e² is a critically acclaimed, multipart PBS series about the innovators and pioneers who envision a better quality of life on earth: socially, culturally, economically and ecologically.

The series explores attainable solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges, and its stories are culled from a variety of fields including design, energy, transport, water, food and urban development. Episodes have profiled Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus’s efforts to bring renewable energy to Bangladesh’s rural poor through microfinance; architect William McDonough and his “cradle-to-cradle” design philosophy; and former Bogotá Mayor Enrique Peñalosa’s sweeping redesign of that city’s transportation network, emphasizing alternatives to automobile culture.

The 2008 season of e² is presented in two parts, “e² design” and “e² transport”, and will visit Cairo, Nova Scotia, Melbourne, San Francisco, London, Paris, Amsterdam and Seoul. Featured interviews include luminaries like acclaimed author Michael Pollan, His Highness the Aga Khan, and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano.

e² is a poetic combination of compelling storytelling, provocative cinematography and an emotive original music score. Narrators include Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. Currently entering its fourth season, e² continues to feature new advances in sustainable living, adaptive reuse, eco-efficient transportation and more. e² is directed by Tad Fettig and executive produced by Karena Albers and Fettig, both co-founders of the New York-based production company kontentreal. The program airs on PBS affiliates nationwide, and online at http://www.e2-series.com/.

e² design is an ongoing PBS series about the pioneers and innovators in the field of sustainable architecture, and how their work is producing solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges. Now entering its third season, the series features compelling stories from around the globe: Beijing to Nova Scotia, Ladakh to New York. Each episode examines the built environment’s effects — both ecological, and social — and the design innovations that can reduce buildings’ contribution to climate change.

Season 1: e² design 

The first episode begins in New York, a city that is leading the charge to green its industrial skyline with several groundbreaking projects. New York combats the urban myth of the bustling city as a “concrete jungle.” “The Green Apple” explores some of Manhattan’s most prominent and technologically advanced structures like One Bryant Park and The Solaire, as well as the innovative minds behind them. The episode illustrates how the ubiquitous skyscraper can surprisingly be a model of environmental responsibility.

The second episodeGreen for All,” follows architect and activist Sergio Palleroni as he continues his mission to provide architectural and design solutions to regions in social and humanitarian crisis. Palleroni already has four global initiatives underway aimed at providing architecture students with hands-on field experience building housing for the poor. This episode finds him in East Austin, Texas and in Mexico, where he and his student team are helping threatened communities build thousands of homes while teaching residents to be resourceful in cutting costs and using local materials.

In the third episodeThe Green Machine,” Mayor Richard Daley takes viewers on a tour through Chicago, and showcases his mission to make it “the greenest city in America.” Chicago already demonstrates a remarkable commitment to green design and construction, with over 40 buildings registered for LEED certification, an integrated solar-powered public transportation system with a biker commuter station and over two million square feet of green roofs, including City Hall.

The fourth episodeGray to Green” takes the notion of the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) to grand proportions by looking at Boston’s “Big Dig” and the massive amount of waste created by the $15 billion public works project. Paul Pedini, a civil engineer on the project, had the idea to build his own home from the Big Dig waste. The success of this project sparked plans to create an office complex in Massachusetts from the same recycled material. These innovative projects serve as prototypes to demonstrate to city officials that there is value in recycling on such a grand level.

In episode five, the series moves to China, whose soaring population and rapid industrialization have created a boom in urbanization that is unprecedented in human history. To try to tackle this global issue, “China: From Red to Green?” explores green design solutions in both theory and practice, including Steven Holl’s Linked Hybrid project, which will have the largest residential geothermal heating/cooling and greywater recycling system in the world upon completion. William McDonough shares his innovative plans to make China an entirely sustainable country and the ways architecture can be both profitable and environmentally intelligent.

The first season of e² design concludes with episode 6 with a look to the future. “Deeper Shades of Green” focuses on remarkable thinkers and designers of our time: Ken Yeang, Werner Sobek and William McDonough. Nothing short of geniuses, these architects are challenging society and environmental design philosophically, psychologically, technically, aesthetically, politically, and culturally. Each is radically changing the face of not only architecture, but of environmentalism.


Season 2: e² design 

Ladakh, India is one of the most remote regions on earth. Beset with religious, political and cultural strife, it is also one of the most tumultuous. Enter the Druk White Lotus School, which intends to equip Ladakhi children for living in the modern world while simultaneously embracing Buddhist traditions. Commissioned by His Holiness The Twelfth Gyalwang Drukpa and designed by Arup architect Jonathan Rose, the school features sustainable technologies that suit the altitude and landscape, as well as Ladakh’s cultural climate.

Greening the Federal Government. Government buildings are not historically associated with sustainability or exquisite design. But the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence program is changing that perception. The program commissioned Pritzker Prize-winning Architect Thom Mayne to design the San Francisco Federal Building, a structure that aims to be the prototype for tomorrow’s workplace.


Bogotá: building a sustainable city. Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, transformed one of the world’s most chaotic cities into a model of civic-minded and sustainable urban planning. He reformed public transportation, added greenways, built mega-libraries and created the longest stretch of bike-only lanes in the world. But along the way, he met tremendous opposition from the very people he was attempting to help.

Affordable green housing. New York City is known for its diversity, but that quality isn’t always reflected in its public housing developments, which often ignore the social and cultural characteristics of the communities who live in them. This episode follows third generation-developer Jonathan Rose through Irvington, Harlem and the Bronx – communities where Rose is putting sustainability within reach of public housing residents.

Adaptive reuse in the netherlands. Dutch planners tap into their innate design sensibility and the industrial landscape to create a sustainable development in Amsterdam’s abandoned dockyards, Borneo Sporenburg. Offering an alternative to the trappings of suburban sprawl, the development maximizes space while maintaining privacy, and uses the vast waterways as core landscape design elements.


e² design season three
Episodes explore: a profile of the Aga Khan’s Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, Egypt, a 500-year-old dump-turned-“urban lung”; Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons, who applies Nova Scotia’s vernacular pragmatism to projects around the world; Melbourne, Australia’s transformation from a tired, vacant city into a thriving, sustainable metropolis; world-class architect Renzo Piano’s integration of nature into his design for San Francisco’s elegant, environmentally responsive natural history museum; the efforts to rebuild New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward in a way that is environmentally, culturally and socially sustainable; and the visionary Dutch architects transforming recycled materials into modern design masterpieces.


kontentreal is a documentary film and strategic entertainment company dedicated to telling stories about innovators and pioneers who envision a better approach to life on earth. Headquartered in New York, the company was founded in 2003 by advertising veteran Karena Albers and filmmaker/cinematographer Tad Edward Fettig. kontentreal debuted its first episodic series on PBS, “e² design”, in the summer of 2006. Now entering its fourth season, e² continues to traverse the globe, covering sustainable practices in design, energy, transport, water, food and urban development.

kontentreal’s team of esteemed visual storytellers, producers and marketers seek out stories about creative, tangible solutions to environmental challenges, particularly those that transcend geography and culture. Past episodes of e² have profiled Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus’s efforts to bring renewable energy to Bangladesh’s rural poor through micro-finance; William McDonough and his “cradle-to-cradle” design philosophy; and former Bogotá Mayor Enrique Peñalosa’s sweeping redesign of that city’s transportation network, emphasizing alternatives to automobile culture.

kontentreal has also produced “Ecoists” for the Sundance Channel, “Generation G” for Live Earth’s SOS Short Films Program, and has several other independent film and television projects in development.

For more information about kontentreal, please visithttp://www.kontentreal.com/ 

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