Design Awards

anadian office-furniture maker Teknion Corp. believes in sustainability — so much so that it’s a key component of the company’s corporate mission. In fact, at the 2007 International Interior Design Exposition (IIDEX)/NeoCon Canada show, Teknion even wrote about sustainability on its exhibit carpet, creating an under-foot message about how “small moves can create a big shift” toward a “truly sustainable future.” Turning that eco-friendly idea into an exhibit was the challenge handed down to Michael Vanderbyl, owner and head designer of Vanderbyl Design.

One of Vanderbyl’s primary design goals was to avoid the grungy look that comes with so many recycled materials. “As designers, we’re better off if we believe in sustainability as a tenant of design. But to design something ugly that is recyclable does no one any good,” Vanderbyl said.

The resulting exhibit’s expansive white ceiling cap featured stretch fabric — made from 90-percent recycled polyester — over an aluminum frame, while the message-laden carpet was made from recycled carpet fibers.

When designing the exhibit’s exterior, Vanderbyl used panels made of post-consumer plastics such as milk bottles and diapers that had been crushed up and formed into 4-by-8-foot, 1.5-inch-thick sheets. He then carved cut-out designs into the panels to create lattice walls that gave attendees a sneak peak at the interior, where Teknion displayed its office desks, chairs, and cubical modules, which were arranged to represent a typical office interior.

When the show came to an end, Teknion found a new life for the booth’s various components in company showrooms. It seems something beautifully made will always find a way to live on.e

Brian Todd, staff writer;

Category: Island — Less Than $150 per Square Foot
Exhibitor: Teknion Corp.
Design: Vanderbyl Design, San Francisco, 415-543-8447,
Fabrication: The Taylor Group, Brampton, ON, Canada, 905- 451-5800,
Show: International Interior Design Exposition (IIDEX)/NeoCon Canada, 2007
Budget: $215,000
Size: 40-by-85 feet
Cost/Square Foot: $63

Wall to Wall

The white lattice walls were constructed from milk bottles, diapers, and other post-consumer recycled plastics. The panels were then router-cut to create the criss-cross design. As an eco-friendly bonus, the panels’ natural color was a milky white, so the walls required no further painting or chemical finishing.


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