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Green Dreams, Well-Designed

Nothing like an ice storm to make you dream green.  It’s hard to fathom the audacity of this amaryllis on our kitchen counter right now:

Fathoming, though, is a big part of sustainability – that’s why we love it at the IMA.  Green thinking demands an experimental spirit, and usually reflects a nod to smart design.  The status quo (pollution, wastefulness, inefficiency) has got to go.

In that vein, this spring you can hear three free radicals speak at The Toby, as part of the IMA’s Planet Indy series: guerilla gardener Richard Reynolds is here tonight, design educator Emily Pilloton on March 24, and the uncategorizable Temple Grandin on April 28. (Grandin is a visual thinker, a cow whisperer, slaughterhouse designer, and heroine to anyone who lives with autism.  Plus, actress Claire Danes just won a slew of awards for portraying her. Thanks to her crossover appeal, tickets for Temple’s talk are already sold out, however overflow seating with a live feed are still available.)

While London-based Reynolds runs a global movement planting gardens in urban areas without permission, Pilloton has guested on The Colbert Report and is re-designing civic life in a poor rural town in North Carolina and the ways its kids are educated.  Introducing sustainability on the scene is often a case of designing a new system, whether it’s a wind farm, a carbon stock exchange, or a national network to power plug-in cars.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Emily Pilloton
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Behind the scenes at IMA, we need a redesigned system as well.  The IMA’s recycling program for staff and visitors, admittedly, leaves something to be desired.  There’s a meeting this week to review the text on our recycling bins for greater clarity and redesigning our dock to expand space for collected recyclables.  As a member of the IMA’s green team, I’ll definitely be collaborating with our crack Design staff to find solutions.

My fantasy is that we compost food scraps from Nourish Café and use it to feed the new plantings in 100 Acres.  Another fantasy is eliminating plastic from the Café (check out a prior meditation on plastic here).

But the IMA has gotten quite a few green things right, from energy efficient gallery lighting to a rain garden that absorbs storm water runoff.  Help us improve by leaving your suggestions for how you think we ought to keep greening.  Or supply your ideas for green innovators you’d love to hear speak…

Filed under: Design, Education, Public Programs

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