Green Design Topic of Exhibit, Forum

by ekramer on April 13, 2009

The Speed Art Museum has opened a new exhibit that coincides with a public forum about ecology and design. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

“4 Salvaged Boxes” is the exhibit that was designed by wHY Architecture. The firm designed the Grand Rapids Art Museum, which was the world’s first new art museum building certified as energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. The firm is also designing a renovation of the Speed Museum.

Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture says Louisville is only the second American city to host the exhibit.

“It travels as traveling crates by themselves but opens up — just like cabinets of curiosities — that display the models, drawing, videos and all the materials of green architecture,” Yantrasast says.

The exhibit focuses on ideas in construction and architecture that work to lessen negative impact to the environment. Yantrasast says designing an art museum renovation demands attention to some distinctive factors.

“It’s not just that the building needs to perform to the highest efficiency,” he says. “You have to make people recognize and understand the importance of nature as well as art.”

Yantrasast will speak on a panel Friday with leaders of several Louisville projects that aim to be environmentally sound. They include Dan Jones of 21st Century Parks, Inc. and Shirley Willihnganz of the University of Louisville.

Yantrasast says “green architecture” shouldn’t be reduced to a marketing term.

“It’s good that ‘green’ has become such a topic,” he says,  “but I think we have to see beyond that — that it should be a way of life; it should not be a trend.”

He says wHY Architecture and the Speed Museum will have a design for the museum by the end of the year.

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