You’ve heard the story, usually told by James Dyson in his own dulcet tones: After five years and thousands of prototypes, the furniture designer-turned-engineer invented the first bagless dual-cyclonic vacuum cleaner. But less known is that, despite the machine’s superior technology, Dyson couldn’t find a manufacturer or distributor for it. So he created his own manufacturing facility, followed by a research center, which has since generated over a thousand patents for the company.
For 35 years, John Cronin has safeguarded New York’s waterways, investigating dozens of pollution cases and authoring three laws to protect the Hudson River and its communities. So when Cronin, director and CEO of the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, began planning the institute’s first research facility, the Center for Environmental Innovation and Education, he knew its physical form should embody its ecological ideals. Instead of just building green, he went one better: Working with international architecture and design firm Gensler, he transformed an abandoned 19th-century brick factory into a state-of-the-art structure packed with sustainable technologies.