The Viridian Design Movement

Key concepts
Metropolis magazine, Susan Szenasy, Gross Designed Product, materials specification, trade organizations, environmental stewardship
Attention Conservation Notice:
It's a magazine editorial that you should have been reading in the actual magazine.

Links: GLOBAL WINDPOWER 2004 coming up in Chicago.
Green Map Atlas makes its online launch on Leap Day Feb 29.

Coming up next month: SXSW Interactive in Austin, and the biggest open-house party that I throw all year. March 16. Be there or be square.

Despite the fact that somebody betrayed her trust and leaked her email from the Davos Forum of 2003, so that it spread worldwide like some out-of-control virus, noted journalist Laurie Garrett got to go back to the Davos Forum in 2004 anyhow!

Now Laurie Garrett is publicly lecturing in Austin. I'm too embarrassed to go apologize to her about reading her email when it was really none of my business, but maybe you should.

"The KLRU 2004 Distinguished Speaker Series Presents Science Journalist Laurie Garrett"

"Are globalization and environmental degradation increasing the threat of infectious diseases? Laurie Garrett, a science journalist for Newsday, the best-selling author of The Coming Plague and Betrayal of Trust, and a recent panelist on the 2004 World Economic Forum answers your questions on global public health. Hear up-to-the-minute information on the global health issues we read about in the headlines every day – HIV/AIDS, epidemic diseases, bioterrorism – and what must done to stop them."

Thursday, March 11, 2004 – 7 p.m.
LBJ Library Auditorium – 2313 Red River

Single Tickets On sale through Texas Box Office, 512=477=6060 and on-site one hour prior to lecture.

Lecture and Private Reception: $40 + service fees
Lecture only: $30 + service fees

Ginny Sanders Marketing Associate
KLRU-TV, Austin's PBS
PO Box 7158, Austin, Texas 78713-7158
p: 512.475.9062 f: 512.475.9082 c: 512.799.8184

(((Since I was traveling for much of the winter, I only just now got around to reading the January 2004 issue of METROPOLIS, a true Viridian darling of a publication.)))


(((This happens to be the highly futuristic "Prediction Issue" of METROPOLIS, with the enticing banner "How Will We Live in 2010?" As soon as I

finished gloating over a book review I wrote on page 110 – I'm in fine form there, boy is that thing ever witty and insightful – I read the editorial. Man, this editorial is the gouge. I just couldn't agree more heartily. It's the ne plus ultra of the Viridian-correct,

and yet it's been written by somebody with credibility who actually knows what she's talking about. Hallelujah!)))

METROPOLIS January 2004 page 18

"Power in Numbers

"Professional associations working together can help all designers become environmental stewards"

"A design idea remains just that – a thought a dream, a projection – until it materializes. The success of the ultimate form often depends on the materials chosen. Every designer knows this. But what they have yet to fully grasp is the power their material choices have to change the world. I feel it's my moral duty to call attention again and again to this fact.

"Every chance I get I mention the GDP (the Gross Designed Product) and its implications for our environmental health and well-being. The idea of the GDP is a simple one: architects as well as designers specializing in interiors, products, graphics, and landscape are responsible for putting huge volumes of materials in motion. They specify

everything from concrete to metal to wood to synthetics to paper – myriad products, thousands with mysterious provenance, suspected of causing harm to living creatures.

"About 50,000 architects are responsible for creating USD800 billion worth of construction projects each year in the United States. This is real purchasing power. And it's only a portion of the GDP. Each trade association has its own measurements of the work its members perform and

by implication the value of the products they specify. Together, these organizations – AIA, ASID, IIDA, IDSA, AIGA, and others – can force the production of environmentally safe, energy= efficient products. They're also in the position to provide research, analysis, and solid information

about the properties and behaviors of materials. And they can bring together their own experts with other design professionals as well as those in the natural and social sciences, thus providing their combined members with the kind of information that the citizen designer of the twenty-first century needs.

((("Citizen designer." Boy, there's a neologism.)))

"Though the signs indicate that the old territorial squabbling between the professions is abating, this is a fragile truce that must turn into a peace treaty with a backbone. Working together, keeping the power of the GDP in mind, designers are poised to make a better tomorrow today. The next generations will be grateful for their efforts. And current practitioners will have the satisfaction

of knowing they lived up to the mission of every great designer: to make the world better." – Susan S. Szenasy

(((Editor Susan Szenasy, ladies and gentlemen! This chick is the cat's pajamas! You should subscribe to this magazine right away. Heaven knows I do.)))

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