One of the new buzzwords in the realm of design is sustainable. In this era of climate change, alongside the call to adopt a waste-free lifestyle, interior designers have stepped up their game to come up with and execute concepts for cutting down on energy and water consumption and making use of materials that are recycled, recyclable, or do not add to pollution in the surroundings. Who are the faces and firms behind this new wave, especially in interior design? Learn more about some of the cutting-edge names in the business here!
Among the longest standing names in interior design, the Gensler firm has been around since 1965. Since then it has expanded its operations to serve over 3,500 clients over several continents. The Gensler Research Institute has devoted itself to providing solutions for sustainability as a prime consideration for interior design, alongside putting importance on the health and wellness benefits to occupants. Recent projects employing concepts of sustainability include the new office tower of LPL Financial in San Diego, California, as well as the Glumac workspace in Shanghai. The Glumac workspace in particular uses recycled materials employs a green wall and prides itself on having been created with a zero-carbon footprint.
Another giant in the industry, the HOK was founded as an architectural firm in 1955. Since then the firm has grown to include engineering, interior design, and planning as among its areas of expertise. For the past six years, HOK has reaped accolades for its sustainable designs. These include the headquarters of LG North America in New Jersey and the new biophilic design of the Central + Wolfe campus located in Silicon Valley.
Perkins + Will
Ever since its beginnings in 1935, the Perkins + Will firm has committed itself to human-centered design. In recent years they have also focused on sustainability, as seen by their new projects which are adaptable to the changing climate and also utilize materials that have lower carbon footprints and leave less waste. These concepts are well applied to Perkins + Will’s Atlanta office as well as to its projects all around the US and Canada. The firm has designed sustainable buildings and interiors for institutes such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA, and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver, Canada.
Staying right ahead of the curve, the HKS firm prides itself on “designing a resilient tomorrow”. This US-based firm has gathered accolades in various areas of design ranging from excellence in design as well as sustainability. To date, HKS has 195 Leed projects, meaning these projects are certified as green designs or buildings. Some of HKS’ renowned projects include the AVON Cosmetics European Headquarters in the Northampton United Kingdom, as well as the Montage Deer Valley resort. These structures maximize use of natural light, reduce energy consumption through innovative heating systems, and institute green housekeeping practices to maintain the environmentally friendly concept day in day out.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
For the minds behind Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, it is not enough to simply stop at sustainable interior design. This enterprising firm has partnered with National Geographic to design a blueprint for sustainable cities with buildings and interiors utilizing the best in green design and architecture. Some of SOM’s sustainable designs have already come to fruition with buildings such as the Pertamina Energy Tower in Jakarta, the new United States courthouse in Los Angeles, and the headquarters of the JTI, located in Geneva, Switzerland. One of SOM’s major case studies, the 350 Mission Tower, provides an example of how sustainability can be employed in the interior design, particularly in the corporate setting.
The call for sustainable design can only be seen to intensify in the coming years, as humanity struggles to keep up with the toll from rapid climate change and other ecological upheavals. Never before has this become more crucial for our booming cities and communities. We can expect that more and more interior designers and their firms will stand on the shoulders of these giants and come up with even more innovative designs that can help human communities coexist with and even save the planet.