Life + Arts

Students exhibit green designs

Interior design seniors are striving to show that reducing waste does not mean reducing style, emphasizing that highly eco-friendly design can also be highly fashionable.

Students will display their designs at the second annual exhibit free and open to the public, Prototype 2: Bridging Design and Sustainability the exhibit will be open Wednesday and Thursday at Design Within Reach, located at 1956 West Gray St.’

Kristen Cochran, interior design senior and president of UH’s American Society of Interior Design, said the green movement is largely misunderstood.

‘The focus of eco-friendly design has always been driven by materials and technologies that adhered to reducing waste and impact on the environment,’ Cochran said. ‘The design aesthetic of these materials was secondary to the functionality of the product. Stereotyping, misrepresentation and advocacy has led to a lack of interest in the green movement.”

Style and design aesthetics were greatly emphasized in the prototypes’ production, but functionality and sustainability remained the primary priorities. Students carefully selected all of their wide-ranging and nontoxic materials, from cardboard to renewable EVA foam.’

‘We selected materials that are either renewable, recyclable, biodegradable or environmentally friendly, such as organic cork, bamboo and recycled cardboard. Also, the light prototypes were designed to be used with energy efficient light bulbs, such as LED light bars and fluorescent bulbs,’ Cochran said. ‘

One chair, ‘Crest,’ by Dijana Hadanovic, is composed of recycled cardboard. Another chair, ‘Swell’ by Cochran, is made of biodegradable organic cork. ‘Qi,’ a multi-functional lounge chair by Cindy Bang, is built with renewable EVA foam.’

Lights prove no less eco-conscious. One light, ‘Sutando’ by Lam Nguyen, is made of hand-folded paper reminiscent of origami with fluorescent lighting and requires no adhesive. Another light, ‘Artificial Intelligence’ by Nadia Tufail, combines paper and AVS plastic with LED and fiber optics as the light sources.’

Like their eco-friendly designs, the senior interior design students’ goals are to provide for a consumer base that is steadily becoming more environmentally conscious, yet still yearns for style. ‘ ‘

‘Our goal is to stay abreast of a rapidly changing industry ingrained in innovation. We strive to create healthy and socially responsible designs that improve the quality of life and serve the needs of society today and in the future,’ Cochran said.’

Student prototypes will be on display between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, at Design Within Reach.’

Prototype 2: Bridging Design and Sustainability
6 to 9 p.m.
Design Within Reach’
1956 West Gray
Houston, Tx 77019

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