Consumers today are much better educated about issues such as indoor air quality, disappearing rain forests, endangered species and growing landfills. "Green" communities are appearing in localities across the country, from the Civano community outside Tuscon, AZ, to Prairie Crossing, IL, to Hayward, VA. New housing developments are promoting "green" model homes with state-of-the-art technology that can save hundreds of dollars annually on utility bills and predominant use of organic materials for interior furnishings that substantially reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to poor indoor air quality and "sick building syndrome."
So what does this have to do with the interior fashions industry? Lots! As professionals, it is our responsibility to provide our clients with homes and offices that are functional, beautiful and contribute to their well-being. We offer guidance on fabrics, paints, carpet, wall coverings and other interior furnishing items that not only are good for them emotionally in that they feature the look and feel our customers desire -- but also spaces that are good for them physically. Window coverings, especially, play an important role as they serve to control and filter the amount of daylight which enters a space. Research has shown the positive power of daylight in affecting a person's psychological state, which in turn influences their physical condition.
As part of this growing trend toward green design (or sustainable design or environmental design), Draperies & Window Coverings' sister publication, Interiors & Sources, is holding its second annual environmental design conference from April 30 to May 2, 1998, in Monterey, CA, that directly addresses the role of interior design in this movement. Entitled, "EnvironDesign2," the conference provides a common meeting place for all individuals who care about the quality of life today and tomorrow. It offers unforgettable opportunities to explore not only the tangible benefits of sustainable design, but those that serve to inspire all people to work together to embrace the concepts of environmental stewardship.
Any revolution begins with individual actions. EnvironDesign2 includes as part of its roster of faculty members the passionate individuals who are pioneering the critical issues that sustainable design presents. It is the only conference that gathers so many visionaries in one place; it is the only conference where everyone comes prepared to learn and share. Superstars and students engage in heartfelt conversations . . . practitioners and manufacturers share victories as well as frustrations . . . questions are answered and new ones posed. Above all, everyone is welcome. And everyone's lives will be changed forever.