The Hyphae process leads to efficient, effective, and ethical systems because we begin by seeing how the parts make up a greater whole. Too often, conventional approaches solve an isolated problem but create a new issue down the line to the detriment of all. This is not only a failure of imagination but a failure by design. Our thoughtful, intentional, and analytical process not only generates results, but uncovers solutions that were not obvious until we dug into the details and allowed data, art, and our unshakeable belief in the connectedness of all things to lead the way.
We assemble a unique interdisciplinary team of designers, engineers, scientists, community members, government representatives, artists, planners, ecologists, and landscape architects to see solutions and services from every possible angle. Head over to "Our Collaborations" to dig deeper.
We bring a systems thinking approach to our work: we understand that everything in our world is deeply interconnected. Urban areas consist of complex layers of systems that come together to influence our perception and actions within them. We therefore must understand the various environmental, social, and economic dynamics at play. We must apply the concept of urbanism to understand how inhabitants and natural systems interact with the built environment. There is a reciprocal relationship between living organisms shaping and being shaped by places over time. We understand how the world functions on different, nested scales: how the macro impacts the micro and the nano affects the global.
With this understanding we strategically intervene at one or several scales with the awareness of how our intervention(s) directly and indirectly impact other scales and other people, communities, and environments. We work with environmental, social, and economic dynamics of cities through urban planning, prototyping, community participation and policy work to shape our urban systems to be more environmentally just, more humane and livable, and more economically grounded in valuations based on the fundamental realities of earth systems and science.
Collaboration allows us to create solutions that address multiple problems at once and prevent indirect negative impacts: we cannot successfully understand complex problems alone or design solutions in a silo. To facilitate collaboration, we work to break down barriers that might divide us as “architect”, “landscape”, “engineer”, “scientist”, so that we may better understand and address the task at hand. And we amplify the voice of impacted communities who are experts in their own lives and hold invaluable perspective and knowledge. While most often community refers to people who live or frequent a space, community also might refer to a more expansive ecosystem of organisms.
Our Hyphae team is diverse and collaborative. We build multidisciplinary teams and highly collaborative partnerships that bring in the relevant stakeholders and experts. This includes government representatives, community members and leaders, academic researchers, design professionals, and industry experts. Collaboration allows our projects to more effectively catalyze change and have a greater impact than just the project at hand. Our projects become a useful tool in a larger campaign, an effective pilot that gets replicated, the catalyst to change public building codes or industry standards, or a replicable software tool.
Informed decision-making comes from a mixture of research in study and application. We value a data driven design methodology where we harness as much information as possible before assessing potential solutions. As we iterate, we continue to ask questions and collect more information throughout the whole process. We test our ideas in practice and adjust them until we have an effective solution. Our data and research is practical: we are focused on applying research to reality and tangibly improving conditions. This may involve air quality testing, biomonitoring, conducting a clinical trial, or inventing a new building system. While we sometimes do long-range private, academic, or government funded research, research and innovation are incorporated into all of our projects.
Art is a powerful tool for change. It can surface hidden truths and facilitate dialogue about cultural taboos while also inspiring and envisioning another world. Reshaping our urban environments and reintegrating nature into cities can be seen as confrontational and controversial. We need a cultural shift to embrace the scale and scope of change that is needed to make our world healthier and more resilient. We believe that art is an important part of initiating this shift and envisioning a different future.