As we wade into a sparkling new year, here’s what we know to be true: every item we use has an impact on our planet. Knowing this implores those who design products for our homes to make ecologically sound choices. Why? Because this will determine how we can collectively shape the sustainability of our future.
As someone who follows green home design closely for my Econesting blog, one of my favorite New Year lists is Inhabitat’s, Green Design Predictions. Each year, Inhabitat rounds-up some of the brightest environmental experts and design luminaries in the field and asks them to make predictions for our future.
Highlights From Green Design Predictions:
Sinclair looks to our political climate to dictate the direction of green:
“The rhetoric of the 2012 election will force US-based sustainability advocates to decouple themselves from the political process and seek support elsewhere.”
Fehrenbacher claims last year was tough for 2011 cleantech and clean power companies. But she predicts that while the U.S. will continue to struggle to adopt renewable energy, China and India will invest in clean tech power sources. What she does see shifting in the U.S. is:
“…using the web and mobile to share stuff more efficiently like peer-to-peer car sharing…Other aspects of the so-called Clean Web, will do well, too, like energy efficiency software and using the web to sell solar to consumers.”
Peter Ward, Ph.D – Paleontologist, Author of On Methuselah’s Trail: Living Fossils and the Great Extinctions, Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle
Ward has two predictions. The first one is that our tragic and changeable weather upheavals will continue. His second predictions is:
“I hope that world citizenry does not continue to equate “connected-ness” with conservation in any way. It is currently fashionable to be green. And it is fashionable to own every new device that Steve Jobs conceived of so as to be plugged into at all times…Our total immersion and merging of entertainment and communication comes at a high price in terms of the global atmosphere – every electronic music, video player, telephone, computer and automobile requires ever more electricity, which pumps ever larger amounts of greenhouse gases into the global atmosphere. Being online 24/7 could very well bring a total off-line by 2047.”
Vila sees a comeback in home building.
“I predict home construction will slowly begin to rebound with a focus on downsizing and energy-conserving green standards. In the coming year, look for an increasing trend towards cluster housing and co-housing projects.”
Joaquin finds the opportunity to “do more with less and celebrate organizations and individuals who are making those choices” to be a welcome trend for 2012.
“We have had some major challenges defending the Clean Air Act during the past few years, but thanks to the EPA and groups like Mom’s Clean Air Force we are holding ground and it is my hope that, with grassroots persistence, we will find protection in 2012. I predict, despite immense political pressure, we will prioritize the air we breathe and consequentially our health.”
Schwab looks to the economy, social trends, building construction, and the consolidation of the solar industry to be driving forces this year.
“As credit markets ease, we will see more commercial buildings constructed and the energy integrity of these structures will be a priority. Projects such as hospitals, hotels, corporate headquarters, schools, and federal buildings will have more green attributes than ever and LEED certification will continue to be the bellwether in green building certifications.”
Yuka Yoneda – Senior Editor, Inhabitat
Yoneda predicts the DIY phenomenon will continue.
“…with money tight and the internet making it easier than ever to find how-tos on anything and everything, I think more people than ever will venture out of their comfort zones and pick up their hammers, paintbrushes, glue guns and sewing machines…They say that if you want something done right, you have to Do It Yourself. So let’s roll up our sleeves this year and do 2012 right!”
Read all the designers predictions in Inhabitat’s post HERE.