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Art of Design: The Hope of Sustainable Design

Joseph Pubillones on

Today more than ever, people are concerned about the environment. Every day, they demand construction and goods and services that are made ethically, socially conscious and environmentally sustainable. Architects, designers and manufacturers with visions of the future are responding with creativity and innovation to demonstrate that design can contribute to a more promising future without sacrificing a bit of style. There still is hope.

We believe that everyday products are the biggest culprits of global warming and pollution, and that is only one aspect. Buildings are the main culprits, in terms of global energy and pollution. Today's architects and designers are confronting this fact with the desire to remedy the problem with efficient constructions, new and alternative sources of energy and an increase in the use of locally sourced and recycled materials.

The dangers of a disposable culture worsen with businesses that create products to self-destruct at a time determined, which pleases corporations and shareholders but does not respect the consumers or the planet. Slowly but surely, consciousness is on the rise as we reject the cynicism of planned obsolescence and devise objects and designs made to last. Many emerging designers are using sustainability as a guiding principle, and even established brands are taking steps to reexamine their production methods and increase their green credentials.

Renewing historic buildings is a great endeavor and can help revive and preserve neighborhoods, even in old dense urban centers where abandoned structures are best thought to be torn down. Historic buildings, houses and neighborhoods are the soul of a city. These old buildings and places help form the identifying character of a particular area and are a standing record of the area's history. The materials removed from the renovation of old buildings can be recycled, given new life and new ways of use. Renovations have spawned new business, such as creating with reclaimed and recycled wood and other salvaged items.

While products made in a sustainable way have always been viewed more as experiments than objects of design, a refined aesthetic can be combined with a radical approach toward sustainability. Rethinking and creating an awareness in consumers who are building a home, restoring one or even just decorating is a must.

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Trying to create a more sustainable world is a process that requires education, vision, humility, conscience and commitment to undo the damage already done and to revolutionize the way we live through small steps with the hope that they will lead to a great leap. Doing good to the Earth does not mean we cannot have beautiful things or build a luxury house or decorate our homes the way that we like. It simply means that the time has come to do our part to help combat the effects of global warming. Architects, interior designers, decorators and homeowners need to work hand in hand toward designs that can withstand and lift us. Design offers hope. Embrace it.


Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is To find out more about Joseph Pubillones and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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