Product transparency: mindful MATERIALS
Many designers, and their clients, want to know the contents and potential hazards of the products we put into use every day. With today’s nationwide launch of mindful MATERIALS, what we put into our homes, schools and workplaces can be more transparent than ever.
mindful MATERIALS is an initiative developed by the design industry to provide a common way for manufacturers to clearly communicate what’s in their products. It is both a database and a visual guide. With the mindful MATERIALS Library, building professionals can search for and find transparency information. A comprehensive labeling system provides visual cues directly on product binders that hint at the available transparency information.
As designers, we have learned that there are two distinct challenges in selecting products with transparency data. One is the complexity of the products we use and the difficulties a manufacturer has in tracking ingredients up their supply chain in order to capture the information required. Another is that, once a manufacturer has the information, there’s no singularly effective way for them to share it with the design industry.
How does it begin to fit into our design process, making it easier for us to specify products with transparency information? This is where mindful MATERIALS comes in.
mindful MATERIALS was created by HKS-Dallas as an open-source resource in 2015. SERA Architects and ZGF Architects approached HKS about making it a consistent, national effort. Today, in partnership with BuildingGreen and USGBC-Illinois and through the assistance of twenty contributing firms, mindful MATERIALS can now be freely utilized and expanded across the industry.
SERA is honored to be part of such a great effort and has already started piloting the program. With this launch, continued efforts will be made to help SERA teams understand and utilize this valuable resource in our daily practice.
Transparency is now at our fingertips, it is now up to us.
For more information, visit mindful MATERIALS.