Thursday, October 29, 2009

Icograda World Design Congress 2009

Pat Knapp is in Beijing, China this week representing the SEGD at the Icograda World Design Congress 2009. There has been are great deal of talk regarding sustainability issues. Marc Alt, Brian Dougherty, and Sophie Thomas were among the sustainability leaders who spoke throughout the week.

Below is an except from Pat's blog post on You can also read about a speach Leslie Gallery Dilworth gave in a crowded lecture hall on the campus of China’s largest design school, the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

“Are we at the service of just making things, or is our purpose to make things better?”
That was the question posed by Marc Alt and others this week in Beijing, as the
Icograda World Design Congress 2009 focused the attention of 1,700 designers and design educators from around the planet on design’s role in sustainability and social justice issues.

“As designers, we’re feeling a crisis of confidence around producing materiality in the world,” noted Alt, principal of New York-based Marc Alt + Partners, a design, research, and strategy agency dedicated to sustainability and social innovation. He is also co-founder of the AIGA’s Center for Sustainable Living.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Greenbuild 09

It is hard to believe that November is almost here. Yes, that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner and then before you know it we'll be celebrating the New Year. But before all that there's Greenbuild in Phoenix, AZ.

I've been to last 3 Greenbuild Expos and every year they seem to get bigger and bigger. As I think about the expo this year, I wonder how many people from the EGD world will be attending. We know the weather will be nice as it typically is in AZ this time year, but how many of us see a benefit in attending the expo itself?

Although I'll admit there are few sign companies and direct supplies who exhibit, I find it fascinating to see what is occurring in the larger industry we serve. I promise to give feedback for those of you who can't attend and hope to see those of you how do.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting with the Green Program

Ashley Bray wrote a great article in the October issue of Sign Builder Illustrated, Getting with the Green Program. The article highlights several projects and programs that Poblocki Sign Company has been working on.

Poblocki has done some fascinating working re-purposing sign components by turning old signs from one location into new signs for a completely different client. This concept really work in the path toward environmental consciousness as re-using and re-purposing products is as important as any other green process.

Follow this link to read the entire article - SBI Oct. 09

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cradle to Cradle Certification

Cradle to Cradle Design is the concept of shifting away from the standard design process we've come to know since the industrial revolution - cradle to grave. Along with design concepts and consulting MBDC offers Cradle to Cradle Certification. There are 4 levels; Gold, Silver Platinum and Basic.

The list of products on their website is very interesting, although there really isn't much information about how the products are certified. Nonetheless, everything about Cradle to Cradle to fascinating and worth reading about.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Tampa Riverwalk Solar Signs Case Study

The Tampa River Walk Solar Signs is an excellent project that demonstrates how solar technology can be used for signage. This project will also be featured in an upcoming issue of segdDESIGN.

Project: Solar Map Kiosks
Location: Tampa, Fla.
Client: City of Tampa
Project Team: MERJE (design), EDAW Inc. (landscape design), Urban Sign & Crane (fabrication), Power Up (solar components)
Photos: MERJE

The City of Tampa completed a comprehensive downtown wayfinding project in February 2009 in time for its hosting of Super Bowl XLII. The wayfinding system continues on Riverwalk, the city’s new 2.4-mile waterfront pathway along the Hillsborough River. A pilot phase of seven pedestrian directional signs and eight map kiosks was installed along the first completed stretch of Riverwalk this year.

In addition to static interpretive and directional signs, MERJE (Philadelphia) designed a series of illuminated map kiosks to guide visitors along the pathway and highlight important destinations and amenities. The kiosks needed to be accessible during day and nighttime hours, requiring illumination. They also needed to provide some shade from the intense Florida sun. Seeing an opportunity to support Tampa’s ongoing sustainability initiatives—and also to address the practical challenges of delivering power to relatively inaccessible kiosks—MERJE elected to explore solar options.

The first design consideration was determining the size of the solar panel needed to support dusk-to-dawn illumination, says Amy Rees, MERJE senior associate. A 20x28 panel was identified as large enough to power LEDs to edgelight the maps during the required hours. The team then had to decide whether the solar array would be located remotely or integrally. Remote location was ruled out to avoid ripping up new hardscaping around the units.

But integrating the solar panel in a way that wouldn’t visually overpower the structure was tricky. To work it out, MERJE and project fabricator Urban Sign & Crane (Vineland, N.J.) worked closely during several rounds of 3D rendering and animation.

“Using just 2D drawings, it was very difficult to get a feel for the shape of the canopy and how it would reveal the solar array,” says Seth Davis, Urban Sign vice president. So his team used Sketchup to create multiple 3D iterations and simulations. “It’s a great tool for visually working out how shapes can be made and fit together.”

The kiosks are 8.5-ft. tall, consisting of a 5-in.-deep aluminum cabinet flag-mounted to a steel pole. Atop the pole, a perforated-aluminum canopy reveals a 3-in. recess in which the 1-in.-thick solar array sits, with room for air circulation around the panel, a fan, and a battery pack.

Davis estimates that each of the solar-powered units consumes only 2.05 kilowatt- hours (kWh) per month, at a cost of just 20 cents—in comparison to $72 per month if the units were powered with traditional fluorescents.

Lee Hoffman, Tampa’s Riverwalk development manager, says it’s difficult to quantify the energy savings that will result when the program is in full operation. “But we’re trying to integrate sustainable elements wherever possible. It’s a principle we’re trying to instill in everything we do.”

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Kirei Substrates

Kirie USA, located in Solana Beach, CA, has developed 4 specific environmentally friendly substrates; Kirei Board, Kiriei Bamboo, Kirei Wheatboard and Kirei Coco.

Kirei Board, Kirei Coco Tiles and Kirei Wheatboard panels use rapidly renewable and reclaimed agricultural fibers. These materials are manufactured using reclaimed agricultural fiber from the Sorghum, Coconut and Wheat plants. After harvest the stalks or coconut husks are usually burned or thrown into landfills. By using them in the production of Kirei Board, Kirei Coco Tiles and Kirei Wheatboard this material is removed from the waste stream, reducing landfill use and air pollution, while giving rural farmers a new source of revenue from previously unused waste material.

Kirei BambooKirei Bamboo uses the fast-growing Moso bamboo grass to make ply panels and veneers with the modern bamboo look. The fiber produced from these dedicated bamboo plantations is greater than would be produced from similarly committed wood forest land, helping to reduce pressure on habitat from clearcutting.

These 4 products can be used in a variety of applications related to EGD. Does anyone have an example of a project where one of the these substrates was used? If so, we all love to hear about it!

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