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Maria Sutherland

Carmel, CA, United States

Marketing and Communications Consultant

Member since May 10, 2007

  • Rotor House

    Community, Industrial Design


    As a fan of small footprints, I love Luigi Colani's Rotor House. Though still in beta form, the 6 x 6 meter home maximizes living space with the virtual lazy susan that turns the kitchen, bedroom and bath.

  • Pebble Beach Forest Saved

    Environment, Environmental Design


    On June 13th, the California Coastal Commission voted 8-to-4 to deny the Pebble Beach Company's plans to cut down 18,000 trees in the Del Monte Forest.

    This ended an eight-year battle in which the Pebble Beach Company had tried to circumvent the Coastal Act by taking the vote to the public. In a slick $1 million ad campaign, co-owner Clint Eastwood asked voters to "help save the forest." Failing to mention the fact that so many trees would fall victim to the development scheme, the voters approved the measure. The company also bought local officials and leaned on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace two pro-environment commissioners.

    The development was extensive, and included putting an equestrian center on a conservation easement. In the end, the company couldn't negotiate - any changes would have to be put before the (now educated) public in another vote. This lock box killed the deal, and after 11 hours of deliberation in which Commission Sara Wan called it "wholesale destruction of the environment," the plan was denied.

    Heroes abound in this story - Mark Massara, a surfer and attorney for the Sierra Club, spearheaded the effort to save the forest. Attorney Tom Lippe likewise rocked the vote, while the staff at the Coastal Commission, including Charles Lester and Dan Carl, was forthright and unwavering in their judgment.

    On a personal note, as someone born who was born in that forest and is especially sensitive to the aesthetic beauty, I was ...

  • Jumping on the Bed


    I made a very exciting purchase today - an organic latex mattress. A local business, Monterey Mattress, is beta testing this new product after being inspired by a large order from Joseph Campbell's old hang out, Esalen. And there's a long line forming around the block as people give their tired wire springs and petroleum-based foam beds the boot. Does anyone know if these are recyclable?

  • Belu Water

    Environment, Industrial Design


    Location: London, England

    Problem: To meet the demand for on the go water while decreasing product’s environmental footprint. Britons use 275,000 tons of plastic bottles each year or 15 million a day. Most water bottles are made from PET plastic, a crude oil extract, with 8% of oil production going into plastics.

    Client: British consumers

    Designers: Lewis Moberly


    Solution: Recyclable plastic bottles made from corn. The corn goes through a fermentation and distillation process and is reduced to a monomer called lactic acid which is spun, linked to polymer chains, and molded into bottles. The bio-bottle will biodegrade within 12 months with commercial composting. The bottle contains mineral water sourced from the Black Mountains in South Wales, with 100% of company profits going to international clean water projects.

    Date of completion: 2006

    For more info: Belu, Lewis Moberly

  • Wall for Peace

    Peace, Environmental Design


    Location: Paris, France

    Problem: To celebrate the year 2000, the French government requested a monument to promote peace and cultural tolerance. The design would need to utilize technology to communicate and connect with people on a global scale.

    Client: The City of Paris and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication

    Designers: Clara Halter and Jean-Michel Wilmotte

    Solution: A metallic framework covered with glass, stainless steel and exotic woods on a wooden tiered base featuring the word “peace” in 32 languages. The monument has letterboxes, or chinks, to collect handwritten messages, as in the Jewish tradition. Thirty on-site monitors connect to the web to allow Internet users around the world to send in messages that appear on the screens.

    Date of completion: 2000

    For more info: Wall for Peace


  • TAF 21st Century Learning Center

    Education, Environmental Design


    Location: King County, WA, USA

    Problem: Technology Access Foundation prepares minority and disadvantaged youth for higher education and professional success by providing a rigorous and relevant primary and secondary curriculum. TAF has outgrown its current quarters and expects its enrollment to increase from 220 students to over 1,880 in 2011.

    Client: Technology Access Foundation

    Designers: The Miller|Hull Partnership, in association with Public Architecture.

    Solution: Public Architecture assisted TAF with identifying and selecting Miller Hull as the project architect. The building will be LEED certified, the standard measurement for environmentally sustainable construction, and technologically state-of-the-art, featuring solar panels, ground source heat pumps, natural ventilation and lighting, and wireless technology. Salvageable material from demolished local housing and county salvage projects and yards will be used throughout. The building will also be nestled among existing trees so that no trees will be removed.

    Completion: Construction is expected to begin in 2008.

    For more info: Technology Access Foundation, Public Architecture

  • Sawfish Submersible Chainsaw

    Environment, Industrial Design


    Location: Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada

    Problem: When massive hydroelectric dams are created, huge areas of forest are often flooded, submerging habitats and displacing whatever human communities happened to call that place home. But the forests that become part of the underwater landscape can be well preserved for decades, and are still viable stocks of timber.

    Client: Builders in Canada and the United States

    Designers: Triton Logging

    Solution: The Sawfish is a 7,000 pound unmanned logging submarine that is remotely controlled from the surface. Armed with eight video cameras and sonar navigation, the robotic lumberjack latches onto the trunk of a submerged tree, attaches inflatable airbags to the trunk, deploys its chainsaw, and then releases the tree to float up to the surface. The process of harvesting already dead timber spares live forests. The company is supplying eco-certified wood from Dockside Green, a 1.3 million-square-foot environmentally sustainable development in Victoria, British Columbia.

    Completion: 2002

    For more info: Triton Logging, Dockside Green


  • PermaNet® 2.0

    Well-being, Industrial Design


    Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

    Problem: Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, effects approximately 400 million people and kills between one and three million people every year. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, but is also a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development. But killing mosquitoes with spray chemicals such as DDT causes other serious health issues.

    Client: International health and aid organizations

    Designers: Vestergaard Frandsen Group

    Solution: A long-lasting, insecticide-impregnated mosquito net. Warp-knitted from 100% polyester, PermaNet® is impregnated with Deltamethrin, a cyano-pyrethroid insecticide with good adhesion abilities that is slowly released over time and practically harmless to humans. The nets are dirt repellant and require no additional manual labor to clean. They can be washed up to 20 times before needing to be re-treated, and can then be re-impregnated with insecticide seven to ten times. The nets are available in rectangular, circular and hammock shapes.

    Completion: 2003

    For more info: PermaNet®

  • One Laptop per Child

    Education, Industrial Design


    Location: Cambridge, MA, USA

    Problem: Most of the nearly two billion children in the developing world are inadequately educated or receive no education at all. One in three does not complete the fifth grade. At the same time, their governments struggle to compete in a rapidly evolving global information economy, hobbled by a vast and increasingly urban underclass that cannot support itself.

    Client: Developing countries

    Designers: Nicholas Negroponte, Mary Lou Jepsen, Design Continuum and Yves Béhar of Fuseproject

    Solution: The XO is a $175 laptop designed for students in emerging nations. (However, the target price is $100 and OLPC expects the current price to decline as volumes increase in 2008 and beyond.) Each machine features a wireless router and a webcam. A transformer hinge configures the laptop for e-book reading and gaming. An extra-wide touchpad supports pointing, drawing and writing. A screen that is sunlight readable is available. Containing no hazardous materials, its energy efficient batteries can be hand-powered by a pull cord.

    Completion: 2007

    For more info: [One Laptop per Child] (


  • Master Peace

    Peace, Communication Design


    Location: Jerusalem, Israel

    Problem: To create a fluent intercultural dialogue that avoids friction caused by language barriers, resistance to change and difficulties accepting people perceived as “others.”

    Client: Prototype

    Designer: Tamar Meshulam

    Solution: A collaborative table game for heterogeneous groups that encourages individuals to cooperate and facilitate connections between people of different backgrounds. The game takes players on an imaginary journey away from a place called “Home” around a large white circular board using impressed clay pebbles on a felt map, each inscribed with a different symbol open to personal interpretation. During the process, players work together to create a short story documenting their imaginary journey. To reach each stop along the board, the whole group must work together and learn from their dialogue, proceeding only when all players agree on the next portion of the story. There are no final winners or losers as players find their way back “Home” again.

    Completion: 2004

    For more info: Master Peace

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Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability and that way you might change the world. - Charles Eames

Contact Maria Sutherland
Personal Site

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design