What Michael Kors Taught Me About Green Design

So I was in New York for the last three days, and silly me, I thought I would be able to blog while I was there.  As you can tell from the crickets that have been chirping on my site all week, I was wrong.  Lesson learned.

Another lesson learned?  We in the sustainable design community need to stop promoting what we do like it was orthopedic shoes.  You know what I mean.  “This product is so much better for you”.  “If you don’t want to be hobbling around in 20 years, you need to do what we say.”  “Yes, it may be a bit more expensive, and not very stylish, but it’s the right thing to do”.   I say phooey…

and it’s thanks to Michael Kors, and this pair of kick-ass, black gladiator sandals.

You see, I packed two pairs of shoes for my trip.  One was a sensible, comfortable pair of leather flats, the perfect thing for dashing around the streets and subways of New York.  The second was the aforementioned pair of platform sandals with a 3″ heel.  So guess which ones I wore when it came time to meet with the lovely ladies of HomePortfolio.com to tour the showrooms of the NYDC?   Yep, the sandals.  And why?  Because when it came right down to it, I wanted to look good more than feel good – and I have the blisters to prove it.

So Wednesday night I sat (thank heavens for my poor aching feet) on a panel of designers discussing green design, at the Cliff Young showroom.  Moderated by the lovely, and ever so patient Lindsey Weidhorn from HGTV, we designers preached and pontificated on what we thought green design was and why it was important.  By the end of it I found myself feeling tired, and not a little frustrated.  It’s not that the information wasn’t worthwhile.  It’s that yet again, we emphasized that green design was better for you, and that designers needed to do it, because in the end, they were going to have to anyway (a point I actually disagreed with in my head, but kept to myself – it was a panel discussion after all, and not a debate).  At the end I thought, “why are we still saying the same things we were saying 3-4 years ago, and why aren’t designers really listening?”

Then it hit me.  Interior designers see green design as being like a pair of orthopedic shoes.  Safe, healthy, and incredibly boring.  Besides which, designers have enough to deal with without having to narrow their choices down to (what they think is) almost nothing when they are designing a space for a client.  Who wants to try to find a pair of sensible shoes to go with a sexy evening dress?

So I’m changing my tune, from a folk music ditty on orthopedic shoes, into a rock n’ roll rant on sexy sandals.  I don’t just want you to be politely interested in sustainable design, I want you to practically beg for it.   Now that would be a revolution!

2 Responses to “What Michael Kors Taught Me About Green Design”

  1. Lori Hass Says:

    right on! what a great way to explain the lack of excitement for sustainable design.

  2. theinteriorRevolution » Blog Archive » Leather and Lampshades – Regenesi Says:

    [...] What Michael Kors Taught Me About Green Design [...]

Leave a Reply