their time to the public good, pro bono. Evelyn is constantly searching for new avenues to expand her architectural knowledge, and is a freelance writer for a number of written and online publications. When she’s away from the computer, Evelyn enjoys running, playing the piano, driving her Prius, and coaching/playing soccer.
MEGHAN BEITIKS – Contributing Writer
Meghan Beitiks (Moe for short) is a writer, artist, gardener and biofuel lackey living in Oakland, California. She was originally turned on to the concept of sustainability while studying site-specific theatre on a Fulbright scholarship in Latvia. She spent the following years immersing herself in the worlds of organic farming and recycled veggie oil fuels by working on a farm in Oklahoma and driving across the country in a grease-powered veggie bus. Since then she’s sought every opportunity to combine her passions for ecology and the arts in a manner that affects daily city life. She is the Blog Editor for greenmuseum.org and a contributing writer on environmental art for the lohasian. A certified Urban Permaculture designer, she daydreams about bioremediative theater and is excited to be part of a sustainable future.
LEA BOGDAN – 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.
Cameron Scott is a freelance writer and editor and author of the blog The Thin Green Line. A claustrophobic nature-lover, he self-interestedly hopes the planet and the species will survive the mistakes of the industrial age. He’s especially interested in how new ideas can protect the planet while also saving us money, improving our health, or otherwise making life more pleasant. Cameron enjoys hiking, biking, board games, and punk music.
HAILY ZAKI – Los Angeles Editor
Lacking the skills or the patience to be a designer herself, Haily Zaki is a PR maven, freelance writer andsecret agent in Los Angeles who contents herself by promoting, writing about, and surrounding herself with great design. Besides running Secret Agent PR and working with some of the best architecture and design brands in LA, Haily is a contributing writer for The Architect’s Newspaper, the Epoch Times, and any other publication that likes her story ideas. She’s also a co-organizer of de LaB (design east of La Brea) – part design lab, part social experiment for creative professionals who work, live or play on the Eastside of Los Angeles. She was first turned onto the idea of sustainable living when she worked with the Mapuche people in Southern Chile and hopes one day to move to the end of the earth where she would live happily in a green prefab pod writing torrid romance novels. For now, she focuses her energy on communicating through the media, re-training herself to be a good, green consumer, and not killing her tomato plants.
DANIEL MENDES – Contributing Writer
Dan is currently pursuing a Business Degree with a Minor in Studio art from Stony Brook University. He spends his time working on his art, music and future plans of starting an organic apparel company focused on Men’s wear. Dan’s four plus years working in the lighting industry has made him an expert in sustainable lighting options, and he is now inspired by the idea that there are ways to better our planet without compromise or sacrifice. In 2009 Dan started Saints and Sounds – a blog about music, art and our environment – and has been struggling with his passions ever since. A new comer to the Inhabitat and Ecouterre team, Dan is eager to find his footing in the world of eco friendly design, and he can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!
JENNY TRANTER – Contributing Writer
Jenny Tranter is the founder and author of State of Green, an Australian based blog and e-store dedicated to all things modern, creative and sustainable . Holding degrees in Arts (Social Sciences) and International Business, Jenny would love to see sustainable design become common place in product design, and going green to become mainstream. Not possessing the creative gene herself, she instead loves to discover other creatives who are designing with sustainable principles, and sharing their creations and causes with the world through her writing.
PIPER KUJAC – Contributing Writer
Piper is a LEED accredited designer in San Francisco with architectural experience ranging from project manager at C. David Robinson Architects to design consultant at Origo, Inc., developing the Best House Ever business model. Trained in Architecture at the environmentally-conscious University of Oregon, she admits to an obsession with materials and resources and thrives on finding new means and methods of sustainable design. She is co-chair of the NCC Emerging Green Builders committee of the USGBC and teaches a class in Sustainable Project Development at the UC Berkeley Extension. She enjoys knitting, running marathons, and the occasional design competition, winning first prize in the Green Dollhouse Competition. She also loves trekking through virgin rainforests in Oregon, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brazil, where she recently fell in love with Ipe trees.
HAZEL SAUNDERSON – Contributing Writer
Hazel is a Scottish designer, marketer and writer. She studied design in three leading European design schools in Glasgow (UK), Paris (France) and Cologne (Germany) as part of the MEDes exchange program and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2008. Hazel is currently working for a not-for-profit organization, where she is inspired by progressive design thinking and the power of social media. She believes that good sustainable design should facilitate meaningful dialogues with its users and provide people with an alternative means of interpreting the roles that products and services play within their lives. A keen cyclist, she writes a bicycle based blog and has written a report titled ‘An Exploration of the Cycling Culture in Europe’. She also loves cooking, photography and capoeira!
Philip is a licensed architect, photographer, and writer with a practice based in southeast Michigan. He is a LEED Accredited Professional BD+C. His interest in green building education has led to his serving as an architecture instructor at Lawrence Technological University and as an LEED study group facilitator. He is a consultant on sustainability topics from serving as a peer reviewer on Green Building Systems for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to authoring continuing education articles for LEED professionals. He is also the senior contributing writer for EcoGeek.org and also writes for GreenovationTV. He holds graduate degrees from both Miami (OH) University (M Arch) and Cranbrook Academy of Art
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.
LORI ZIMMER – Contributing Writer
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.
CLIFF CHAMPION – Editorial Intern
A self-proclaimed “pragmatic idealist,” Cliff Champion is constantly on the prowl for news about ideas that are shifting our global culture in a more positive direction. He recently graduated from Pepperdine University with a double major in French and Intercultural Communications, and is trying to adjust to life outside of the proverbial nest. Next year, he will attend the Associated Colleges in China program in Beijing to perfect his Mandarin, and to better acquaint himself with the growing Chinese environmental movement. He also hopes to one day unify his jumbled array of interests with a graduate degree in the field of sustainable design. Until then, he will be spending his summer months in Connecticut and NYC before setting off for the far east.