How the next $10 trillion will be spent

An interior designer mate told me that she’s noticing a leap in demand from her clients for sustainable spaces. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that the spending power of millennials is expected to reach $10 trillion by 2030.

Sustainable design is no longer a buzzword in the interior and architecture space. Millennials as both customers and employees are putting pressure on businesses and governments to deliver on sustainable outcomes. We put our money where our values are. It’s a crucial step towards building a better future for ourselves and our tamariki, but not only that, by prioritising sustainability it can even save money in the long run.

So here are 4 Sustainable Design principles I wished I paid more attention to back when I was in architecture school:

1. Reduce environmental impact by minimising the impact of buildings and interiors, from reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to minimising waste and using sustainable materials. Choose energy-efficient lighting and appliances, install renewable energy systems like solar panels, and choose materials that are sustainably sourced, recycled, or recyclable.

2. Consider the entire lifecycle of a product, from production and distribution to use and disposal. This approach can help you choose materials and products that are not only eco friendly, but also socially responsible.

3. Consider the waiora (well-being) of building occupants, from indoor air quality to ergonomic design. Embedding features like natural ventilation, non-toxic materials, and access to natural light to promote a healthy indoor environment.

4. Encourage sustainable behaviour and habits among building occupants, from reducing energy use to recycling and waste reduction. It’s only human to travel the path of least resistance. Designers can incorporate features like bike storage, recycling bins, and energy-efficient lighting controls to encourage sustainable behaviour and make it easy for occupants to make sustainable choices.

I believe sustainable design isn’t just a trend. It’s the future. Businesses like Kōkako Organic Coffee and Arup and studios like Unispace, CTRL Space and WARREN AND MAHONEY just to name a few, are leading the charge. By prioritizing sustainability in your practice today you can one day tell a story that make your mokopuna proud.

Lastly if you found any of this useful, I run a green building materials company called Critical. and we’re passionate about supporting brands, architects and designers create beautiful and sustainable spaces using 100% plastic waste. If you would like to request a materials sample box or book a conversation with me, send me a DM!