Regenerative Design Certificate Redux by Jesce Walz
Yestermorrow’s Regenerative Design Certificate program expanded my sense of possibility and hope. It drew connections between my interests in design, building, community, and process, it provided practical ideas for application, and offered examples of projects done by individuals with deep senses of integrity, justice, and harmony. The course honed my project plans by helping me to let go of some of the questions I arrived with, “How can a building be regenerative? How can my project be regenerative?” replacing these with understandings.
One of the most valuable of these understandings is that humans have a role in nature: we are naturally disturbers. The world is in need of healthy disturbance, and nature actually needs us to remember our role. Currently, we disturb in a destructive way. We can, however, learn from the past and disturb more symbiotically, with attentiveness to what needs to be burned, harvested, repaired, etc. If we cease to produce “for the sake of producing,” and begin to create what is essential, what is of lasting value, we will begin to heal many rifts.
Ultimately there isn’t a “regenerative building.” Rather, a building is regenerative if it is designed in relationship to its context and the values of its inhabitants, and in a way that allows it to evolve with changing needs. This kind of design makes a building essential to those who dwell in it. If it essential, it will be maintained, cared for, and will adapt beyond the lifespan of a “sustainably designed” building that is simply an idea projected into the world.
“Sustainability is a floor we can all stand on, not the ceiling that we are reaching towards.”
Tools and Frameworks:
There were several tools and frameworks we were given in class that I will carry with me indefinitely, and hope to continue building upon: