What’s “Regenerative Design”?

Regenerative Design is the practice of creating buildings and spaces that meet human needs while contributing to the overall well-being and renewal of the surrounding ecosystem.

It invites a broader range of considerations. For example:
  • Are we using materials that can be harvested without negative impacts on the broader biome?
  • Does the building benefit animals, plants, and fungi?
  • Can the building’s life be extended by prioritizing how it’ll be maintained?

For the Interested Reader

The following quotes are from the book, Material Reform: Building for a Post-Carbon Future, written by the not-for-profit Material Cultures. We share them because they’ve impacted the way we think about our role as architects:
  • “Regenerative resources are resources that can be extracted from cyclic processes of regrowth without reducing the capacity of that cycle to regenerate.”
  • “If the damage caused throughout the long global supply chains…were fully accounted for, regenerative resources would sit at the more affordable end of the range of possible construction materials. However, because not all costs are factored into the market prices of material products, lower-impact materials appear disproportionately expensive compared with mass-produced industrial alternatives.”
  • “Living in a material world made largely from regenerative resources will mean reintroducing a culture of care…It will also mean designing in a way that allows some parts of a building to fail without condemning the whole, and planning for some parts to age, deteriorate, and be replaced without endangering the rest of the building.”

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