Mion Footwear

Mion is a high-performance amphibious shoe that provides unique comfort in an ecologically sensitive design. The project incorporated several cutting-edge environmental innovations that have advanced best practices for green product design and development in the footwear industry. Mion contains the first ever Eco Metrics label (inspired by the FDA’s nutritional-facts label) to provide consumers with details on the impact of their purchase. The shoe is heavily comprised of ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), a relatively inert material. EVA’s ability to be easily molded (instead of cutting and gluing), enabled radical reductions in both energy use and waste generation. Mion’s repertoire of ecologically sensitive materials includes a corn-based film, which produces the unusual morphic effect on the outer surface. Mion also provides the protection and comfort expected from a sport shoe, including the ergomorphic footbed that permanently molds to the wearer’s foot after 12 hours and its light weight even after being in the water all day.

Contact: Amy Cunningham
Mion Footwear

Credit: Keen Design Studio and Timberland Invention Factory

Client: The Timberland Company

Celle Task Chair

Celle is a mid- to low-price environmentally advanced task chair for individual workstations, conference and training rooms, and healthcare and home office environments. The design minimizes the use of toxic materials as measured though the Cradle to Cradle design protocol. The chair is 99 percent recyclable and contains 33 percent recycled content. The cellular suspension eliminates the need to glue foam, fabric and plastic together, greatly enhancing recyclability. For users, Celle addresses the most common problem in the workplace: lower-back pain and fatigue. The cellular suspension provides different flex regions for the four key areas of the back, and the contour and overall design elements support the pelvis and lumbar. Options include height- and depth-adjustable lumbar support, height/width/pivot arms, fixed arms, adjustable seat depth, forward seat angle, various upholstery choices and low and high height cylinders.

Contact:Bruce Buursma
Herman Miller

Credit: Jerome Caruso Design

Client: Herman Miller


Zody is a high-performance, mid-priced office chair that integrates a strong design sensibility with sustainability. Designers conducted extensive material analysis to ensure the chair’s components would be ecologically sensitive. Before being approved for use, each material was rigorously examined down to the 100 parts per million level for human and environmental health. Components are easily replaced or repaired, and a concurrently established take-back program will ensure the chair, which can be broken down into its constituent parts in only 15 minutes, is properly recycled at the end of its life. Zody is also the first product to be certified at the gold level in the MBDC Cradle to Cradle certification program. To provide maximum comfort, Zody features an asymmetrical lumbar support system, which research showed was the type of support preferred by most users. It also has four-way adjustable arms, a sliding seat, three-point tilt mechanism and a gel seat option that lowers pressure on the hips and lower back.

Contact: Julie Smith
Haworth Inc.

Credit: Haworth Inc. and ITO - Design


SIM from Tricycle

Carpet samples contribute an estimated 1 million pounds of waste to America’s landfills every year. They are also expensive to produce—$250–500 each, a cost mills are forced to swallow as a loss leader. A cost-effective and environmentally sensitive alternative, SIM digitally models carpet and textiles for manufacturers when prototyping new designs and for architects and designers when reviewing samples in the early stages of a project. SIM produces color-accurate renderings by capturing the fiber color under a specific light source and even includes a representation of the design’s pattern by actually simulating the carpet machine manufacturing. The samples use 95 percent less energy and water and are 100 percent recyclable into paper products. Produced on-demand, there is no excess inventory, and wait times for designers are cut from days, sometimes weeks, to 24 hours.

“…showcases the potential of design to significantly reduce environmental burdens, while reducing both costs and time to market for carpet sampling. This effort has shown how the inclusion of ecological concerns in the creative process can generate a competitive advantage.”
--JohnPaul Kusz, IDSA, co-director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise

Contact: Caleb Ludwick
Tricycle, Inc

Credit: Tricycle, Inc


Greenscapes Mountain Sneaker

The Mountain Sneaker is a part of the Greenscapes Collection, a line of casual footwear and apparel that uses earth-conscious materials and construction methods without sacrificing style and function. Recognizing that outdoor consumers have become more concerned about environmental performance, the company ensured that the Mountain Sneaker received a Green Index rating (a sustainability rating system that assesses the environmental impact of products) at least 50 percent better than its other products. This was accomplished without the typical drab aesthetic or poor technical performance that deters many consumers from buying green footwear. The Mountain Sneaker is versatile and sturdy enough for trail use yet adaptable for most casual lifestyle applications, from around town to around the world. Backpacker magazine even granted the shoe a 2007 Green Award.

Contact: Betsy Blaisdell

Credit: The Timberland Company

Client: The Timberland Company

The Tesla Roadster

The Tesla Roadster is a high-performance, electric-powered sports car that hopes to radically change public perception about what an electric vehicle could be. It produces zero emissions and has a 250 mile range on a single charge and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. While styling was of paramount importance, with an emphasis on performance and timeless beauty, avoiding any association with the legacy of odd-looking electric vehicles was an imperative. Designers eschewed a futuristic look in favor of a familiar, accessible aesthetic that would help put drivers at ease with the technology. Response so far has been tremendous. More than 320 people have reserved a car without having even driven it (and, in some cases, without having physically seen it), proving that electric vehicles do not have to be slow, boring or ugly.

“A high octane experience with low voltage rush. The Tesla Roadster represents the best mix of innovation, environmental care and style. Definitely the kind of products new consumers are willing to try.”

Franco Lodato, IDSA, Head, R&D Division, North American Region, Pininfarina Extra USA

Contact: David Vespremi 650-413-6270 Credit: Lotus Design Studio (United Kingdom), Tesla Motors Inc. and Bill Moggridge, FIDSA Client: Tesla Motors Inc

Mobility Vision Integration Process

The Mobility Vision Integration Process (mVIP) investigates ways that expert designers can support and accelerate dialogue about the future of sustainable mobility. These mVIP cards are an experimental tool that supports rapid future scenario development on the topic of sustainable mobility so that groups and individuals can quickly enter a dialogue and brainstorm about possible outcomes, solutions and strategies. The deck contains 109 cards in 11 categories and is also available as an online brainstorming tool.

Contact: Christine Hanson: Credit: Art Center College of Design Client:

Lite2go Lamp

The lite2go is a sustainably-designed household lamp that sheds the excess of packaging by eliminating it all together. The packaging becomes the shade for the energy-saving light bulb and electric cord contained within. It is designed to be versatile, used as either a pendant or a table lamp. The manufacturing process is simple and all components can be disassembled and are biodegradable or recyclable.

Contact: Ivy Chuang, IDSA: Credit: Knoend LLC Client:

Chulha - low smoke biomass stove

Most households in rural India depend on biomass fuels for cooking, which leads to indoor air pollution, causing respiratory diseases among women and children. Traditional stoves are inefficient; they blacken interior walls while indoor smoke kills more than 1.5 million people globally. The Chulha low smoke stove burns biomass fuel more efficiently (reducing cooking time) while it directs smoke out of the house through a chimney chamber. The stove is made in modular units, solving logistical and maintenance issues.

Contact:Annemieke Strous: Credit:Philips Design (The Netherlands) Client:

Treepac shipping system

Treepac is a reusable shipping container intended to replace cardboard boxes for shipping. The pack is meant to be used like a cardboard box, but it is designed to enable and encourage people and companies to improve their personal environmental footprint. The more times each pack is used, the greater the positive effect on the environment. Designed from a systems perspective, Treepac addresses the specific needs of packers, shippers and recipients; it mirrors the good features of cardboard boxes, adds new features and enables new service concepts; and in use it yields a significantly lower overall environmental impact than recycled single-use cardboard boxes.

Contact: Danielle Perretty: Credit: Essential, Inc. Client: