cover image The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design

The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design

Lance Hosey. Island, $60 (208p) ISBN 978-1-61091-031-6

In 2010, Vanity Fair asked nearly 100 architects to pick the best buildings of the past three decades. Architect Hosey was shocked to notice "a glaring lack of exemplary green projects." Evidently, "standards of design excellence and of environmental performance don't match." In this engaging examination of greater green possibilities, Hosey%E2%80%94President and CEO of GreenBlue, a nonprofit dedicated to sustainability%E2%80%94makes a rational argument that design and sustainability can not only coexist, they can fuse to create vibrant, livable spaces. Much more than a diatribe against urban planning of the past and the blight often associated with big box retail, Hosey reasons that thoughtful design%E2%80%94from silverware to architecture%E2%80%94can offer benefits on a variety of levels. Citing examples ranging from iPods to the rebuilding of New Orleans, and even the incorporation of scent in design (as in the prospective draping of native roses over a power station in Iowa), Hosey's holistic investigation of the way we perceive and react to our surroundings is fascinating. His underlying argument%E2%80%94that green living doesn't have to be punishing, expensive, or boring%E2%80%94is a refreshing take on an old debate that fans of Malcolm Gladwell and other big thinkers will find informative and illuminating. Photos & illus. (June)