Green is the New Black: Compostmodern
We wish we had been at Compostmodern; other Treehuggers were and will be covering it soon, (as was Worldchanging). AlwaysOn's Mark Plakias reviewed it and coined the great title and wonderful buzzword analysis.
The new buzzword to watch: Defab, or designing for the end state as practiced by McDonough Braungart and promoted by MBDC. "Here, the design process starts with including considerations of what will happen when the product is no longer in active use, and how will it reintegrate with the 'waste stream"." (William McDonough disparages conventional recycling as "downcycling" since the materials are generally contaminated and have to to into a lower-grade use.)
Prefab Ron Radziner of Marmol Radziner described their prefab designs (see Treehugger here) but just as importantly, their philosophy of
Wefab where they control the production process by having their own factory, millwork shop, and even mixing their own concrete.
Vefab American Apparel's "Roian Atwood showed pictures of AA stores that actually say on the windows "Vertically Integrated Manufacturing" -- a reference to the fact that it employs 4000 people in LA to turn out 200,000 garments a week from cotton that is knit by its own knitting machines, dyed in its own dying plant, and distributed to its own stores in its own trucks."
Refab "In the Readymade/refab paradigm, alternate uses are discovered for objects, so that the recycling ethos is joined with a design ethos to provide a whole new economic model of low-cost, customized environments."
"A recurring theme along the entire length of the wefab/prefab/refab/defab continuum is the economics vs ecology discussion, which boils down to "is green good for business?"..."Pro-environmental activity and a population that increasingly wants to consume environmentally-friendly products could potentially build a large amount of brand equity, if done sensitively."