EYE ON DESIGN: Green is Good Design

Green In The Air

You can always tell you’re in a crowd of architects and designers because everyone’s wearing black. But now another color is competing for attention, not in clothes but in concept: the green of eco-oriented design. Check the Energy-Efficient Plans Collection at Houseplans.com to see current definitions of green and other green help. Good design should always make the most of limited resources, be as energy-efficient as possible, and enhance the setting. In other words, good design has always been green. I was reminded of this definition when I attended a wonderful Earth Day party given by Michelle Kaufmann, the innovative modern green architect. It was held on the roof of the Airport Control Tower at the decommissioned Alameda Naval Air Station near Oakland, California, shown below.

tower exterior

It’s now the office of Makani Power, which develops wind energy with sophisticated kites. Clearly, recycling a building is one of the greenest design things you can do. And this wind energy company seems a marvelous fit for the old control tower. Talk about a concept that’s really taking off! …”Air Gore, Flight 001, Departing from Gate 7, All Aboard Please!”…


I had the pleasure of working with Michelle Kaufmann on the Sunset Breezehouse when I was Senior Home Editor at Sunset magazine. Her firm redefined the modern, green, prefabricated home.


MKD’s most recent prefab is the two-story mkSolaire™, shown above. You’ll be able to tour it at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry starting in May.


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