Branding Sustainability

If LivingHomes sound more like branded products than houses, perhaps that is intentional. “One thing I’m bringing from [the world of] tech is to treat homes as products more than as homes,” explains Steve Glenn.

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 “The process feels more like industrial design than house design. And we create PRDs [product requirements documents], like we did at Apple.” Glenn has carefully targeted his customers: They are not back-to-the-earthers, but relatively affluent people who want to consume guiltlessly—people who, in his words, “drive Priuses, buy Bosch appliances and Design Within Reach furniture, shop at Whole Foods, and give money to the Natural Resources Defense Council.”

Just as design companies like Alessi or Knoll might get famous designers to create signature kettles or chairs, Glenn has hired brand-name architects to design LivingHomes. He even plans to attach a plaque with the architect’s name to each house. His next designs will be by David Hertz, a Los Angeles–based architect who has worked on eco-sensitive design for many years.

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