19 August 2011

Barbie Trades in the Pink Corvette for a Green House

Before Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, and even Jackie “O”, there was Barbie, arguably the country’s most recognizable Fashion Icon. With her countless number of clothes and large walk-in closets, Barbie quickly became the girl everyone looked to for fashion ideas, even if she was just a 13-inch doll.
As stylish as the blonde bombshell may have been, and still is, Barbie most likely is not a brand that most would first associate with eco-living, (the woman owned how many pink corvettes? Can you say gas guzzler??) however, times have changed and the doll will now reside in a home that will rival the most green buildings in the world.
AIA Architect Barbie® Dream House™ Design Competition, held by Mattel Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), selected an eco-friendly winning stunning home designed by recent Harvard graduates Ting Li and Maja Paklar.

Decked out with solar panels, operable shading and bamboo flooring, the dream house also comes with a low-flow toilet and sink fixtures, (which in real life could save about 4,000 gallons of water per year) all made from locally sourced materials.
Barbie also gets a 1,500-square-foot entertaining space and open chef’s kitchen, a separate library and client-meeting room, a full-floor “inspiration room,” a greenhouse on the roof, and a landscaped garden for her pets.
Like we needed any more reason to be jealous?
Unfortunately, Mattel has no intentions of transforming this dream house into an actual doll house or real life mansion, but it has been reported that the house would sell for $3.5 million if it were ever built into a real home.
Nonetheless and competitions aside, I can only hope that Mattel can see just how much of an impact a more sustainably-living Barbie would have. I have shared in the past just how important I feel it is for children to begin living an eco conscious lifestyle early, and with this young girl role model, Barbie, taking her first green steps I can only imagine just all of who would follow.

13 August 2011

Functionally Sustainable Furniture

Stephen Schultz is an emerging German contemporary furniture designer for the 21st Century. Experimenting in readily available materials including recycled foam, bent steel, domestic concrete, plywood and linoleum, Schultz develops minimalistic and modular pieces that would function equally well in a commercial and residential atmosphere.

The ‘Recycled Chair Couch Sofa System’ is crafted of recycled speckled foam source material and offered in both natural as well as colorful shape options.

Quite a different perspective on the same subject is evident in Schultz’s ‘Comfy Cargo Chair’ which is said to originate from the idea to create a piece of furniture which does not predetermine the surface for the user.

The chair allows the sitter to finish the construction which consists of a bare bones bent steel frame, forming tunnels perfect for tucking pillows, books, blankets and personal items. It seems the idea of “nesting” has not escaped Schultz. Bravo!

For more from the creative eye of Stephen Schultz visit studio-stephenschultz.com

11 August 2011

Fresh Fashion: Square Foot for Square Feet

Earlier this year I did a series of post entitled, Fresh Fashion. The idea was to spotlight designs and designers who used their artwork to creatively change the world of fashion. During this time, I loved introducing these works to an audience that may have never been familiar to the designs had they not read it here.

So I decided why stop there. Why not continue to bring light to interesting fashion?

Chipkos, is an eco friendly sandal company based out in LA who protects 100 square feet of the rain forest for each pair of sandals that are bought. Recently the company decided to “step” things up in a big way.

Chipkos is breaking ground by releasing the world’s most expensive flip flop ever. Hand-painted by renowned Los Angeles artist, David Palmer, the collector’s item is priced at $18,000 a pair. On the up side, for each pair that is sold, Chipkos will protect 100,000 square feet of rain forest land.

While I don’t know how many individuals can afford the pricy price tag, the shoes are more targeted toward companies who are interested in making a philanthropic purchase.

I love the concept of this idea and the company in general. Along with its clever design of a more square-ish design as opposed to the round-toe that most flip flops have, the square foot shape symbolizes the square feet of rain forest the company protects.

For anyone interested in purchasing the flip flops, check out the company’s website at www.chipkos.com.