DMTV Milkshake: Michael Green on Building a Low-Carbon Future

This week’s DMTV Milkshake guest is Michael Green of Michael Green Architecture.

If Michael Green’s name is well known outside of design and architecture circles – and it is – this is due at least in part to his viral 2013 TED Talk on “wooden skyscrapers.” For many viewers, the idea of a massive building made of wood was a bizarre paradigm shift – for Green, whose Michael Green Architecture works exclusively with timber buildings, it was another step on the long path toward building a lower-carbon future. “At MGA we’re focused on two primary issues: how do we address climate change, and how do we address affordability – how do we look at solutions that will actually dramatically make a difference,” says the Vancouver-based architect. “We, as designers, are responsible for a whole lot of things: We’re responsible to our client, to our community, and really to the planet as a whole. I think together as design professionals, we need to harness our voices [in] how we can have an impact and lead our way through the big issues of our time.”

In this Milkshake episode, Green covers a few of his favorites – his favorite spot in the natural world, and his favorite-ever building project: Ronald McDonald House BC. “It was a hugely impactful project because it allowed us to really intimately understand the challenges that these families were going through and find solutions that might help and heal,” he says. He also shares the deep connections between his work writing children’s books and his architectural practice: “Rather than architecture informing my children’s books, I think my children’s books actually inform the architecture process,” he says. “We want a deep story that connects with people when we build the building at first, so the story still matters a generation from now.”

View Michael’s DMTV Milkshake episode above, then check out the rest of the series here.

Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.

Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.

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