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Jamais Cascio, 6 Jul 04

One of the key precepts of Viridian Design -- of which we are great fans, as should be pretty clear by now -- is that sustainable, environmentally-aware consumer goods won't become ubiquitous unless they have a caché beyond simply being good for you (and/or for the planet). They need to be, in a word, cool. That's why I'm always heartened to see designers who embrace the challenge of creating stuff that is both sustainable and compelling. The latest group of designers on this growing list is MioCultureLab, a Philadelphia-based group of designers who describe themselves as a studio for sustainable design, trying to build "a smarter, more beautiful and sustainable culture."

The two items shown here are the "V2" and "Tangent" 3D wallpapers, made of recycled materials. Other products they've designed include seating and lighting. I can't link directly to them, as the site suffers from "designers' syndrome" of putting everything in Flash and making it totally inaccessible to the deep linking (as well as to the disabled).

The designs are clearly not for everyone (truth be told, I'm not overly fond of most of them). But the underlying philosophy of the group is worth paying attention to, as they're not alone. Sustainability has become a powerful meme in the world of product design, and the design sense that initially shows up in the realm of the eclectic and expensive soon filters to the world of the more palatable and affordable. Expect to see more and more products touting their sustainable characteristics.

(Via Cool Hunting)

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Yes, environmentally responsible products need to be good for us and the planet. Yes, they need to be cool. But what they really, really, *really* need is to be *cheap*. Working class people should be able to afford them. Even POOR PEOPLE. A $300 cardboard chair does about as much good for the world as a Hummer.

Posted by: Brandon Keim on 11 Jul 04



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