As material science advances and manufacturers work to create a more transparent industry, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there, whether it be trudging through EPDs or finding the latest news on health and wellness.
Enter the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design in New York. This interdisciplinary and international team works to collaborate within the industry to help create “a world in which people’s health is placed at the center of all design decisions.” With an awareness of toxins that are often built into our environments, the Healthy Materials Lab website gives the public information about products and the importance of making healthy material choices. With a glossary sidebar on every page, tackling a tough subject rife with words like “chlorobenzene” is not quite so intimidating.
The simple-to-use site allows visitors to filter by resource type, such as product libraries or research; and topic areas, including toxicity and hazards, material innovation, and building materials, providing clear information on each in an effort to get designers and end users to prioritize healthy materials. Each source is a go-to in the industry; with references from U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Perkins+Will, and Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), users can be confident with the information the Healthy Materials Lab provides.
Additionally, the Lab works with partners to create healthier homes for those living in poverty. By teaming up with developers and nonprofits in Minneapolis; Austin, Texas; Manhattan; Warren, Ohio; and San Jose, Calif., they are able to conduct focused research on the way healthy materials impact everyday lives.