We believe climate change is the defining issue of our time. Reducing global greenhouse gas emissions will require fundamental structural changes to the economy and society. We believe architecture has an integral role to play in addressing this global threat. We have a responsibility to make buildings and cities that reduce energy use, to advocate for carbon-free neighborhoods and cities for everyone. Climate change is a social justice issue that particularly impacts frontline communities; a just climate action response should center the needs of the most vulnerable to ensure a truly equitable future for all.
Our holistic approach to addressing climate change, centered on our commitment to the AIA 2030 Commitment program, is founded on a core set of values that link sustainability and social justice:
Prioritizing passive strategies, integrating renewable energy, and designing intrinsic flexibility culminates in buildings that are long-lasting and resilient. We focus on energy and water, but also on access to natural light and creating healthy environments. We create buildings that achieve design excellence and enrich their surroundings not only now, but decades from now. We call this ‘the long view.’
To limit global warming, the impact of new construction should be understood holistically, from the perspective of future building operations to the embodied carbon within the existing built environment. This extends to considering the social impact of our work. We prioritize adapting and transforming existing buildings to take advantage of embodied energy and to conserve resources and materials, but also to create a meaningful dialogue between the past, present and future experience of a place.
We believe that connecting people to nature, to each other, and to the places they inhabit cultivates a socially sustainable environment. We are practitioners and educators, and value the connective power of design. We aim to create broadly accessible built environments that heighten awareness and understanding of our surroundings, promote a sense of belonging, increase biodiversity, and enrich the places in which we work and live.
We believe that climate crisis solutions are best centered in local communities and in local ecology. We practice an inclusive design process that is open to many voices. We carefully consider the surrounding habitat. We collaborate with local artisans and craftspeople to ensure projects are rooted in their environment. Design solutions that are developed from an inclusive process and a shared set of values produce community well-being.
The impacts of the climate crisis have a disproportional impact on vulnerable communities. Indeed, the challenge of solving the climate crisis is intertwined with the pursuit of racial and environmental justice. We believe that a truly effective response to the climate crisis must be underpinned by values that are regenerative, equitable, and just.
As we design projects to advance these values, toward diversity and addressing climate change, we recognize a future beyond fossil economies should be accessible for all. Through our firm’s Climate Change Action Plan, we are promoting sustainable building practices and view the pursuit of racial and ecological justice as fundamentally entwined.