Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Kate Rowold
IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design

Last modified: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IU 'Design Matters' forum focuses on sustainable design

Sept. 22, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Leading designers and architects will gather at Indiana University on Oct. 1 (Friday) for a free, open-to-the-public panel discussion on how the "built environment" has been impacted by sustainability initiatives.

IU's Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design will host the Oct. 1 panel discussion, "Design Matters: Sustainability and the Built Environment," from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Whittenberger Auditorium of the Indiana Memorial Union. The panel discussion was made possible by the support from the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Themester 2010 "sustain•ability: Thriving on a Small Planet" and by the Friends of the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design.

Moderating the discussion will be Hunter Kaiser, architectural and design manager for the international furniture manufacturer Herman Miller. Other participants include John Rouse (of Contract magazine, an award-winning architecture and interior design publication) and Carlos Martínez (of Gensler, a global architecture, planning and consulting firm).

"This lecture experience will feature leaders within the design community who have seen sustainability go from blip to buzzword to a reality of everyday practice," Kaiser said.

Each speaker will provide professional insights on sustainability in the areas of design media, manufacturing for the built environment and design practice and implementation. Commonalities between the participants' unique perspectives will be discussed in broader context in the facilitated panel discussion.

"Sustainability is a responsibility. As designers, we affect the human experience through the built environment. It is imperative that we understand how this affects and improves the way people live and work every day," Kaiser said.

"We are delighted to be able to bring these design leaders to campus as part of the College Themester on sustainability," said Kate Rowold, professor and interim chair of the Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design. "Our students, faculty and community members will have the rare opportunity to share insight into design from those who are creating the public spaces in which we function daily."

About the panelists

John Rouse, a design publishing veteran of 24 years, has responsibility for all day-to-day business operations for Contract magazine, a publication that elevates the relevance and value of commercial design by focusing on its power to transform business and institutional environments. He began in sales with Interiors Magazine, becoming publisher in 1994. After a series of mergers, Rouse joined Contract as publisher in 2001. In 2005, he began discussions that led to the launch of Contract China in 2006. Contract has won seven national design and editorial awards for its print and digital products. Contract magazine and connect professionals and cover processes, products, projects and practice issues that set industry standards.

Carlos Martínez is a firm-wide design leader for Gensler with more than 25 years of diverse experience in architecture, design and business strategy consulting. His designs focus on the creation of memorable spaces that promote collaboration, enhance communication and elevate productivity. Martínez previously worked at Doblin, a Chicago management consulting firm specializing in innovation strategy with a think-tank model of multidisciplinary collaboration that Martínez says has deeply influenced his work as a designer. Martínez is an associate adjunct professor of design at the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago. The contemporary furniture manufacturer Niedermaier commissioned him to design a line of furniture that received national attention in House & Garden's "50 Things to Love about Chicago."

Hunter Kaiser has practiced in the Chicago design community since 2000, following completion of IU bachelor's degrees in Interior Design and English. During his tenure, he attended summer programs at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and Steelcase University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2003, he passed the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam. Kaiser practiced contract interiors until 2005 with Chicago-based Griswold, Heckel, and Kelly Associates. For three years, he has worked with leading architecture and design firms in Chicago through Herman Miller, where he has led strategic sales initiatives with research teams and has become a resource for understanding field-based product solutions. Kaiser is entering his fourth year on the board of directors for the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. In his capacity on the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Board, he works closely with alumni from IU's Design Studies Group. His residential design practice includes designs ranging from interiors to tabletop to plated dessert.

For more information about IU's Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior design, see