Smithsonian Museum Honors John Todd's Eco-Machine
Release Date: 05-13-2010
The Smithsonian's National Design Museum has selected an "Eco-Machine" created by John Todd, professor of ecological design at the University of Vermont, as one of the winners of its National Design Triennial.
Built at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, in Rhinebeck, N.Y., Todd's Eco-Machine is an advanced waste-water treatment system that mimics nature, using an integrated series of tanks filled with microbes, algae, plants and even fish to clean water and break down sludge.
Part of the new exhibition, "Why Design Now?" Todd's Eco-Machine, with 125 other winning projects, was selected by the curators as one "the most innovative, forward thinking designs at the center of contemporary culture in the previous three years."
The exhibition opens at the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, May 14 and will be on view through January 9, 2011.
Todd's Eco-Machine exemplifies the Smithsonian's goal of "reflecting the connectedness of design practices and the need for international cooperation to solve the world's problems." Todd has created more than 80 Eco-Machines around the world over the last two decades, ranging from ones mounted on barges to remediate poisoned canals in China to one at a rest area on Interstate 89 in Vermont.
Todd was given the award on behalf of his company, John Todd Ecological Design, along with Brad Clark, Laura Lesniewski and Steve McDowell.
Begun in 2000, the Smithsonian's National Design Triennial series presents the museum's selection of the best "design solutions that promote environmental stewardship, social equity, accessibility and creative capital."
John Todd is research professor in UVM's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. He has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Buckminster Fuller Award, for his pioneering work on ecological design. He is also the founder of Ocean Arks International, a non-profit research and education organization established in 1981.