Wednesday, April 5, 2017
We are getting more and more excited as we prepare for our upcoming Deep Roots Workshop April 21. As we dig deeper into how biomimicry can apply to the built environment not only as it applies to a building or project site, but also to a regional discussion of what all sustainability and resiliency efforts are working towards, we are adding shape to our Deep Roots vision. I wrote about this recently on my Think Biomimicry blog post about shifting a built environment designed to sit upon a landscape into one that lives within it, and included my current reading list as I prepare for our workshop.
We are inspired and awed by the incredible work taking place within the Chicagoland region such as the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative, the Center for Neighborhood Technology Rain Ready program, the innovative work of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District including their Restore the Canopy, Plant a Tree program, the Urban Wildlife Institute which studies the interaction between urban development and the natural ecosystem, and of course the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council's work to envision a future for our region.
Together, these efforts and countless others move our region in a direction towards restoring greater resilience and sustainability. The question is, how will we know if we have done enough or how far we have to go? How do we know if we achieve "sustainability" or sufficient redundancy and diversity in our systems to be able to provide the services needed to live here for centuries to come?
I hope you find the articles inspiring and get you thinking about our built environment in a whole new way. Bring that thinking to our workshop! We're excited to share our thoughts and hope to learn from and work with you to figure out how to make it a reality.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Urban flooding...water pollution...topsoil erosion...urban heat islands...
Did you ever wonder WHY we face these challenges? While their individual causes are complex, they result from one systemic failure: the systematic removal of ecosystem services from our built environment. The time is right and the need is great to radically shift our built environment approach towards one of holistic regeneration rooted in the genius of our place - northeastern Illinois.
Kick off event!
Using water to illustrate our ideas and approach, we will discuss how learning from our local ecology allows us to shift our thinking about stormwater from waste to critical resource - one to hold on to for as long as possible. Through fun brainstorming activities, we will use real projects provided by workshop partners alongside design principles from local natural models to reimagine the potential of our local water management systems to shift from operating at a deficit to generating a net positive water balance.
At our one-day event, we will begin to explore the opportunities to use the cutting-edge biomimicry innovation methodology to design and build lost ecosystem functions back into our built environment. Join us in kicking off this exciting new initiative for the Chicago region!
Who Should Come?To lay the foundation for this shift, we seek to collaborate with multidisciplinary teams (with people like you!) to develop publicly accessible information and tools to inform our collective decision making and measure the success of our designs.
Therefore, our goal is to bring in as diverse a group as possible - all perspectives are needed and valued! Architects, designers, engineers (civil, industrial...all kinds!), developers, municipal workers, biologists, landscape architects, students and educators, planners, economists, and more!
During this event, participants will:
- Explore the grounds of the Lurie Garden with ecologists and learn about the inherent sustainability and resilience of our native ecosystems;
- Learn about ecosystem functions as applied to the built environment through interactive activities;
- Learn biomimicry tools and strategies for learning from nature to create innovative solutions to critical challenges; and
- Collectively brainstorm a common vision for The Deep Roots Project that will continue long after the initial event.