Sustainability is setting the tone for an exciting built future

Sustainability is setting the tone for an exciting built future

The demand for eco-conscious design is soaring, and emerging technologies are providing the tools to achieve both ambitious sustainability goals and futuristic design.

From biomaterials grown from organic waste to self-healing concrete and carbon-capturing facades, I'm pretty excited about our future. These innovations offer unparalleled performance, environmental benefits, and a unique aesthetic, pushing the boundaries of what's possible in sustainable design.

Architecture Van Brandenburg and Objects Van Brandenburg are great examples of an Aotearoa practice embedding sustainable materials with parametric architecture and 3D printing to reimagine our future. And they are doing it on a pretty unimaginable scale across the world. Check out their mahi here:

When we visited their studio workshop in Dunedin this year, we got to see our Marble Cleanstone elegantly shaped into the display stand to backdrop their elegant 3D printed-then-cast objects.

Here are four design principals I picked up from Damian and his team:

1. Embrace research and development: Stay informed about the latest advancements in sustainable materials and explore partnerships with companies at the forefront of innovation.

2. Start small and scale up: Begin by implementing sustainable materials in specific areas of your project, such as furniture, partitions, or decorative elements, before gradually expanding their use.

3. Design for disassembly: I'm labouring this point but it's an important one! Consider the entire lifecycle of your materials and choose solutions that are easily deconstructed and repurposed, minimizing waste and promoting sustainability.

4. Educate your clients and stakeholders: Raise awareness about the benefits of sustainable materials and engage your clients in the decision-making process, fostering a collaborative approach to responsible design.

Architecture Van Brandenburg is proving that sustainability is literally exciting. By embracing emerging technologies and sustainable materials, you're not just creating innovative spaces; you're leading the charge towards a greener future.

If you find any of the above helpful, I run a clean technology company that transform plastic waste into beautiful panels we call Cleanstone. If you'd like a sounding board for your next project, I'd love to have a kōrero. Send me a DM or visit

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