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Last week I had the great pleasure of spending the evening in the Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago with a group of people who immediately felt like family. The location and atmosphere couldn’t have been more lovely (of course I have a bias for the home design, but Director [...]
Last week I had the great pleasure of spending the evening in the Smart Home at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago with a group of people who immediately felt like family. The location and atmosphere couldn’t have been more lovely (of course I have a bias for the home design, but Director of Temporary Exhibits Anne Rashford and Jeff Bounomo made it come to life).
The food rich and layered in taste with fresh ingredients with the vibrant colors from the garden (and many from the Smart Home garden by Master Gardener Madiem Kawa). The meal was designed and created by chef Becky Bowler, nutritionist with Whole Foods. Her work was amazing. It was vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. Now I have to be honest, terms like vegan and dairy-free have not been a big part of my life to date. So I was pleasantly surprised that the dinner was crazy tasty. Becky started with a cheese pesto (the cheese was made from cashews) with ripe tomatoes and basil. Then there was a mixed greens course with toasted almonds and a pear vinaigrette followed by roasted brussels sprouts with an almond meal garlic crumble and the main course of brown rice pasta with an “alfredo sauce” made from butternut squash cream. Desert was a flourless chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse made from avacados and dates. Delicious. I have been converted.
But what really made the evening was the company. David Mosena, President and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry, his lovely wife Pat Mosena, Kate McGroarty (who is living in the museum for a month!), Mark Sexton (architect extraordinaire), Bernie Jacobs (who designs sustainable landscapes including the Smart Home landscape), Suzanne Malec-McKenna, Commissioner at the DOE Chicago, and myself joined for an evening of conversation about the future of green building, as well as a lot of laughter.
I love that the Smart Home is a fully-functioning home as exhibit, which makes magical evenings like this one possible. We could see the energy and water we were using, as well as the energy the Smart Home was producing on the energy monitor in the lounge. We were able to use the kitchen with it’s smart technologies, and the bathrooms with water conserving sinks and toilets and recycled glass. We had a fire going that burns clean with alcohol. Because we were at the Museum of Science and Industry, there were also unique moments like milk for coffee being passed around in a beaker.
That night, Kate actually spent the night in the Smart Home (I am so jealous) as a part of her living in the museum for a month adventures. Check out her blog to see some of the other crazy places she has been sleeping at night (like the space shuttle, the submarine, under the globe, etc.) or you can go to the Museum and meet her as her “apartment” is a glass box right past the entry of the Museum. Before our dinner Kate spent some time with the Smart Home bees and made each of us a bottle of honey. If Kate is any kind of representation of our future leaders and visionaries, then I am thankful and have great hope for the world of our children. In fact, I might just stop worrying so much, and sit back and have a cocktail. Go Kate!