Saturday's Conservation Remix event at Town Hall explores new ideas to build a greener future.
For Joel Loveland, brightening up a room means more than flicking on a light switch. In his ideal space, windows stretch from floor to ceiling, sunshine drops in from skylights above and solar energy powers the room.
His goal — something he practices every day as director of the University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab — is to blend the line between natural light outside and living spaces inside. In his consulting work on hospitals and schools, Loveland feels he has created a new brand of architecture that is greener and healthier.
“It’s a pretty simple thing,” he said. “I think we all knew this, we just lost track of it.”
And he plans to help the Seattle community refocus.
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Loveland will share his work with daylight design at Conservation Remix, a UW-sponsored convention to be held Saturday at Seattle Town Hall to create a dialogue around new conservation ideas.
The daylong event, aims to piece together what a greener future will look like, with experts in fields from science and policy to business and design. Program sponsors want to spark a conversation to answer — in some unconventional ways — society’s growing environmental questions.
Remix was organized by staff at Conservation magazine, which became an official UW publication in January, as a way to establish the magazine and the university as a hub for new conservation ideas.
“We are trying to be the thought-leader in this field and be a little bit edgy about it,” said Kathryn Kohm, editor of Conservation magazine.
The editorial team partnered with UW departments, as well as the Bullitt Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Overbrook Foundation to fund the convention. The event is supported by other local organizations and promoted as part of the Seattle Science Festival this month.
Since Wednesday, more than 200 people have registered for the event, including students from the University of Washington.
Remix will host a dozen speakers in four different subjects: food and agriculture; business and policy; technology and energy; and the built environments. Some of the ideas being presented include:
• UW economist Yoram Bauman will address the economics of climate change and environmental tax reform by suggesting that instead of taxing things we want, like paychecks and Social Security, our tax system should penalize the things we don’t want, like pollution and source depletion.
• John Edel, known for converting a meatpacking facility into the nation’s first vertical farm, wants to find ways to create food facilities in highly populated areas that have a net-zero waste production.
• Brent Constantz, a marine geologist from Stanford University, is reinventing cement by mimicking coral-reef formation. The cement he is creating would absorb carbon dioxide.
• Pamela Ronald, faculty member at the University of California Davis Genome Center, is finding ways to combine organic food with genetic modification to reduce the use of insecticides and increase crop yields.
Dee Boersma, a biology professor at UW and executive editor of Conservation magazine, said it isn’t very often that disparate fields of thought have a chance to come together to discuss any one question. But when ideas converge, most of the innovative “aha” moments emerge, she said.
Loveland, who will speak during the built-environments segment, hopes he and the other speakers can inspire this reaction.
“There are quantities of life that must be balanced with qualities of life and that is an artful balance,” he said.
Mary Jean Spadafora: (206) 464-2168 or email@example.com.