If you’ll be in New York City soon, visit the Cooper-Hewitt to see the “Why Design Now?” exhibition before it closes on Jan 9. What an important exhibition, and what an uplifting experience! I was energized by the array of innovative design solutions to fundamental world problems—including environmental degradation.
For decades, Herman Miller has been working to systematically minimize its impact on the earth. Environmental advocacy has always been one of the pillars of the company, and it always will be.
In 2010, it announced a goal of being carbon neutral by 2020. Not easy, but given the company-wide commitment and passion for the cause, I bet we make it.
Of course, we don’t hear much about all the positive work that’s making an impact on large and small scales. “Why Design Now?” shows that smart people are designing solutions to human and environmental problems all over the world, making life better, safer, and healthier.
It’s hard to pick a favorite display. They are all amazing in their own way. Maybe it’s the solar-powered LED streetlight that’s part of a living tree. Or maybe the device that converts ocean waves to electrical power. Or the web-based world-health map that displays and tracks disease outbreaks. Or the “Return to Sender” artisan eco-casket.
So if you think the world is beyond hope and problems are too huge to even think about, get to the Cooper-Hewitt. Or buy the beautiful book Why Design Now?, the catalogue created for the exhibition. It’s all good.