Discussion Board: Futurescapes

As we wrapped up our Landscapes Issue, we wanted everyone we’d been talking to to weigh in on a single question that would have an impact on the future of building design. So we asked a number of heavy hitters, “How can we better integrate the landscapes and buildings of the future?” Their responses got us excited. Read them below.

David Yocca

David Yocca, Chairperson, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
“Green roofs and walls slow, cool, cleanse, and utilize rainwater; treat and decompose waste; provide food, fiber, and other valuable products; and foster a more beautiful, humane setting for building occupants.”

Eric Kramer, Principal, Reed Hilderbrand
“Landscapes are performing more like building systems and buildings are being designed more like landscapes. We need to learn from the MEP discipline to see construction and commissioning as an integrated and extended process of testing, adjustment, and benchmarking.”

Ken Larsson

Ken Larsson, Principal, Sharp & Diamond
“Work with what you have. Integrate natural systems: sunlight, views, wind, topography, water. Collaborate with your design team and listen to the next generation.”

Michael Frerking, Founder & Principal, Living Systems Architecture and Construction
“The relationship of landscape to building design goes far beyond simple aesthetic issues. Buildings that open the door to rediscovering and participating in the cycles of nature become a timeless journey that grounds our spirit in these times of great change.”

Kimberly Polkinhorn

Kimberly Polkinhorn, Architect, Group 70 International
“We want to see strategies that support low-impact-development (LID) design, reduce potable-water demand for irrigation, and manage storm water on-site. The more projects strive to maintain or return to pre-development hydrology, the less we contribute to depleting and polluting our natural resources.”

Richard V. Piacentini, Executive Director, Phipps Conservatory
“Blur the lines between the built  and natural environments. Start by creating habitat with native plants, avoiding invasive species, and minimizing lawns. Use the landscape to increase building efficiency by planting deciduous trees for shade and rain gardens to manage storm water.”