Last May, the American Society of Interior Designers released Turning Green: A Guide to Becoming a Green Design Firm (pdf here), a primer for applying sustainable design principles to interior design practice. The proposed solutions are not really systemic or groundbreaking, but it's a good introduction, and includes resources for materials substitutions and guidelines for working with clients.
The more interesting inclusions were in the project worksheets and comprehensive questionnaires for manufacturers. While it can be difficult to get this sort of 'proprietary' detail from companies, LEED standards have had an impact: suppliers can lose contracts if they can't provide detailed answers. And these questions can be just as useful for designers new to these ideas: the document is honest about the the complexity of turning green, and the fact that there's a lot more involved than substituting bamboo for rock maple.
I think "turning green" is a much deeper subject than most people realize.
World Changing readers should know the good folks at Building Green, publishers of "Environmental Building News." This is where to go for well-researched, unbiased evaluations of green building products, systems and processes. They accept no advertising and they do their homework. I make my living through "green" architecture, and "Environmental Building News" is indispensible to my work. Check out their web site:
Turning Green is indeed a complex issue, one that our company has embraced and then offered to share the initial steps we took as a green design firm several years ago through this publication and ASID's support. It is a primer, a starting point, for us all to think about how to set the wheels in motion for our own particular circumstances and in the application of a greener life to our work. This is the bigger challenge and one our firm continues to embrace, wrestling daily with the practicalities involved. We're grateful that the project worksheets and questionnaires have been helpful; we plan to publish more practical information like this in the future, and hope we can be a catalyst for continued change towards a better world for all of our children, to paraphrase Wlm McDonough!