We understand that the only way to effectively improve overall ecosystem health and resilience is from a systems thinking approach that respects the interconnectedness of everything. Our process bridges cross-disciplinary divides. We engage in diverse projects across scales that have a unique potential for innovation and catalyzing change. Improving conditions for human health must come with a reduced impact on the environment. Our experience in ecology, health-driven urban planning, architecture, applied scientific research, industrial design, and software development underscores our commitment to design solutions that are mutually beneficial for all.
“Humanity is a biological species, living in a biological environment...The earth is our home. Unless we preserve the rest of life, as a sacred duty, we will be endangering ourselves by destroying the home in which we evolved, and on which we completely depend.” ― Edward Osborne Wilson, Biologist, Naturalist, and Writer
Humanity's disconnection to nature denies our true reality. When our response to complex problems is led solely by economics we prevent ourselves from seeing the world as it is: interconnected. But too often, “business as usual” fails to see these connections as a model for how to create resilient systems and rethink our approach to the built environment. Conventional thinking positions humans as manipulators of the environment by sheer will and prevents us from seeing the forest for the trees while both suffer. This is a simple diagnosis: a persisting lack of imagination disrupts generative processes and pushes various disciplines into silos where expertise is obscured into nearsightedness. Human systems trump earth systems to all of our detriment. We can no longer create new problems with each attempt to fix the one at-hand. Disconnected design results in unhealthy communities making our pressing injustices more prevalent. How can we get out of this mess?
“We can’t impose our will on a system. We can listen to what the system tells us, and discover how its properties and our values can work together to bring forth something much better than could ever be produced by our will alone.” -Donella Meadows, American Environmental Scientist
We know that we cannot solve the world's complex problems with the same thinking that got us into this mess. Sheer will won't do either. Our vision is more a set of shared beliefs. Our way of seeing the world is an invitation for everyone in our industry to embrace an interconnected world. This is more than an alternative. It is a recognition that we are linked to systems bigger than us.
Connected design is healthy design. Healthy designs demands collaborative teams led by both data analysis and artistic expression. We thrive in the unique role as the spoke in the wheel helping multiple disciplines build off each other instead of compete. This energy opens new possibilities for not only design but technology and community.
Our unique role as connectors bringing together multiple disciplines, stakeholders, and expertise was a head-scratcher for people at first. People wanted an easy way to describe us. "So, are you civil engineers, landscape architects, planners, ecologists, or artists?"
Yes! To us it seemed obvious: systems-thinking should naturally bring a wide array of voices to the table. We serve as the link between design, research, and action. We specialize in being generalists. This calling has pushed us beyond the world of architecture, engineering, and construction, most recently into the health sector.
Our team models our vision for collaboration across disciplines. We are made up of biologists, environmental engineers, geospatial data analysts, landscape architects and urban planners, designers, and artists that apply multidisciplinary systems-thinking to challenging problems. Our team is also almost always augmented by project specific specialists, both partners we collaborate with frequently and new regionally specific friends.
Alumni: Marisha Farnsworth, Bobby Glass, Graham Prentice, Anastasia Victor, Kadi Franson, Tammy Lee
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