Micène Fontaine, September 22, 2023
Our planet faces a biodiversity crisis. As architects and interior designers, you have the unique power to create spaces that inspire and nurture our planet.
It's easy to forget nature's incredible role in our lives. Yet, the importance of integrating landscape and biodiversity improvements into architectural and interior design cannot be overstated. This union is not just about aesthetics. It's a powerful strategy that wields environmental, economic, and even psychological benefits.
Over the past 50 years, species diversity has declined at an alarming rate of 69%. It's a wake-up call for all of us. The exciting part is that we can be part of the solution!
The Living Proof: A Story - High Line in New York City
Once a decrepit railway line, the High Line is now a vibrant oasis of greenery amidst the urban jungle. It's a testament to the transformative impact of landscaping. But it's not just about beauty; it's about biodiversity. The High Line supports countless species of plants, insects, and birds, fostering a self-sustaining ecosystem.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, August 16, 2023
Are you passionate about minimizing the environmental impact of your design projects?
Optimizing operational energy not only lowers operational costs but also crafts a legacy of responsible design for generations to come. As architects and interior designers, you hold the blueprint for a better world.
Data reveals that buildings are responsible for a significant chunk of global energy consumption (up to 40% in some regions), with operational energy being a major culprit. Operational energy is the energy needed to power and maintain a building's functions. Each material chosen and each construction method employed, contributes to the energy consumption of a building, impacting the planet long before it opens its doors. By employing strategies to reduce energy consumption, architects and interior designers can steer their projects towards a greener path.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, July 21, 2023
Have you heard of Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date each year when the rate of global resource consumption exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. The built environment accounts for a staggering 50% of the world's extracted materials and nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions annually. As architects and designers, you hold tremendous power to shape the built environment in a way that respects and conserves our precious resources.
Micène Fontaine, June 22, 2023
In a constantly evolving world, architects and interior designers are no longer solely focused on aesthetics. They understand the significance of responsible material sourcing, which is critical in shaping a sustainable and just future. By prioritizing socially responsible materials, design professionals can positively impact society and minimize their ecological footprint.
Micène Fontaine, May 23, 2023
Do you know what healthy materials are and why they are important in design?
Every architect and interior designer likely has a tale to share about that moment of revelation when they realized their potential to craft not only beautiful spaces but healthier living environments too. Maybe it was while standing amid an exquisitely designed project where the space was visually breathtaking, but the newly installed carpets were off-gassing harmful VOCs. It’s not hard to realize that the materials specified in projects can significantly influence people's health.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, April 21, 2023
Ten percent. That’s the average amount of time we spend outside.
Did you know that we breathe a concentration of indoor pollutants that can be two to five times higher, if not more, than outside?It’s true and, obviously, not so good for our health.
Frequently, ventilation is side-lined when it is, in fact, a crucial aspect of all healthy buildings. While the need for proper indoor ventilation is not new, the impact of the pandemic increased our focus on good ventilation. The result is upcoming changes to building code standards and enhanced indoor air quality guidelines.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, March 23, 2023
As architects and designers, you know the importance of incorporating natural light as a sculptural and architectural element in your work. However, did you know that daylight can also provide good health and wellbeing for building occupants?Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, March 2, 2023
Reasons for optimism are all around. And many are deeply embedded in the work that Architects and Designers do every day. If nothing else, the past 25 years working with design professionals have taught me that you find ways to solve problems. To elevate the human experience. I have experienced it.
Reasons for optimism can be found in conversations with our elders and our teenagers - both equally baffling yet grounding in the wisdom they hold - albeit for different reasons.Continue Reading
Micène Fontaine, January 26, 2023
Micène Fontaine, December 14, 2022
Sail too far into the ocean, and you might fall off the face of the Earth - or so the tale goes about how early explorers bravely sailed toward the horizon, not knowing what awaited beyond.
Today, the conversation has mostly moved on, but the shift from a flat view of the world to a circular view of the world rages on. Some argue - I am one of them - that our ancestors understood the cycles of Nature and Earth better than we do, or at least they designed and built with those cycles in mind. Today, we certainly know more, but we don't always know better.Continue Reading