I recently received a copy of the Material Connexion's publication MATTER that had a fantastic interview by Richard J. Lombard with Swiss designer, Yves Béhar, about his work and the role of "being green" in design.
Yves is the founder of fuseproject and is well-known for putting LED lighting in the "spotlight" with his groundbreaking Leaf-lamp for Herman Miller. In the interview, he discusses the "Cradle to Cradle" ideas that are the driving force behind such designs as the Leaf-lamp, the XO laptop, the Y Water bottles and a multi-capable bike helmet for New York City. As quoted from the interview when asked about his stance on being "green" in his work, Yves states:
"For me it's one of the basic tools in the toolbox of the designer. I don't look at green as a specialty or as the sole aspect of a project; but, at the same time, green is part of every project that we work on. So it's like saying aesthetics or function has to be part of a project, that same level. It's got to have emotional appeal, it's got to have function, it's got to have a response to a green challenge as well. It's just one of the criteria but every single time it is included there."
It's refreshing to hear a designer like Yves talk about sustainability in design that puts in on the order of importance with form and function--instead of using it as a gimmick or marketing point. Check out the Material Connextion website for more information about eco-friendly materials that designers, artists, architects, etc. can use in their own work. Also check out this link to back issues of MATTER online--hopefully the "green issue" with the Yves interview will be up soon so that you can read it for yourself. Enjoy!
Leaf lamp image copyright Herman Miller; XO laptop and Yves images copyright scribemedia.org; Y Water bottle image copyright Businessweek.