The evolution of the Living Principles for Design initiative has led to a nationwide collaboration between Mohawk and AIGA, the professional association for design, via the Mohawk Loop line of sustainable papers. The result is a growing series of programs created by AIGA chapters across the country.
At these live events, sustainability leaders share the stage with Mohawk representatives to talk about The Living Principles concepts and distribute information about the initiative—including Mohawk Loop: A Living Almanac, a centerpiece of the Living Principles awareness campaign created by AIGA national board member Gaby Brink and her team at Tomorrow Partners. Each chapter interprets the framework of the Living Principles according to local members’ needs, resulting in a rich variety of thought-provoking programs eagerly embraced by the design community.
As part of Atlanta Design Week, a groundbreaking collaboration between 18 creative organizations, colleges and museums held last October, AIGA Atlanta’s “Design Thinking: The Living Principles in Action” joined designers and students from numerous design fields together to tackle issues of sustainability and design facing the city in a workshop setting. Attendees used Mohawk Loop: A Living Almanac and other sustainability-focused publications to address issues like healthy food choices, art education in public schools, public transportation and crime facing every citizen in Atlanta.
“The groups embraced the exercise,” reported Linda Doherty, AIGA Atlanta’s sustainability chair. “Ideas went beyond typical design solutions—they focused on social change, legislation and community building. Mohawk’s support of ‘design thinking’ showed how they’re interested in promoting sustainable solutions in every aspect of business and life.”
On December 2, AIGA Salt Lake City presented “Thinking Wrong, Doing Right,” a presentation by award–winning Project M founder John Bielenberg. Project M has led the charge for designers creating projects dedicated to realizing social change. Bielenberg discussed his work for conservation in Costa Rica, microfinancing in Ghana, rebuilding New Orleans and connecting households to fresh water in Hale County, Alabama. As summarized by AIGA Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Director Rachel Broadbent, “Having John talk about Project M in Salt Lake City inspired our members to want to use design to do something meaningful. This was a great way to introduce the Living Principles to our membership and how connected design thinking is to people, environment and culture.”
The event featured a number of special features, including a presentation from District Sales Manager Joel Theisen; a local vendor, Zellerbach, donated pies for Project M’s Pie Lab in Greensboro, AL and Nada Bike, seen in Mohawk’s Superfine Mode of Transformation Promotion donated a one-of-a-kind bike as a door prize.
2011 will bring an explosion of Living Principles-focused chapter activity, with upcoming events scheduled by AIGA Connecticut (Yale University), AIGA New Mexico (Albuquerque), AIGA Colorado (Denver), AIGA Houston, AIGA St. Louis , AIGA Charlotte, AIGA Oklahoma, AIGA Baltimore, AIGA Alaska (Fairbanks) and AIGA Seattle. Check with the AIGA chapter in your area to hear about future Living Principles events.