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Green Creativity

(January 2013) posted on Sat Jan 05, 2013

It might be easier to find products that are sustainable, but making a statement still takes legwork.

By Griz Dwight

Trying to find an eco-friendly, sustainable product for your next project? You could easily find something online or in one of the latest design magazines. These days, it seems as if everyone is touting the earth friendly aspects of whatever they are trying to peddle. But what if you are looking for something that is unique and not going to be seen at the next project around the corner? Well, it’s time to step out of the box and come up with one of your own.

 In one of our recent restaurant designs, Farmers Fishers Bakers, we needed a material for a feature wall which would be one of a kind, would talk to the farming aspect of the restaurant’s brand, would help deaden the sound of the space and would contribute to our goal of obtaining LEED gold status. We looked for something that was commercially available but could not find anything that would work for the restaurant so we decided to come up with one of our own. In thinking about elements on a farm we realized that tractor and car tires could work for our wall.

The next step was proof of concept as our clients were not convinced that tire treads would look good in their restaurant. My four-year-old and I appropriated an old tire from the back of a gas station to test if a tire could be flattened to make a tile. With the appropriate eye and ear protection and with alternating screams of glee and terror, we cut, clipped and bent that tire flat. The end result was a product that our clients loved, satisfied all of the design criteria and has never been done before (I think). All of the tires used in the restaurant were salvaged from the dump and when stacked together, make a truly unique feature.

Griz Dwight is the founder of D.C.-based GrizForm Design Architects.


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