Climate-Conscious Design: 8 Visionaries and the Best Products for a Lighter Footprint

Our annual overview features the top companies and pioneering designers who are pushing the limits.
Text by

We’re introducing eight visionaries who are breaking ground in ecologically attuned design and a selection of new products to make your home easier on the environment. Read their stories below, and check out our favorite new-to-market products.

Anna Saint Pierre

Designer and doctoral researcher Anna Saint Pierre at her studio in Paris.

Saint Pierre invented Granito, a terrazzo flooring product made of concrete and reclaimed granite from a stately building in Paris. She explains why we should recycle our old buildings—right where they stand.

See her thoughts on in situ recycling.

Ali Malkawi is the founding director of HouseZero, part of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.

As the director of HouseZero, Malkawi leads a Harvard University initiative that is researching the future of energy-efficient living. The unit's headquarters, a prewar bungalow in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is decked out in data-gathering sensors and software that continually adjusts the house’s windows, vents, and shades—all in pursuit of the optimal temperature, air quality, and energy efficiency.

Read more about his vision to help maximize natural ventilation.

The three founders of British brand Tala Lighting—Joshua Ward, Maxwell Wood, and William Symington—at their headquarters in East London.

When the trio behind Tala Lighting launched their first LED collection in 2015, they were looking to present a design that consumers could get excited about. With each design iteration, they’ve concentrated on using high-quality, long-lasting materials and merging traditional materials with new technologies. They aim to promote "conservation through beauty"—the idea that consumers buy into sustainability through products that are inherently attractive, and not primarily because they’re sustainable.

See how they meld sustainable and beautiful LED design.

Walter Meyer and Jennifer Bolstad, the founders of Local Office Landscape and Urban Design, at their offices in Brooklyn.

A large percentage of the world's populations live along coastlines, and Meyer and Bolstad are on a mission to "build cities in participation with nature." Using research, science-driven design, and their own field experiments, the duo want to help communities understand their options and get a say in what happens to their neighborhoods.

See how they implementing solutions in Brooklyn and beyond.

Designer Yves Béhar is a founder of the industrial design and brand management firm fuseproject, which has created dozens of award-winning products over the years.

Béhar is the designer behind many popular consumer products—from Jawbone wearable devices to The Frame, a smart TV developed in collaboration with Samsung. Now, he turns his attention to the future of smart homes with a vision for embedded intelligence.

See why he thinks it's time for smart devices to start working together.




Get the Pro Newsletter

What’s new in the design world? Stay up to date with our essential dispatches for design professionals.