Sustainability and the Next Generation of Designers | IIDA at NeoCon

Earlier this year at NeoCon 2023—OFS, Imagine a Place, and IIDA hosted a lively roundtable discussion focused on sustainability, moderated by sustainability leader George Bandy. The panel featured Stacey Crumbaker, an architect and designer based in Seattle, and Paul Shahriari, founder of green building data platform ecomedes. Their conversation offered wisdom and advice for the next generation of interior designers and architects aiming to make sustainability a priority in their work.

How does the next generation get involved and make changes? Building and developing a personal brand that puts you in the position to advocate for sustainable design in your current position is a great way to get involved. Make the case for conscious material choices and their impacts. Legacy mindsets are part of the problem, but designers can create a new legacy mindset—one that aims to reduce consumption and waste, not just meeting minimum requirements. Consider the full lifecycle of your specifications and be mindful of the generational impact.

Designers need to redefine beauty and realign the definition with sustainability. Seek out inspiration from a diversity of spaces like food deserts (geographic areas, often low-income neighborhoods, where residents have limited access to affordable, nutritious food), not just affluent communities. We need to design with marginalized users in mind and include them in the process.

Learn more about IIDA

Learn more about George Bandy

Learn more about Stacey Crumbaker

Learn more about Paul Shahriari


  • George Bandy
  • Stacey Crumbaker
  • Paul Shahriari
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