Regenerative design takes center stage at the Museum of Design Atlanta’s newest exhibition

What Comes Around...

Regenerative design takes center stage at the Museum of Design Atlanta’s newest exhibition

The Noho Chair made from Econyl rengenerated nylon is just one sustainable design object that will be on view as part of MODA’s Full Circle: Design Without End. (Courtesy Noho)

The wide-ranging potential of regenerative design will be the subject of a forthcoming exhibition at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) entitled Full Circle: Design Without End. Opening March 17 at MODA, which is the only exclusively design-focused museum in the Southeast, Full Circle will “explore ways that designers are using regenerative design practices to create buildings, objects and systems that strengthen and replenish natural systems rather than depleting them,” per the museum.

“The exhibition will showcase the work of designers who are using and experimenting with regenerative approaches to realize works ranging from large-scale architectural projects to everyday products; and provide real-world actions that everyone can take to address the climate change challenge we are facing.”

Chattahoochee RiverLands Greenway Study (Courtesy SCAPE)

Featured as part of the show will be prominent examples of regenerative design standards including Cradle to Cradle (C2C) and international sustainable building standard the Living Building Challenge. For a superlative example of a Living Building Challenge-certified project in action, MODA didn’t have to stray too far from its own backyard: showcased in the exhibition is the recently certified Kendeda Living Building for Innovative Sustainable Design on the Atlanta campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Designed by Miller Hull Partnership and Lord Aeck Sargent, the clean energy-generating, rainwater-collecting, accessible-to-all Kendeda Living Building is featured alongside a community-strengthening example of regenerative design focused on riparian restoration: the SCAPE-led Chattahoochee RiverLands Greenway Study, which is described by the museum as “a vision to reunite the river with the Metro Atlanta region and link 125 miles of suburban, urban and rural communities into a continuous public realm, while also promoting stewardship and conservation of the natural systems in and around the river.”

timber interior of a sustainable campus building
The Miller Hull Partnership- and Lord Aeck Sargent-designed Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Living at Georgia Tech. (Jonathan Hillyer)

On a smaller scale, also on view will be a range of consumer goods—sunglasses, apparel, home furnishings and more—made with Econyl®, a versatile regenerated nylon material produced by Italian company Aquafil using discarded fishing nets, carpeting, and other sources. (Aquafil also maintains an outpost just northwest of Atlanta in the city of Cartersville). And sure to appeal to young and young at heart MODA visitors will be LEGO creations built from plant-based bricks sourced from sugarcane in lieu of petrochemical-based plastic.

In addition to Lord Aeck Sargent, SCAPE, and Econyl Aquafil, other participating firms, companies, and designers include: BNIM, Bios Urn, Bjarke Ingels Group, Capsula Mundi, White Oaks Pastures, Covanta, Shades of Green, Finite, Garden Tower 2.0, Interface, Mitosis, Serenbe, and Silicon Ranch.

Full Circle: Design Without End will remain on view at MODA, located in Atlanta’s Midtown Arts District, through September 25, 2022. The museum is currently closed while preparations for the exhibition are underway and will reopen to the public on March 17.