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– Written by India Knott – May 22, 2023

SketchUp and Dezeen release their second episode of Climate Salon podcast

Forging a Regenerative Future: Design and Architecture in Harmony with Nature

In the second episode of the Climate Salon podcast series, the highly regarded designer Sebastian Cox, the accomplished architect Rikke Juul Gram, and SketchUp brought together their expertise and vision to advocate for a regenerative approach to design and architecture. With the invaluable contributions of SketchUp’s sustainable lead, Hugh McEvoy, the panelists passionately championed the transformative power of regenerative practices in their respective fields.

Sebastian Cox, known for his furniture business focused on restoring biodiversity to harvested materials’ environments, emphasized that regenerative practices involve allowing natural environments to replenish themselves through their own processes. He highlighted the difference between sustainability, which often revolves around offsetting and maintaining a balance, and regenerative design, which seeks to enhance biodiversity and create habitats that surpass their original state.

Hugh McEvoy, SketchUp’s sustainable lead, echoed Cox’s sentiments, emphasizing the shift from simply minimizing damage to actively creating positive experiences for people and the planet. The panel discussed how design and architecture can collaboratively work with nature to have a profound impact on the environment, highlighting the importance of biodiversity and habitat improvement.

Schønherr partner Rikke Juul Gram argues that cities need more space for nature

Rikke Juul Gram, a partner at Copenhagen landscape architecture firm Schønherr, shared her insights on a regenerative approach to urban planning. She discussed her project called Copenhagen Islands, which envisions transforming the city by integrating adaptable islets and coastal zones capable of managing rising seawater and rainwater levels. Gram emphasized the value of water as a resource for creating nature, highlighting the need for adequate space and supportive systems.

SketchUp’s Hugh McEvoy calls for a greater emphasis on systems over aesthetics

The discussion also addressed the need for a paradigm shift in aesthetics within architecture and design. McEvoy proposed a greater emphasis on understanding a building’s systems, rather than solely focusing on its visual appeal, to embrace a more regenerative approach. Cox and Gram called for a reevaluation of what is considered aesthetically pleasing, urging designers to explore new materials and incorporate flexibility and imperfection into their designs.

The Climate Salon podcast series, a collaboration between Dezeen and SketchUp, aims to explore the pivotal role architects and designers can play in addressing climate change. Over six episodes, experts from various disciplines come together to discuss collaborative approaches to create a more cohesive response to the climate crisis.

To listen to the insightful second episode, titled “Forging a Regenerative Future,” and catch the entire series, subscribe to the Climate Salon podcast. Join the conversation on forging a regenerative future, and explore how design and architecture can become catalysts for positive change in our environment.