Green By Design Episode 203: Green Materials with Kate Bachner

Learn from art curator turned green materials consultant Kate Bachner about the importance of sourcing eco-friendly materials for building & design projects as well as a her outline for how all designers can work sustainable materials sourcing into their design process.

Kate Bachner, Green Materials Consultant & Founder of Wise Matter

Erica Reiner (00:06):

Hello, and welcome to green by design I'm Erica Reiner from eco method interiors. And today I have with me, Kate and I'll have you pronounce your last name for me? Bochner. Thank you very much. And Kate Bachner has a very interesting job, she is the founder of wise matter, which is a new eco home consultancy focused on aligning our living spaces with our health and environment. So that means she works with owners of residential build teams to select their interior and structural building materials of the highest quality. She uses the research of chemists architects and thought leaders to choose, choose materials with non-toxic chemicals and that favor sustainability. So Kate, thank you so much for being here. I'm very excited to speak with you and oh, a love for you to kick us off by letting us know a little bit more about your journey and how you got to what you're doing now at Wise matter?

Kate Bachner (01:12):

Okay. Well thank you for having me and my journey is a little different, I guess. I have a art history background, so my undergrad is art history. Then I got my master's in contemporary art. And then I worked in the New York city art world for a really long time. And while I was working there, I learned about climate change and sustainability and started really getting into green building. And simultaneously I was finding the art world a little too insular. So I took courses at NYU. I got my lead green associate accreditation, and then I kind of just like forced my way into big green building Wells. I got my real estate license, so I could be closer to buildings. I worked with inspectors because when you're selling a, a building or an apartment an inspector comes in and checks out everything to make sure it's okay.

Kate Bachner (02:18):

Learn from that. And then this company called healthy building science just took a chance on me really. And the material, the healthy material world was really kind of getting started when I joined. So there weren't really many experts. There were just real people who were passionate and also like very, very intense researchers. And I always had a fascination with how space affects behavior and that's kind of what led me into the art world and being a curator. So I was like, all right, well, greed materials, interior design does that, so I think this would be the best student niche for me in terms of green building.

Erica Reiner (03:10):

I love that story and I love windy backgrounds cause I have one too. So I love how all the experiences culminate for such a, you know, setting yourself up for such a unique position. So what is most important to you in terms of green interiors? And I know you've worked with a lot of designers and furniture makers and things like that. What is most important to you to see happen? I guess