Experience by Design

Jon Strassner and Designing for Sustainable Change

Episode Summary

On this episode of Experience by Design, we Chief Sustainability Officer Jon Strassner. Jon has spent a lot of time thinking and acting about climate change and environmental sustainability. He brings that passion and message to the world of interior design, trying to help designers help their clients make better decisions for the environment. We talk about creating awareness without overwhelming, how small actions can lead to big changes, scaling action, and necessary friction.

Episode Notes

Here at Experience by Design, you might not be surprised to find that interior design is not our strong suit. We really don’t know what colors go with what motifs, what furniture matters (outside of comfort), how to create flow and space, and anything else that interior designers may consider when going about creating the environments that we inhabit. 

It turns out that there is much more to interior design and creating environmental experiences that one might assume. The carbon footprint cost of interior design can be high, and interior spaces of offices can be primary contributors (or culprits). Thus, we might miss the environmental costs of our environments. And it turns out that creating change in how we think about our interior spaces and consume products in relation to them is a lot more difficult than changing our furniture and wall hangings. 

To help us address these issues, we welcome to the Experience by Design studios Jon Strassner. Jon is a Chief Sustainability Office . He comes to this job after a longer period of time trying to raise awareness and behavioral change around environmental sustainability and the climate. In this episode, we explore how he approaches his role of creating awareness to create more environmentally sustainable designs. We discuss the balance between overwhelming people with information against failing to act quickly enough, getting enough people on board for scale impact, and introducing enough friction to get people to act. It’s tricky, but what Jon shares with us is right in line with an ethnographer’s point of view - you need to take a holistic view.