What's New?
The KGC is  involved in more social media sites in an effort to enhance the awareness of sustainability.  Look for us on Facebook where we are much more active, and Pinterest !!

Check out this West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum Scholarship entry!! 



Check out this piece written by KGC President Amanda Klein

On Tuesday, 2.12.13 the carpet tile company Interface

( http://www.interfaceglobal.com/ ) came to visit and speak to the ASID/IIDA group. The invitation was opened up to Kendall Green Council (see previous Facebook postings)


Interface has an absoluetly great story behind them. They do more than simply make carpet tile! (as if that is simple alone) They use recycled materials and will take back your used flooring tiles to recycle. The presentation given gave some background information on the company, which was started in 1972 by Ray Anderson, who quoted "There are no ex-tree huggers". That quote really resonated with me and many of you too I'm sure. Once you become environmentally conscious, there's really no way to get rid of that, which is not a bad thing! However it does speak to the power that the sustainable movement has.


Two topics that I would like to introduce to you (or review maybe for some) are those are Biomimicry and Biophilia. I am most definitely not a biologist or scientist, but having at least a general idea of some of this can help us become more whole minded and well rounded designers and artists. The materials that we all use to create our works are comprised of some type of chemistry. I know, it may seem a bit too much to think about.. but these are interesting things to consider.


Biomimicry:  " the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems.[1] The term biomimicry andbiomimetics come from the Greek words bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate. Similar terms include bionics.[2]" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomimicry)

This is an interesting concept to look into. It's a mind boggling advancement in design's adaption of a scientific process. How could you mimic an animal's natural method of water resistance, texture, heat capacity or protection just to name a few..? For example, olympic swimsuits have used biomimicry to improve draft and speed.


Biophilia: "an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophilia_hypothesis) The principles of Biophilic Design are :

1- Environmental Features- bringing well-recognized characteristics of the natrual world into the built environment.


2- Natural Shapes and Forms- Employing botanictal, animal, and shell motifs; shapes resiting straight lines and right angles.


3- Natural aptterns and processes- Varying the sensory experience of a space with time, change, and transitions.


4- Light and Space- Using innate human responses to diverse uses of space and light (warm, cool, shaped, filtered, diffused, inside vs. outside)


5-Place-Based Relationships- Connecting inhabitants to the historic, cultural, geographic, spiritual, or ecological significance of the place.


6- Evolved Human-Nature Relationships - Creating spaces that evoke the contradictory range of feelings between humans and nature (prospect and refuge; order and complexity; fear and awe)


You can also refer to biophilicdesign.net or Interfaceblog.com


One way to think about these two separate different yet related ideas is to think of Biomimicry as the "head" and Biophilia as the "heart". The "head" is the technical science behind the "heart".


Reminder too about KCAD's unique resource Material Connexion located on the 4th floor of the Historic Federal Building (also known as the Wege Center for Sustainable Design)


I hope you all have learned something from this and are able to implement some aspect of these concepts into future projects as we are exceptionally environmentally conscious designers and artists! ;) Thank you for taking the time to read. Feel free to share this with credit.


Recyclemania 2013!

Our member Leslie Yarhouse created this awesome flyer to be posted on campus to promote Recyclemania 2013! 



Organicycle, a Grand Rapids organic waste service, was implemented in late November of 2012 in the Historic Federal Building.. 
A month long study of its service (Composting) was done in the HFB. Trash cans were "kidnapped" from every classroom by a collaborative design studio class, 
which helped kickstart the new compost/recycling system of Kendall's environment. Rather than having trashcans be the dumping site of choice, blue bins for 
single stream recycling are now (as of 1-11-13) are in every single classroom of both buildings. Recycling, returnables, and compostables will be disposed of in 
the centrally located bin units on every floor of each building. Communicating and educating this process of it's benefits and ease will be the challenge this semester 
as everyone adjusts to not having trashcans, and having to take the moment to learn and decide which bin a material belongs in and understanding why. 

11-14-12: BIG NEWS!! Local business Organicycle serves the Historic Federal Building!! Look out for the new and improved recycling system and stations now in effect! 


Our member Samantha Macy wrote another fantastic piece that yeilds a call for action! Her piece was selected to be posted on Metropolisismag.com's blog page! CHECK IT OUT!

One of our new members, Samantha Macy, has a great blog that you should check out! Here is the link. Enjoy!


Heartwell Selected as Top Major in National Mayor's Climate Protection Awards
(Click the image to view the Media Release in Full View)

Sustainability tip:

Save money on electricity in warmer months by drying your clothes in the sunshine!

Sunshine and heat are good for more then just swimming in Lake Michigan, tanning, and taking bike rides.  It also provides great conditions for drying your laundry outside instead of in the dryer!  This can save money on your energy bill as well as give your clothes that fresh summer-air smell!

Social Equality (written by: Miranda Curtiss)
(Visit the link above to view more from the blog: Sustaining Knowledge)

After participating in a recent luncheon I became more aware of how the arts can play a role in development for persons with disabilities.  Artists Creating Together (ACT), a non-profit organization, helps to organize art events and programs for children, youth, and adults with disabilities.  They provide programs in the areas of: visual arts, music, dance, puppetry, creative writing, and theater.   These opportunities aren’t just a way to interact with people like them; participating in creative activities has proven to improve classroom behavior, advance learning skills, and become more self-sufficient.  This in tern helps the person become more confident in themselves and their abilities.

 I can’t say I have a lot of experience with those who have disabilities but my mother is currently a special education teacher in a middle school.  She is responsible for students from 6th – 8th grades.  Often times she will only have about 6 kids in her class each year, but with the special attention needed for theses students, it’s plenty to keep her busy and on her toes.  Although there are numerous stresses that come into play when dealing with the education of a disabled student, my mom has never given me the impression that it’d be any easier being responsible for the education of 20 – 30 general education students.

 My mom has come home countless times with great stories to tell of her students.  One day she might explain how one of her students told a funny joke that the whole class laughed at and the next I’ll hear how someone brought her flowers from the playground!  She pinpoints the personalities of each student and works hard to treat them all as individuals with unique abilities and disabilities.  From the things I’ve heard from my mom, I’ve learned to respect those who are different from me – whether that be skin color, age, cultural background, or abilities.      

 A fact in life is that we are all different, and yet uniquely the same.

 Don’t we all strive to “fit in” and at the same time we want to make our mark on the world?  Aren’t we all good at things and not so good at others? And don’t we all try to do the right thing but don’t always do it?  We try to be confident but can’t always accomplish it?  We all strive for these things.  So why are people constantly looking down on those who are failing to meet the world’s “standards”?

 Unfortunately it’s become our culture.  People who are different are put into minority groups and the majority rules those minorities.  They are looked down upon, given less funding, less rights, and little respect.  But people like my mom and the people behind ACT are working hard to fight this.  ACT is doing this by providing educational facilities, such as the school my mom works for, with resources to creative activities for their students with learning disabilities.

 I believe one of the most important things we, as a society, need to remember is that we are all individuals.  We shouldn’t look down on others that aren’t like us and should respect everyone.  Like I shared previously, my mom makes a point of understanding each child’s personality – she has to in order to be successful in educating her students.  Society has to make a point of understanding people and treating them with equal respect. 

 A society where all people are respected equally despite personal differences is a direct parallel with the ideals of the Triple Bottom Line.  This philosophy focuses on the relationship between people, planet, and profit.  As you can imagine, this topic goes under the “people” category.  However, other words are interchangeable with it, such as social capital.  Whichever way you decide to label it, it still emphasizes the same thing – the importance of equal treatment for people and looking out for the well-being of others.

 If you’d like to learn more about the ACT (Artists Creating Together) or the VSA (Very Special Artists) please visit their websites. 

Upcoming Events:

Please check these local calenders to see what's going on in the community!

Calender for the Wealthy Theater

This calender highlights different events going on in Grand Rapids including: festivals, concerts, the arts, and exhibits.

All you need to know about the events at Howard Christensen Nature Center

The Aquinas Center for Sustainability Calender highlights events going on that relate to sustainability.  Events are based in Grand Rapids, West Michigan, and even the Nation.

A unique spot to check out colorful creations all of types

This calender highlights events going on at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

This site has a calender that will show you what events are going on throughout the year.

The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce events and programs calender

This is the calender for Kendall College of Art and Design.  It highlights three different categories: Academics, Admissions, Alumni, Career & Professional Development, Students, and Youth & Adults

The Grand Rapids Public Library - Downtown - events calender

This is the Grand Rapids Community College events page

This is the DeVos Performance Hall events calender

This is the Van Andel Arena events calender highlighting their concerts, sporting events, and more!

This is the calender for Frederik Meijer Gardens

The Grand Rapids Original Swing Society events page

The City Art Gallery showcases original work by emerging artists

Serving the Heartside Neighborhood

Check out upcoming events and exhibits at the Gerald R. Ford Museum

This Ada based gallery provides custom framing, original paintings, handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, sculpture and art reproductions 

View the Red Cross website to see when training sessions are happening and to see when they are hosting events.

Perfect for those enjoying Jazz music!
Events and exhibits coming to the John Ball Zoo

Located in GRCC's Main Building, this gallery provides a diverse selection of exhibits to bring creativity to the public

View the Grand rapids Civic Theater Calender to see what's coming to the city next!

The Wege Foundation has been a great help in supporting environmental efforts in Grand Rapids

This unique gallery highlights self-taught artists creating folk, outsider and intuitive art

View the new events and classes coming to the Blandford Nature Center

Film Series sponsored by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council