An article you recently shared: “A Toy Kit for Little Architects and Engineers,” Fast Company, January 31, 2014
Building you would save if the world was going to end: Philosophically, I think it would be a school, except the school I would want to save hasn’t been built.
One book everyone should read: Atlas Shrugged
Most memorable mentor or teacher: My mom. What she taught me wasn’t out of books. It was how to make goals and reach them, how to think big but start small, how to have confidence in myself and my values, and how to take the time to appreciate life with all of its challenges and successes—because that makes it interesting and worth it.
Wasteful habit you’re trying to kick: Drinking Vitamin Water. Lots of plastic bottles.
Most fulfilling hobby: Noodling on my guitar. Writing songs is good therapy.
Most memorable hometown haunt: The little county airport that used to sit above my house. We could only access it via a path through the forest and it was always such an adventure to get there. We’d pass hobo camps in the woods, see deer and raccoons, eat blackberries, and end up at this meadow where, if we were lucky, a little prop plane would land right in front of us.
Favorite place you’ve traveled: Paris.
Greatest professional pet peeve: Not admitting when you need help or don’t know something—it stalls progress.
Way to make the environment a non-partisan issue: The definition of partisan is “a strong supporter of a party, cause, or person.” So I think it’s not, How do we make the environment a non-partisan issue? It’s, How do we make everyone a partisan of the environment?
Your field’s biggest hurdle to improving its practices: Habit.
Explain “green” to a kindergartner: I wouldn’t use words. I’d let them go out and experience “green.” Walk through a forest. Pick blackberries. Listen to birds chirp. Then they could come to their own personal definition, and hopefully that experience would stay with them.
A century from now humanity will: Either curse us for getting them into such a mess, or thank us for getting them out of one.
Most common green myth: That new homes are more efficient than older ones.
Most resonant documentary you’ve seen: If You Build It, by Patrick Creadon
The perfect city would have: Codes that require buildings to collect and treat their own water and supply their own energy, an education system based on experiential learning and design thinking, a free public transportation system, urban food forests… I could go on and on. Maybe I should just run for mayor.
Cause you’d support if you had a billion dollars: Protecting virgin forests. I have told my mom a thousand times that I would buy all the forested land in Clackamas County (where I’m from) if I won the lottery. I’d make good on that promise.
(Read managing editor Timothy Schuler’s conversation with Stacy here.)