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Posts Tagged ‘William McDonough’

Sustainability at Nike, Considered By Jane Savage

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Around 2000, Nike was getting targeted as one of the big companies around the world for their manufacturing (do we need to remind you of the sweatshop labor rallies?) Why do you think Phil Knight got really defensive about all that? It turns out it was because they already had a big program underway. Jane Savage is one of those people who was busy building sustainability into the products. They’ve started a program that’s not Nike-branded, and not even specifically “sustainable”–it’s Considered Design, with a URL launching later this year. It’s a design philosophy that combines sustainability and innovation, across their holdings.

Nike’s corporate headquarters is a model of sustainability, with record numbers of people biking or using public transit to get to work. A building on that same Beaverton campus was the first existing building to be rated LEED Gold (it was designed by William McDonough). They used to be the largest purchaser of organic cotton, until Wal-Mart converted. They publish all the names of every vendor they work with. They also share their technologies with others in the footwear industry.

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Christopher Hawthorne Wishes He Could Find Some Green Designers to Write About For Once

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With Philip Nobel lighting the way for architecture critics to speak their tainted little minds, critics everywhere are now making pointed attempts at abrasiveness. But sometimes it just doesn’t fly. When Christopher Hawthorne at the LA Times finally makes it out to NY to review the “Design for the Other 90%” show, he tries to make some kind of point about the lack of green designers. We only have to wonder…what on earth is he talking about?

Rem Koolhaas has offered what seems like a dozen explanations–some of them rather convincing, actually–for his willingness to take commissions from the Tibet-paving, coal-belching Chinese government. Peter Eisenman has long been happy to play the charming villain for the green crowd. Zaha Hadid‘s buildings show a mesmerizing disdain for the idea that she bears responsibility for anything beyond the health of her own legacy.

Horrible use of the starchitect card. Ho hum. Nothing new there. Try again.

Among the green generation, who is heading up the charge? Well, nobody, really. This may be the first movement in architectural history whose followers are more famous than its leaders. Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Orlando Bloom are well-known fans of green design. Among green designers, on the other hand, we have the ambitiously principled (read: sorta vanilla) Cameron Sinclair, who leads Architecture for Humanity; the great, greatly mustachioed and soft-spoken Shigeru Ban; and William McDonough, who is beginning to project an Andy Rooney vibe.

Although we can’t disagree with either the vanillaness of Sinclair or the Rooneyness of McDonough (or the greatness of Ban), we have to say it’s clinically insane to say that there’s a dearth of well-known green designers. Really? Leo and Brad are the greenest architects you could find?

Hawthorne, what are you smoking? We bet that’s green.

“Design:e2 Part II” Preview

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We just got a super sneak preview of the next season of “Design:e2: The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious,” the sustainable design series that premiered on PBS last summer. While you can still catch the first season in reruns, the folks at kontent>real are knee deep in production on part II of the design series–which will premiere this fall–and the energy series, to follow after that. A few choice tidbits:

-California’s energy plan as a global example

-A super-sustainable community in Bangladesh

-The wind farms of Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota

-Enrique Penalosa‘s work in Bogota

-The Druk White Lotus school in India

-Ed Mazria‘s architecture2030

We also got our hands on the DVD of the first season, which you can buy, too, and it’s a gorgeous green world populated with high-profile friends of the environment like William McDonough, Susan Szenasy, Sergio Palleroni, and more. We also plan on listening to Brad Pitt‘s dreamy voiceover again and again…perhaps as we drift to sleep every night.