Based upon the strength of our Tricycle exhibit designs the U.S. Green Building Council asked us to design an interior designer networking garden at Greenbuild '06; the object was to promote the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) and International Interior Design Association (IIDA). We took this opportunity to invite Gensler, the largest design firms in the world, to partner with us on this venture. Gensler Senior Associate, Melissa Mizell, and myself lead the design team composed of Gensler San Francisco, Gensler Denver, Tricycle and volunteers. We also collaborated with an ad hoc executive committee composed of staff from USGBC, IIDA and ASID.
Specific eco-design principles in play included minimizing the amount of design waste generated by the project, modeling end of life reuse of materials, and choosing products (donated by local and national companies) that feature the same values. Original design elements, custom created for the Garden, included a plywood floor with Tryk™ digitally modeled carpet samples, a five foot floor lamp made of carpet samples otherwise destined for landfill, and a hand crafted table and bamboo plywood chairs.
The booth's interactive elements invited conference attendees to write design questions on the windows, play with sketching and text on the walls of "Hello" nametags, and toss their many giveaways acquired in the expo hall for recycling and donation to local interior design schools ("the No Swag Zone").
In collaborating with Gensler, I discovered our design philosophies were aligned: concept is king, waste is unnecessary, green can always be beautiful, convention is boring. We set out to emphasize the social aspect of sustainability and our collaboration was living a model of that.
Our networking exposure was significant. Not only were Tricycle SIMs and our carpet furniture prototype (a precursor to Ample Sample) in the Garden, but we were publicly paired as peers with Gensler by the Garden’s exclusive media sponsor, Interior Design. In addition to coverage in Interior Design, photos of the booth ran in ASID Icon and IIDA Perspective, which were distributed to their combined 50,000 interior designer members.