The Earth Awards is an attempt to bring international public awareness to the necessity of sustainable design. An annual competition since 2007, the Earth Awards “came from a collective of creative thinkers who were designers, architects, scientists, writers, entrepreneurs”, says director Karena Albers. Collectively, the group was “in agreement that not only [are] good design and sustainable design synonymous, but also that … this movement of environmentalism was not moving ahead as quickly as we would have liked, and we believed it was because sustainable thinking wasn’t integrated into popular culture”.
The Earth Awards’ mission is to “find good design and then to connect the innovator with whatever that innovator needs to further his idea or her idea into the marketplace”, says Albers. Past winners have integrated biomimicry with building design, designed solar-powered LED lighting schemes, and created sustainable ways to farm ocean fish.
A particular strength of the Earth Awards lies in its selection committee. The Awards aim to bring in some of the most visible (and visionary) minds in the fields of art, architecture, design, environmentalism, activism and fashion. The eclectic group of judges ranges from Jane Goodall to Diane von Furstenberg to Paola Antonelli, the Senior Curator for Architecture and Design at MoMA.