Most designed landscapes miss the best part.
They fail to resonate with people in the ways only nature can. Humans are inextricably linked to the natural world. We all yearn to connect with other living systems; it is hard-wired into our DNA. We are mistaken when we confuse proximity to plants with fellowship with nature. To feel the connection to the natural world we desire, we must be immersed. We need to see nature at work.
Conventionally designed landscapes lie to you.
There can be no communion in designed landscapes without honesty. Conventionally designed landscapes tell you there is enough water. They present themselves as exterior decoration—passive and tame. In truth, they are fragile. Homogeneous designs propped up by chemicals and manufactured soil are mere assemblies. These instant, static compositions will increasingly fall apart in the wake of unpredictable change.
We will strive to make each place more of itself.
Foreign stone, globally-available products, and exotic plants erase the character that differentiates one place from another. It is the specific qualities of each place that define that place and carry value. Only when we are aware of the particulars of a place can we feel rooted. We call for the creation of landscapes that draw on the natural and extant assets of each site to inspire lasting bonds between people and place.
We will design and build in new ways.
We will replace quick, resource-intensive solutions with slow, deliberate cultivation. We will mine the natural and cultural history of each place to uncover its essence. We will look outside the bounds of the site to find the strong patterns at work. We will divert budgets away from mature plants installed with cranes, into landscapes grown from seedlings that have the capacity to acclimate. We will reveal the wild parts that arouse that undomesticated nature inside us. We will develop adaptable spaces that bring hope in the face of uncertainty. We will build landscapes that make a difference.