earth day 1980 button

7 Stories to Celebrate Earth Day

From an argument against new buildings, to a proposal to redesign the sustainability holiday, these articles tackle some of the biggest ideas in sustainable design.

On April 22, Earth Day will celebrate its 52nd anniversary. First championed by Senator Gaylord Nelson and Congressman Pete McCloskey, the nationwide event immediately provided a voice to the then-fledgling environmental movement. By 1990 it had gone global. Metropolis, founded about a decade after Earth Day itself, has always made sustainability a foundational piece of its makeup, chronicling the growth and evolution of the green movement, and advocating for designers—from product creators to city planners—to shift their practices to help save our planet. Below are just a few examples of our recent coverage, which explore the scope and nuance of our deepening environmental crisis, question our damaging status quo, and chronicle the endlessly inventive ways designers are working to make things better.

Is it Time to Redesign Earth Day?
Remembered for sparking federal environmental protection programs, the event was gradually co-opted by the very interests it was meant to oppose. In its 50th year, can we reimagine Earth Day?

Why the Building Sector May Be Humanity’s Best Hope for Averting Catastrophic Climate Change
Architects have enormous sway in specifying building materials and modes of operation; they also understand the political, budget, and client-education barriers to executing zero-carbon designs better than anyone.

Why Interior Designers Must Fight Climate Change
New studies show that interior designers can have a much bigger impact on climate change than they ever imagined.

A New Idea in Architecture? No New Buildings
The energy already embodied in the built environment is a precious unnatural resource. It’s time to start treating it like one.

Low Cost, High Impact: The Drawdown Review Suggests That Architects Move Toward Scalable Climate Solutions
Climate change expert Jesse M. Keenan analyzes the The Drawdown Review‘s recommendations for architects and designers.

A New Concept for Good Architecture: Embodied Justice
As the social justice movement thrives and the concept of embodied carbon shifts the climate conversation, architects and designers are reexamining the deep impact of their work.

Humans Must Be Displaced From the Center of Design
In probing the relationship between humans and nature, two major exhibitions question the very foundations of design practice.

Would you like to comment on this article? Send your thoughts to: [email protected]