Each month we ask a new eco-maven 18 questions about his or her life, occupation, and advice for other like-minded people. This month we were happy to connect with founder of Gore Design Company, Brandon Gore, who believes in creating sustainable furniture that will last for millennia. Brandon has grown to be one of the most influential names in the furniture world and his furniture has been featured in Dwell, Vogue, Wired, and many other design publications. He now hosts Spike TV’s innovative furniture design competition series, Framework, alongside R&B artist, Common, as well as Nolen Niu. A vegan and a very green individual who values the materials he uses to create his designs, we are excited to share with you what he has to say!
1. What is your name?
2. What is your occupation?
I’m a designer and builder of furniture. I specialize in ultra high-performance concrete, but also dabble in wood and steel. Additionally, I teach workshops to aspiring makers and will be offering seminars with guest trainers in 2015 on subjects ranging from metal-working and wood-working to high-end concrete.
3. Do you have a “green” memory growing up?
My grandfather was a farmer. He was always environmentally aware and developed processes, systems and machinery to compost farm waste. He was a man ahead of his time.
4. What’s your favorite meal?
I’m easy to please—a plate of fresh veggies and hummus never disappoints.
5. Who/What inspires you to be more “green” in your life?
For me “green” is more a mindset than materials. Green means making things that last as long as possible, and for me that means hundreds if not thousands of years. Ancient ruins inspire me. So called “primitive cultures” made structures that still stand while modern man creates structures and goods that last a few years before falling apart.
6. Where on the “green scale” do you fall?
Probably moss green, but I don’t know what the hell that means. I recycle. I hate styrofoam and plastic. I believe in the mindset of “buy once, cry once,” so you could say I am against an economy built on continual consumption. I dream of building homes that will literally last 1,000+ years without maintenance.
7. What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of your job?
8. Where’s your “greenspot” food, body care/beauty, oceans, home or neighborhood, explain:
One of the best vegan restaurants in the nation is located here in Phoenix; it is called ‘Green’ and it will change your life.
9. Where do you turn for your news?
NPR or PBS, but I try to avoid the static of American politics, drama and scandals. I would rather spend my time with forward thinking people discussing topics that may actually impact society and the planet in a positive way than listen to talking heads drone on about Kim Kardashian’s assets.
10. What is one environmental change you vow to make in the next year?
To build a rammed-earth cabin and live a simpler life.
11. If you could trade places with one person from any time in history (past or present) for one day—who would it be and why?
Without question, Anthony Bourdain. In my mind he is as cool as it gets. Throw in that he gets to travel to well known as well as obscure destinations and partake of the local cuisine and culture; does it get any better?
12. You have a meeting with the leader of every country in the world. You have 30 seconds to tell them anything you want. Go!
Climate change is real. The future of every species, including our own, is in your hands.
13. You have the chance to send one tweet to all the tweeps in the world. Let’s hear it in 140 characters, or less!
Life is short, you’re dying, live today, love today.
14. If there was one industry/product that you could make more eco-friendly, what would it be?
Plastics—the technology is there for plant-based resins, but they aren’t being utilized to their full potential.
15. Where in the world would you most like to be right now?
The pacific NW—it is cold and rainy, my kind of weather. Instead I’m in the Sonoran Desert where it is 70 degrees and sunny. People probably think I’m crazy for saying that.
16. What is the best book you have read recently?
“Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman” by Peter Korn.
17. What makes you cringe?
Hummers in a Starbucks drive-thru with a “Namaste” bumper sticker.
18. What do you want your legacy to be?
Furniture and structures built for humans in a human scale that last thousands of years. I am very aware of my mortality. Striving to make items that are ergonomically correct and built to last is my attempt at immortality. If you make things to last forever, you should make them as best you can; that’s what I do, and I hope that is my legacy.