April 19, 2012
At Intereum, we believe that furniture and the physical environment have a transformative effect on learners. Having served the education market for over 28 years, we’ve become a go-to resource for clients in the K-12 and Higher Education markets. As a Herman Miller Certified Dealer, we recognize that quality products are derived from extensive research, problem solving, and with a commitment to human-centered designs.
Seven years ago, Intereum formed a partnership with V/S, which like Herman Miller, is a research-driven company that delivers quality, ergonomically-fit, and suitable education furniture for 21st Century learners in K-12 and Higher Education environments. With their extensive knowledge of the industry and trends, V/S partnered with Cannon Design to publish the book The Third Teacher, a cabinet of wonders on how design can transform the ecology of learning.
“It is time to change the conversation about learning. It is time to transform our understanding of teaching and learning. It is time for a holistic consideration that creates a new ecology of living, growing and learning for our children.” – Cannon Design
In support of the research and its impact on education as a whole, Intereum and V/S are cosponsors for a learning presentation featuring Trung Le. As a key leader in education for Cannon Design, an ‘Ideas Based Architectural Practice’ recognized worldwide for their design excellence and technological innovation, Le has become an award-winning speaker, consultant, and collaborator on The Third Teacher publication.
Trung Le, who is most recognized for his advocacy and work with educational design, has opened the doors to meaningful conversations about changing the education landscape to better serve the 21st Century learners. His experience and design philosophy for emboldening student inquiry and imagination have given way to how change through design can foster growth with students.
8 Chapters, 79 Ideas: What started as a research project, turned into a published book, works as a design tool, and now serves as the motivation for a architectural groups near and far. To experience the conversation, visit the TED Talk featuring Trung Le.
Becoming an Agent of Change through Sustainability: How do our choices and behaviors affect sustainability?
May 17, 2011
Sustainability is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as “the ability to meet our needs without compromising the needs of future generations.” This includes not only the environmental considerations, but also the social and economic impacts. The culmination of the social, economic and environmental impacts is referred to as the “Triple Bottom Line”. It requires doing more with less, adapting to constantly changing technology, and updating our outdated buildings; all difficult to achieve – much less maintain – in this economic climate.
The topic of sustainability can be a challenging one, because it forces us to analyze our behavior and choices. It is as much about planning as it is about the Three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). It brings up several “What ifs”: What if including more contractors in the upfront design and planning phase of a project would allow you to integrate your systems to save energy, increase thermal comfort and air quality, and save on long-term life-cycle costs of your space? What if your design team included vendors that have products that accommodate change in the future and thus reduce the cost and labor that is inevitable with expansions? What if these products made your users happier, more satisfied and helped your business attract and retain the best and brightest? How does your behavior and the choices you make affect the “Triple Bottom Line” and thus sustainability?
A recent paper released by DIRTT (stands for Doing It Right This Time) writes, “This is a discussion about our behaviors: The way we approach buildings and the way the buildings ultimately behave…choosing better materials as a substitute for real sustainability is the equivalent of choosing palliative care over a healthy lifestyle.” Also, Bill Stumpf, one of the creators and visionaries of the iconic Aeron Chair, wrote a book titled The Ice Palace That Melted Away. This book addresses behaviors, virtues and civility and how they shape culture and affect sustainability. “Disposable culture”, consumerism, and “material wastefulness” are also topics in this book. He writes,
“In my lifetime, I will use up nearly 20,000 disposable razors, 25,000 gallons of hot water and 500 six-ounce cans of aerosol shave cream (62 shaving years, God-willing, one shave per day). By comparison, in all his years of removing whiskers, my grandfather used less than half a dozen straight razors, maybe two or three honing straps, at best 100 bars of Ivory soap, maybe a dozen shaving brushes, one ceramic later mug, and less than one quart of hot water per shave (75 percent less hot water than I use). I can’t help wondering if in such simple routines I shouldn’t shun an obvious material wastefulness and indifference to the details of daily life and adopt a less material existence in general, extracting more pleasure from the art of living,”
A renewed commitment to planning is an integral step to sustainable projects. Thus, having an integrated project team and proactively planning for change is essential. Proper planning and strategic partnerships enable synergies to happen and allow sustainability to flourish. Stay tuned for our next Agent of Change post on collaboration!