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June 7, 2013

Sustainable Designers Linsey and Crystal are Using Surface Pro to Help the Environment

One of the things that get us most pumped in the Surface team is to hear about people using Surface for things that amaze us. We built Surface to be productive, but never imagined some of the ways it would be used.

We are inspired by many Surface users, and we want to share their stories. This is part of a series that does that.

INDO is a Chicago-based design studio run by friends and designers Linsey and Crystal who have a shared passion to inspire change and create a better world. The duo creates works of art out of materials that have been diverted from waste and recycling streams. Some of our team met them to learn how they are using Surface Pro to plan and deliver cool creative projects while maintaining their emphasis on sustainability. We love what they’re doing, and we made this video to inspire more great work from Surface customers. Enjoy!


What is it about Surface Pro that you enjoy most?
We love being able to bring Surface everywhere! The click in keyboard makes using it super fun and easy. The other day we had a small meeting on the fire escape at work to enjoy the weather and could do that by bringing Surface!

How has Surface Pro helped you do more and helped in your design processes?
Surface has helped us have productive onsite client meetings with all of our paperwork, drawings, files, and imagery electronically at our fingertips. Efficient and productive meetings are key.

How does Surface Pro enable you to stay true to your core beliefs of sustainability?
We try to print as little as possible. Surface Pro enables us to be more paperless than ever, by bringing digital materials to meetings, keeping on top of email, sharing photographs… we absolutely love the paper-freedom it offers.

What are three of your favorite apps?
We are constantly using Internet Explorer to scour the Internet for materials, posting things to Twitter, and accessing Dropbox for files.

How are you using Surface Pen? Any apps you use specifically for the pen?
SketchBook has been really great for us to be able to sketch on the go without having to keep track of papers flying around. The control and precision you have with the pen is like having a pocket full of writing utensils in one. It’s an added bonus that it helps keep the screen free of fingerprints!

Do you have any favorite Surface accessories you like to use? Covers? Cases? Mice?
We love our covers.  They are made of recycled rubber and lined with industrial felt.  Surface fits perfectly inside (with the keyboard of course) and they are made by our studiomates (Strand Design) right here in Chicago.

How did you two meet and decide to start INDO?
We met in 2002 working in a coffee shop.  After college we started moonlighting as window dressers.  A few years of building our portfolio got us to a point where we were too busy for our full time gigs so we decided to try our darndest and make a business out of it.  Owning our own business allows us operate in a way that is totally in tune with our beliefs – conscious consumption, collaborative consumption, recycle, be nice, enjoy every day, grow, follow the golden rule and all that good stuff.

What does it mean to be a sustainable designer?
To us, it means that you are aware of how your actions affect the greater community and the world, and allowing that awareness to influence your actions.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
Connecting with people.  Not only do we get to learn about all of our clients, their businesses and what makes them tick – we get to share what we do, create a story together, search for materials, and explain why repurposing is important.

What was one of your most memorable and/or favorite projects you’ve completed?
The Script wall was definitely one of our most favorite projects. We were able to work with real movers and shakers in Chicago – the project was for Steppenwolf Theater Company. Waste Management (then called ‘Recycling Services’) donated thousands of pounds of paper, and the worldwide advertising agency, Ogilvy, oversaw the project.  It was amazing to work with such an incredible team to create that 40’ wall of paper.

Can you share with us one tip for more sustainable living?
Ask questions! – Do I need this? Where was this made? Is this recyclable? Do I need a disposable cup or can I BYOmug? Then take a deep breath, don’t be overwhelmed and take it one step at a time.

Bryson Gordon
Director- Microsoft Surface