The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.

– Robert Swan

40% of Europe’s total energy consumption can be traced back to the construction and architecture industry. As well as 50% of electricity consumption, 36% of CO2 emission and 13% of drinkable water consumption. The numbers aren't pretty. But as designers, we are in a position to make a real change. Even more so, it's our responsibility.

A designer's responsibility

We are involved in the early stages of creation and production. The potential impact of our choices is huge. Always be aware of this.

To make those choices more consciously, it’s our job to understand the complexity of sustainable development.

Developing in a sustainable way isn’t limiting. Inspire others to see it as an opportunity to innovate.

Set the bar for future partnerships on both sides. Challenge clients and suppliers.

Our belief

Sustainable development is about meeting the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

This isn't just a matter of sustainable resources. The environment, as well as society and the economy, weigh in on the matter. Currently, there are two dominant views on how these three components should relate to each other.

We believe strong sustainability is the only way.   

Weak sustainability

Representation showing how Planet, People and Prospeity are balanced

Planet: Environmental (Natural resources use, pollution prevention ...)

People: Social (Community, equal opportunities...)

Prosperity: Economic (Profit, R&D, growth...)

Human health Planet Sustainability Prosperity People
Planet People Prosperity

Strong sustainability

Representation showing how both economy and society are constrained by environment limits

Planet: Environmental (Natural resources use, pollution prevention ...)

People: Social (Community, equal opportunities...)

Prosperity: Economic (Profit, R&D, growth...)

...

Let's make it visual & designer proof.

Sustainable development is a complex matter. As a design studio, it's our responsibility to understand every aspect of it, but for individual designers, it might be too big of a stretch.

We want our designers to make choices based on their strong, aesthetic eye without having to spend all of their time researching and analyzing how sustainable a material or supplier really is. So we needed a simple, workable interface for the complex system. And that's what we created.

The colour-coded classification system is based on a comprehensive study of two key components. Materials on the one hand, the brands creating and supplying those materials on the other. We evaluated both and gave points according to their environmental impact. It resulted in two separate classifications. Afterwards, the two grading systems weighed in to determine the place of a material on a green, orange or red coloured shelve in the studio’s sample library. A simple colour code to visualise the environmental impact of the material and brand at hand.

A constant work in progress

The colour-coded classification system is based on a comprehensive study of two key components. Materials on the one hand, the brands creating and supplying those materials on the other. We evaluated both and gave points according to their environmental impact. It resulted in two separate classifications. Afterwards, the two grading systems weighed in to determine the place of a material on a green, orange or red coloured shelve in the studio’s sample library. A simple colour code to visualise the environmental impact of the material and brand at hand.