Design for a Living World Comes to Phoenix!

Innovative Exhibition Invites You to “Celebrate the Source”

Phoenix, AZ | October 18, 2011

Get ready to “Celebrate the Source” by indulging in a creative connection between our daily lives and natural materials at the Design for a Living World exhibition beginning January 16, 2012. The Nature Conservancy and the Desert Botanical Garden bring this world-renowned exhibition to Phoenix following successful stints in New York City and Chicago. Design for a Living World will have you wondering where the cotton for our shirts and the beans from our coffee come from.

“If we can bring to light the positive impact using natural resources can have on protecting people and places, we’ll be breaking ground for a more sustainable and healthier future, “says Patrick Graham, state director of the Conservancy in Arizona. “There are growing pressures on our natural resources in Arizona and around the world. We want people to start considering the source of their daily lives so they’ll be inclined to protect those resources, and, in the long run, become more efficient.”

The Conservancy asked ten world-class designers to study our work in ten different areas. From the grasslands of Idaho to the forests of the China Province, they were charged with creating an innovative, yet practical product using natural materials.

The exhibit features usable products made from sustainable sources. Israeli industrial designer Ezri Tarazi created the Living Forest, a living room made from bamboo harvested in the Yunnan Province, China. The living room includes a lounge chair, torchere floor lamp and other everyday items crafted from large bamboo stalks.

Isaac Mizrahi turned what is typically a waste product of the salmon industry into a high fashion dress. “I saw the salmon skin and thought I could do something incredibly glamorous with it because it resembles leather,” remembers Mizrahi. “The way it is finished is somewhat shiny and sparkly.”

Other cool designs include a handbag made from palm leaves by Paulina Reyes of Kate Spade New York. Plus, Maya Lin crafted a striking piece of furniture that highlights the beauty of a single tree.

Conservation and sustainability are a critical part of the Desert Botanical Garden’s mission, making this exhibition a natural partnership. According to Garden executive director, Ken Schutz, "Design for a Living World will inspire our visitors to see the natural world, especially plants, for the critical role they play in sustaining humanity and the rest of life on Earth. The exhibit offers hope for those who mourn the rapid decline of biodiversity, and celebrates the creative spirit that makes us unique as a species."

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Tracey Kiest

Related Links


   Please leave this field empty
x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Learn about the places you love. Find out
how you can help.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

I'm already on the list!

Read our privacy policy.