How can design be focused more holistically on neighborhood health and well-being? In our work, we are interested in measuring the impact of people’s wellness throughout each project’s life cycle, particularly in the city, where health disparities are more pronounced. Our process begins with a simple question: who are we designing for, and what are their needs? We learn through an empathetic approach that integrates the community through all phases of creative design.
In our current work, from urban parks to botanic gardens, healing the mind and body builds on the foundation of environmental resiliency and restoration, including stormwater management and energy harvesting. Historically, over the last two decades, our work focused on creating civic spaces that engage visitors and create greater social connectivity. Sociological and psychological evidence shows that such socio-ecological transformations normalize our bodily functions while allowing for us to feel more connected with our peers. This is true within many spaces, from clinical institutions (where we are connecting patients, caregivers, families and administrators) to more accessible and human-centered designed gardens…to everywhere else! By integrating restorative and biophilic design into the everyday experience within varied, diverse communities and neighborhoods, we can mitigate stress in the world we live and work in today. From the strategic urban scale, all the way down to the details with biophilic patterns and materials, we are focused on fostering a more effective user experience.
Our work with communities merges the science and the art of landscape architecture. Weather pattern analysis and system infrastructure attune the site’s ecology to the natural world; empathic design subtly re-centers human needs across every realm, from parks to playgrounds and from outdoor classrooms to healing gardens. These advances in sustainable design will improve the city for future generations through the lens of creativity and innovation – ultimately letting future citizens find their own ways to make the world tangibly anew.