Green Light
April 14, 2009 - 12:00pm

Dedicated to sustainable design and manufacturing solutions, Jaime Salm describes the work of his company, MIO, and its innovative MioCultureLab division.

Made from powdercoated, laser-cut steel, MIO's Bendant serves as a prime example of eco-centric design. Its size, the shape of its cuts and its flat packaging result from material and manufacturing efficiencies.

Eco-intelligence, or green design,is all about making better choices as a consumer and as a designer. Wise choices in materials, finishes and manufacturing location can each have a tremendous impact on the footprint of any product.

    There are plenty of opportunities for eco-intelligent choices in lighting design, including efficient light sources, minimal use of materials, durability and minimal packaging. The extraordinary thing about lighting is that all most customers really want is the experience of lighting. The physical product itself is really a by-product, so our job as designers is to use less physical materials and make them work harder.

    Green design is important because it makes common sense. Getting more from less, bridging the gap between natural, social and economic systems is the logical progression of commerce. Green design is also a platform that companies everywhere are using to remain competitive and stay on the cutting edge. There is no cooler or more salable product than one that respects people and the planet and delivers the desired "service" in a direct, beautiful and efficient manner.

    Eco-design is already everywhere, and as companies, cities and countries begin to see the benefits of being environmentally responsible, the green economy is gathering greater strength and significance. Great advancements in eco-design have silently become ubiquitous. From hybrid vehicles to LEED-Certified buildings to boutiques that sell green wares and socially responsible apparel, eco-design is simply becoming all design.

     The MioCultureLab is a division of MIO dedicated to researching, developing and implementing sustainable design solutions for both MIO and our clients. I founded MIO in 2001 with the intent of making sustainable design desirable and affordable. There are a lot of designers trying to achieve perfect sustainability without regard for what is already in place and what can be achieved with the infrastructure that exists today. I believe that sustainability is the gradual process of improving products and services and then slowly transforming them into businesses that can truly leap into different forms of commerce. I started MIO to lead by example, creating a collection of products that would showcase the beauty and benefits of green design.

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