Feature Article

Green Design: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Beauty, place-making, and even love are motivating many green designers, who see these values complementing core sustainability tenets.

December 2, 2013

In the movie Monsters, Inc., the title characters extract the energy needed to run their city by sneaking out of closets in the night and making human children scream. But the novelty is wearing thin, and as the children become less scared, the community’s power supply is threatened. Our monster heroes, whose true nature is more goofy than scary, end the crisis when they discover that human laughter provides ten times the energy of a scream.

Sustainability-focused designers never intended to make people scream, but inspiring joy has not always been front-of-mind for clients in an industry where economics rather than ergonomics is the prime mover. And with many project teams working hard to push the envelope of energy performance, an “added” focus on beauty, wellness, or happiness has often gotten short shrift.