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"I could not have hoped to start 2022 with a more inspiring read..." Kate Raworth, Economist, Change Agent, Author: Doughnut Economics
“ a compelling call for a systemic shift from sustainable to “regenerative” practice (defined as that which “supports the flourishing of all life, for all time”). The variety of sources provides a multitude of jumping-off points for further reading.” Hilary Jennings in Museums Journal
Read all the Reviews of Flourish: Bloomberg - 8th January, 2022 The Structural Engineer - February 2022... Resurgence...and more Reviews Page here
"Flourish sketches a new agenda for built environment professionals to make their profession part of the solution, not the problem. But, as the authors recognise, the system that needs to change is far wider than building professionals alone, and the book’s radical and attractive vision invites a wider audience to the conversation." Prashant Vaze in Resurgence, May/June 2022 (full review)
"If you're a designer, architect or anyone else who is wondering what you could - and should - do to arrest the climate emergency and all the other major threats we face, read this book - Flourish: Design Paradigms For Our Planetary Emergency". Alice Rawsthorn, design critic, author + co-founder, the Design Emergency project
"When it comes to sustainability and the built environment, we have reached that moment when it is time to quiet the noise, put our ears to the ground and listen deeply to the ’thump’ of the Earth to know what we must do. Flourish gifts us a beautiful curation of ideas to help us hear that beat, + feel inspired to walk a different route towards creating human habitats that restore and replenish our living systems.” Sumi Dhanarajan, Associate Director APAC, Forum for the Future.
“One of the most enjoyable and informative reads on the topic. I highly recommend it to all those who are engaged with the agenda of the environment and who are in search of new paradigms to reverse the ongoing depletion of our living world.” Dr Hossein Rezai (Founding Director, Web Structures; Global Design Director, Ramboll
“A brilliant and timely summary of regenerative practice, aimed at everyone involved in shaping the built environment. Essential reading for designers, commissioners, funders and policy makers.” Steve Tompkins, Director, Haworth Tompkins; co-founder, Architects Declare
Imprint: Triarchy Press Format: paperback, ePub, Kindle Extent: 180pp Size: 234 x 156mm Print ISBN: 978-1-913743-26-0 List Price: £25 Publication: December 2021 View/download the flyer
Sarah Ichioka is an urbanist, curator and writer. Connecting cities, culture and ecology, she’s been recognized as a World Cities Summit Young Leader, and one of the Global Public Interest Design 100. She is founding director of Singapore-based strategic consultancy Desire Lines.
Michael Pawlyn is an architect, biomimicry expert, and a co-initiator of the global movement Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency. His TED talk has been viewed over 2.1 million times. He is founding director of London-based Exploration Architecture.
Flourish is written for built environment professionals, policymakers, and activists,
What will it take to restore balance to our world? How can we repair our devastated environments, and secure future generations’ survival? And what’s the key to unlock the mindset shift to enable truly regenerative transformation?
Flourish reaches beyond ‘sustainability’ to explore ‘regenerative’ practice, what it really means, and how we can get there together.
Looking deeply into the web of life that created and supports us, Flourish draws inspiration from diverse cultural traditions and perspectives. Michael Pawlyn and Sarah Ichioka propose a bold set of regenerative principles to transform how we design, make and manage our buildings, infrastructure and communities.
Whether you’re a built environment professional or client, an activist or a policymaker, Flourish offers you an urgent invitation to inhabit a new array of possibilities. We can build a thriving future, together.
Covid-19 is a crucial point in the world’s fight against climate change. As societies chart their recovery from the pandemic, they have a critical decision to make: do they succumb to the worst of “business as usual” or can they mark out and follow a bright new path together?
Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency, argues that humanity’s best chance of a positive future lies not with looking beyond biology, as transhumanists advocate, or in retreating from civilization, as some deep ecologists propose. Rather, the answers are to be found in nature, where we will learn (or-re-learn) the perspectives and tools we need to support the flourishing of all life, for all time.
By looking deeply into the web of life that created and supported us, and drawing inspiration from diverse cultural traditions and perspectives, Ichioka and Pawlyn propose five paradigm shifts that would transform how we construct, design and manage the built environment, and our journey towards planetary health. These include:
moving beyond sustainable design towards regenerative design
‘re-patterning’ anthropocentric modes of thinking in architecture
envisioning cities as sites for interbeing and action, rather than consumption.
Notably, these ideas are based on transcending and including, rather than opposing and dismissing previous paradigms. Each key shift is accompanied by illustrative graphics and examples of how these essential shifts are more than possible, with existing or near-term methods and technologies.
Flourish offers a fresh and compelling argument from two leading urbanists and architects, and a critical yet imaginative approach for how all of us - not just humans - can thrive in a time of intense urban growth.
More than a manual on how to make the best out of our narrow window of opportunity, Flourish is an invitation to imagine a different array of possibilities and a call to action to move towards a truly regenerative and cooperative way of life.
Designers and architects need to adopt a "possibilist mindset" to amplify their influence a to make the meaningful changes needed in the face of climate change, argue Sarah Ichioka and Michael Pawlyn.
Read the Reviews of Flourish: Bloomberg - 8th January, 2022 The Structural Engineer - February 2022... and more. Reviews Page here
Contents and outline chapter description
Introduction -- "...A growing number of people are deeply concerned about our planetary emergency and wondering how we can rise to this seemingly insurmountable challenge. We wrote this book because we believe that the necessary changes lie primarily in cultural, rather than technological, transformation, and that this must occur at the level of mindsets – the shared ideas that determine ... how society works. ...working in the built environment, this (broad) field is our main reference point when defining these shifts and how we might bring them about. We see these shifts as essential to the evolution from ‘sustainable’ to ‘regenerative’ design and development."
Chapter 1: Possibilism: evidence, uncertainty and agency -- "If individuals minimizing their agency can have a contagious effect on others, then it is clear that the opposite can also be true. If we adopt a possibilist mindset that seeks out and assesses the totality of available evidence, that uses creativity to solve problems, that strives to always maximize our agency, that relentlessly challenges norms and myths, could this follow an exponential trend leading to a rapid tipping point?... We are thrilled by the possibility that it could. What we know for certain is that when we refuse to accept the status quo as inevitable and strive to bring about change, we can have a powerful effect in inspiring others to do the same."
Chapter 2: Co-evolution as nature: stewardship and living systems -- "We believe that the way humans see our relationship with nature will be critical to our species’ future prospects, and that addressing the multiple environmental crises of the present moment will require us to completely rethink our position and role on Earth."
Chapter 3: A longer now: deep, cyclical time and holarchic progress -- "It matters which buildings we celebrate. As philosopher José Ortega y Gasset wrote, 'Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are'. Whether the focal point of a town is a religious building, a shopping centre or a secular gathering space for public events says very different things about our culture and values. It is therefore worthwhile asking 'What should be the cathedrals of the future?' Could these be buildings that aspire to the deepest reciprocal values, rooted in a deep sense of time and place, sociologically, geographically and ecologically? Could these be projects that in some way enhance our sense of human potential and embody one-planet thriving in beautiful and poetic ways?"
Chapter 4: Symbiogenesis: mutualism, citizen-activism and public luxury -- "A reappraisal of outdated metaphors about survival through competition, and of humans’ innate nature, has created an intellectual space for imagining a new way of living based on symbiogenesis. This conceives of design as a fundamentally inclusive, negotiated and co-creative process that can generate new structures and ways of living. To achieve this will require not just a change of perspective for design teams but also a rethinking of design training, styles of collaboration and forms of governance."
Chapter 5: Planetary health: qualitative development, living metrics and flows -- "Keeping the goal of Planetary Health in mind should make it easier to decide when development is strictly necessary (for instance, to bring poorer parts of the world above the social foundation) and how to distinguish between different types of development. Qualitative, regenerative development that enhances planetary health is possible and we must learn to do better than just mitigating the negative impacts of growth. In a planetary emergency, there needs to be a strong bias towards avoiding unnecessary growth. This will require far more refurbishment of buildings and far less newbuild, designing out waste in all its forms, and pursuing durability and cyclicity in our material use."