GFDA leaders sound off on their hope for the future of our industry


What makes you hopeful about the future of design and our progress toward a greener future?

Julie Du Brow, Principal, dubroWorks PR:

The students coming out of school AND the mid-career professionals who are all coming to the field of sustainability through design, architecture, engineering, construction, public policy and community organizations.  They all see the need, and they are seeking (or some know) their role in helping advance a greener economy and a more resilient and healthier space for all. They are truly determined to make a difference, and the sustainability world embraces and immediately shares all their knowledge with them.  I love how ‘open source’ sustainability professionals are…all you need to do is ask.  This gives me hope.  

Megan Thompson, principal/founder, Spark Interiors:

I am hopeful about the future of design as we evaluate more and more manufacturers that have sustainability initiatives at the forefront of their practices. More vendors are excited to have the conversations with us, rather than pass us around and avoid our direct questions.

Dan Brunn, FAIA, Principal Dan Brunn Architecture:

Being eco-friendly has become fashionable, and part of the norm.  I typically don’t follow trends, nor fashion, but it makes me hopeful to see that green thinking is top of mind.  Plus, it truly is easier to integrate today. 

Greg Roth, Sr. Designer, CarbonShack and Home Front Build:

What makes me hopeful about a greener design future is the level of interest and discourse I have been witnessing lately. There are a growing number of companies bringing sustainability-focused products to market, which is fantastic. On top of that, in panel discussions and online content, I am seeing more and more focus on the issues in our industry that really make a difference for a healthier future for our planet: how to reduce waste; how to source locally & sustainably; how earth-friendly design benefits not only the environment, but our businesses and clients, too, and ways to bring wellness and healthy design choices into our homes and businesses.  And on and on.  That to me is a very hopeful sign!

Jennifer Berthelot-Jelovic, Founder | CEO, A SustainAble Production (ASAP):

My Clients and the Design teams we work with make me hopeful that the future of design will be sustainable, healthy, and resilient. As our younger generations begin to join the workforce, contribute their ideas, and demand these things; the market responds. I get so inspired when we meet new or prospective clients, and they share their vision for sustainability and wellness with us. Or when I meet design teams and they are excited and educated about sustainability and wellness and incorporate it as an integral part of the design process. I am confident that future generations will demand and ensure that our future is sustainable, healthy, and resilient.

Temi Adamolekun, Principal, Pembroke PR:

As we’re trying to find ways to mitigate the impact of climate change, people are more invested and interested in adopting preventative measures. This leads us all to learn more about the better, cleaner, greener choices for our living conditions and for our long-term health and wellbeing. We’re learning more about how minimizing waste directly impacts our environment, our skin, our health, our water, the air we breathe, the wellbeing of future generations. From a business perspective, brands are held to a higher standard of responsibility by their customers, so it’s also being woven into brand identity. Sustainability diverts waste from landfill AND it makes better economic sense through more efficiency from the start of the design process, better health and better living conditions.

Jessica Ritz, Journalist

The fact that we’re now constantly having these conversations and that it’s not considered a fringe, niche concern (even if greenwashing is a risk)  means we’re heading in the right direction. 

Erica & Paul Arnold, PG Arnold Construction:

There is a growing movement of earth conscious design, building, and waste management/reduction in our industry.

The GFDA is an alliance of design and build professionals committed to lowering construction waste for future generations. To find out how you can get more involved, Join the Movement.