Tonight I am actually posting this blog entry to you from beautiful Chicago. I am here at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) for this super exciting announcement: we have been working very hard for the past few months to get to this point and are now finally ready and delighted to announce that MKD is going to be a part of the Smart Home exhibit at MSI that’s opening this spring! The exhibit is going to include a full-size home to be built in on parkland on the southeast side of the Museum and will showcase the very best in sustainable living concepts and solutions. The exhibit will open May 8, 2008.
I designed the home to allow for healthy living in an urban environment. The Smart Home at MSI will demonstrate smart, eco-friendly solutions in line with all of our eco principles. The house will include innovations like energy monitoring systems (like the one I have in my Prius only made for homes to make us more aware of our usage), renewable, recyclable materials, gray water systems, no-VOC paints, and on-demand water heaters to name a few. The exhibit is also going to include “truth windows” that will expose the contents of the walls and floors, showing all that a person doesn’t typically get to see: the insulation, framing, mechanical, and plumbing.
The best education is experience and what’s especially exciting about this project is how it will teach not only adults but also children about green living. Children are the ones pushing us towards more sustainable answers through their questions about the wellbeing of our planet and though our own awareness that it is they who will live with the consequences of the actions we take today. They will be this planet’s salvation. Children are so inspiring to me, so I am thrilled to be working with the Museum on this very special project.
We have been working hard during the past few months, meeting and planning and sketching, with an amazing assembly of people who make up the exhibit team. I am so happy to be working with everyone who has been a part of this so far including everyone at:
- MSI, especially Anne Rashford and J Jeffrey Johnson
- All American (the local factory building the mods), especially Art Breitenstein and Mike Connett
- WIRED magazine, especially Maya Draisin
- Jacobs/Ryan (our landscape architects), especially Bernard Jacobs: www.jacobsryan.com
- University of Illinois Extension, College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, especially Susan Grupp, extension educator
J Jeffrey Johnson, project manager with MSI, and Scott Landry, MKD’s Project Manager, have been working so hard to get this house built, planning and coordinating with the city of Chicago, preparing construction documents with Mike Connett of All American, and meeting with local contractors. We have been designing with the MSI exhibit team, Jacobs/Ryan, and University of Illinois Extension, College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences on the house and landscape designs.
So keep your eyes on this space to watch the exhibit develop as the foundation is laid, the house built and set, and all the other beautiful pieces going into this come together!
The home design depicted in this photo is not owned by, and is not available for purchase from, Michelle Kaufmann.