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Sustainability, as currently practised in the built environment, is primarily an exercise in efficiency. In other words, the use of environmental rating systems and other mechanisms allows a reduction in the damage caused by excessive resource use. However, instead of doing less damage to the environment, it is necessary to learn how one can participate with the environment by using the health of ecological systems as a basis for design. The shift from a fragmented to a whole systems model is the significant cultural leap that consumer society needs to make - through framing and understanding living system interrelationships in an integrated way. A place-based approach is one way to achieve this understanding. The design process begins by attempting to understand how the systems of life work in each unique place. The role of designers and stakeholders is to create a whole system of mutually beneficial relationships. By doing so, the potential for green design moves beyond sustaining the environment to one that can regenerate its health - as well as our own.
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Shifting from 'sustainability' to regeneration
Bill Reed a
a Integrative Design Collaborative and Regenesis, Arlington, MA, US
Online Publication Date: 01 November 2007
To cite this Article Reed, Bill(2007)'Shifting from 'sustainability' to regeneration',Building Research & Information,35:6,674 — 680
To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/09613210701475753
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Shifting from ‘sustainability’ to regeneration
Bill Reed
Integrative Design Collaborative and Regenesis, 20 Woodland Street, A rlington, MA 02476,US
Sustainability, as currentlypractised in the built environment, is primarily an exercise in efficiency. In other words,the use of
environmental rating systems and other mechanisms allows a reduction in the damage caused by excessive resource use.
However, instead of doing less damage to the environment, it is necessary to learn how one can participate with the
environment by using the health of ecological systems as a basis for design. The shift from a fragmented to a whole
systems model is the significant cultural leap that consumer society needs to make – through framing and understanding
living system interrelationships in an integrated way. A place-based approach is one way to achieve this understanding.
The design process begins by attempting to understand how the systems of life work in each unique place. The role of
designers and stakeholders is to create a whole system of mutually beneficial relationships. By doing so, the potential for
green design moves beyond sustaining the environment to one that can regenerate its health – as well as our own.
Keywords: construction management, consumption, design process, mental models, sustainability, whole systems
La durabilite
´, comme on l’entend aujourd’hui dans le contexte du milieu ba
ˆti, est avant tout un exercice d’efficacite
d’autres termes, l’usage de syste
`mes de classement de l’environnement et d’autres me
´canismes permet de re
´duire les
ˆts cause
´s par une utilisation excessive des ressources. Toutefois, au lieu de moins endommager l’environnement,
il convient d’apprendre comment chacun peut contribuer a
`l’environnement en utilisant l’e
´tat des syste
´cologiques comme base de la conception. Le passage de syste
`mes fragmente
`un mode
`le de syste
`mes complets
´sente le saut culturel significatif que la socie
´de consommation doit faire, en cadrant et en comprenant les
relations entre syste
`mes vivants de manie
`re inte
´e. Une approche base
´e sur la place est une manie
`re de parvenir a
cette compre
´hension. Le processus de la conception commence par la tentative de comprendre comment les syste
de vie fonctionnent dans chaque endroit unique. Le ro
ˆle des concepteurs et des parties prenantes est de cre
´er un
`me complet de relations mutuellement avantageuses. Ainsi, le potentiel de la conception e
´cologique va au-dela
du simple soutien a
`l’environnement pour passer a
`la re
´ration de sa condition et de notre propre sante
Mots cle´s: gestion de la construction, consommation, processus de conception, mode
`les mentaux, durabilite
´, syste
The power of abstract thinking has led us to treat
the natural environment – the web of life as if it
consisted of separate parts, to be exploited by
different interest groups. ... To regain our full
humanity, we have to regain our experience of
connectedness with the entire web of life. This
reconnecting, ‘religio’ in Latin, is the very
essence of the spiritual grounding of deep ecology.
(Capra, 1996, p. 296)
Need for a new model
It is fair to say that we are in a situation where rapid
change to a healthy relationship with the planet is in
Building Research & Information ISSN 0961-3218 print ⁄ISSN 1466-4321 online #2007 Taylor & Francis
http: ⁄ ⁄ ⁄journals
DOI: 10.1080/09613210701475753
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order. The concept of a Factor 10 society (reducing the
ecological burden in developed countries by 90% by
2050 simply to maintain fair access to the world’s
resources, as well as stabilizing global climate
change) is unachievable at the rate of ‘improvement’
we are making by means of incremental and fragmen-
ted efficiency. We are unlikely to make the changes
needed quickly enough unless significant and radical
change occurs. A piecemeal, technological approach
certainly opens the way. But more of the same type
of incremental change is not really effective, especially
at this stage our degrading practices. For example,
architects and engineers address the efficiency of build-
ings while failing to understand the earth systems, the
very systems we are trying to sustain. It is time to
change our mental model to one that better reflects
the new understanding of how the universe actually
works, and also enables us to design, build and heal
with the whole system in mind a deeply integrated
Whole systems and living systems thinking
This paper outlines the issues and need for a shift and
suggests a process, Whole Systems and Living
Systems Thinking, that can help transform the way
we think about and practice sustainability in the
design and development field. Efforts at linking the
natural and built environments in a holistic manner
have been suggested in the past (e.g. Lyle, 1994;
McHarg, 1999; Yeang, 1994; Van der Ryn and
Cowan, 1996). A renewed emphasis on this theme is
motivated by the numerous sustainable built environ-
ment efforts around the world, perhaps signalling the
dawn of a renewed effort to move to higher levels of
understanding and collaboration.
The concept of sustainability moves us into a thoughtful
relationship with our ‘life support’ systems. It opens the
gates of communication with various subsystems,
hydrology, geology, plants, animals, and humans in a
way that can move us from the condition of the disinter-
ested observer toward an awareness of the evolving lin-
kages between all of these elements. The question is how
we bring into common understanding the nature of
these linkages and our ability to perceive, communicate,
listen, and respond to this whole and integrated system:
Our mental model of the way the world works
must shift from images of a clockwork, machine-
like universe that is fixed and determined, to the
model of a universe that is open, dynamic, inter-
connected, and full of living qualities.
(Jaworski, 1996, quoted in Elgin, 1999)
The current participation in this ‘unified and living uni-
verse’, however, is an unhealthy one. If we are to shift
that, we must understand the nature of the change
required. The foundation for this evolution of under-
standing, and thereby of the way we participate, is
whole or living systems thinking. Whole systems think-
ing recognizes that the entirety is interconnected, and
moves us beyond mechanics into a world activated by
complex interrelationships natural systems, human
social systems, and the conscious forces behind their
actions. In the act of building design, we are inextric-
ably engaged in direct and indirect reciprocal influence
in the immediate community (place) and the larger
systems operating on this planet.
The green building movement, for the most part, has
not been focused on or taken into account this inter-
related wholeness. It should be noted that there is an
increasing recognition of this problem and a growing
effort to address it, most notably through the concept
of integrated design (e.g. Zimmerman, 2006). Like
our culture, we have primarily focused on technical
and economic systems when designing, constructing
and managing our human habitats. As part of a funda-
mental change, focus needs to include the prime
resources and aspects of life that produce technologies
and shelter, the basic foundations earth systems and
the people engaged with them – rather than simply the
by-products. Technical systems, of course, need to be
understood, addressed and measured. Engineered
systems are not unimportant, they are simply insuffi-
cient. When architects and engineers begin to under-
stand that the purpose of sustainability is sustaining
life-enhancing conditions, the scope of their work
will expand to include living systems approaches. A
living systems approach is based on the understanding
that all things are alive and in a process of ‘becoming’.
Living systems self-organize to increasing order and
complex interrelationships.
British sustainable education pioneer Stephen Sterling
uses Gregory Bateson’s three levels of learning (Steps
to an Ecology of Mind) to describe the nature of learn-
ing required for paradigm change (Sterling, 2003).
Using the metaphor, ‘one can’t see the forest for the
trees’ he depicts Learning Level I as only seeing the
trees; Learning Level II might be stepping out and
seeing the forest as a whole, recognizing its existence
for the first time; and Learning Level III might be the
helicopter view, seeing fully that a number of alter-
native forests exist and may be chosen.
The green building movement ...
has not been focused on ... inter-
related wholeness.
In relation to sustainability, Learning Level I is geared
towards effectiveness and efficiency – ‘doing things
better’ rather than ‘doing better things’ (and rather
Shifting from ‘Sustainability’ to Regeneration
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than, at a deeper level still, ‘seeing things differently’).
Watzlawick et al. (1980) make the distinction thus:
there are two different kinds of change: one that
occurs within a given system which itself remains
unchanged, and one whose occurrence changes
the system itself.
(Watzlawick et al., 1980, quoted in
Sterling, 2003)
Hawkins (1991) suggests that Learning Level II alone is
insufficient. Although it helps us move from ‘efficiency
thinking’ at Learning Level I level towards ‘effective-
ness thinking’ at Learning Level II, ‘it fails to address
the fundamental question: effective for what, or to
what end?’ Learning Level III shifts our attention to
the context of planetary survival, and the evolutionary
need of what he calls ‘integrative awareness’. Hence,
Learning Level III is associated with epistemological
and perceptual change and a transpersonal/transorga-
nizational ethical and participative sensibility (Sterling,
This last point is very important as it relates to the nature
of understanding of the breadth of the whole system, and
how we as a culture and planet might come to be in con-
scious, participatory relationship.
The following graphic and definitions indicate a
trajectory of the practice of sustainability relating
to the above (Figure 1). Learning Level I corresponds
to the Greening level (efficiency). Learning Level II
can be seen to align with the Sustainability level (effec-
tiveness). Learning Level III addresses an evolving
understanding of the Whole. The Reconciliation
and Regeneration levels ask the question of our
purpose here. What is the ultimate purpose of sustain-
ability? For what are we being ‘effective’ and ‘to what
Issue-based approaches (fragmented ^ as
currently practised)
Limiting the damage
High-performance design
Design that realizes high efficiency and reduced impact
in the building structure, operations, and site activities.
This term can imply a more technical efficiency
approach to design and may limit an embrace of the
larger natural system benefits.
Green design
A general term implying a direction of improvement
in design, i.e. continual improvement towards a
generalized ideal of doing no harm. Some people
believe this is more applicable to buildings and
Figure 1 Trajectory of Environmentally Responsible Design
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Sustainable design
See ‘Green Design’ with an emphasis on reaching a
point of being able to sustain the health of the
planet’s organisms and systems over time.
Living system approaches (increasingly
more whole)
Restorative design
This approach thinks about design in terms of using the
activities of design and building to restore the capa-
bility of local natural systems to a healthy state of
Reconciliation design
This design process acknowledges that humans are an
integral part of nature and that human and natural
systems are one.
Regenerative design
This is a design process that engages and focuses on the
evolution of the whole of the system of which we are
part. Logically, our place community, watershed
and bioregion is the sphere in which we can partici-
pate. By engaging all the key stakeholders and pro-
cesses of the place – humans, other biotic systems,
earth systems, and the consciousness that connects
them the design process builds the capability of
people and the ‘more than human’ participants to
engage in continuous and healthy relationship
through co-evolution. The design process draws from
and supports continuous learning through feedback,
reflection and dialogue, so that all aspects of the
system are an integral part of the process of life in
that place. Such processes tap into the consciousness
and spirit of the people engaged in a place, the only
way to sustain sustainability.
Note that these levels of the sustainability trajectory
are not exclusive of one another, they are a pro-
gression, and each is nested in the more whole level.
All practice levels are necessary to achieve the change
A reconnection to place ... would
help foster the shift from sustain-
able design to restorative and
regenerative design.
Shifting to a new worldview
In general, environmental building assessment systems,
triple bottom-line indicators, and other mechanisms
address generalized, planetary and regional issues.
The missing aspect to achieving planetary health is
how we specifically heal the damage we have caused
and how we continue in healthy interrelationship
with living systems. A healing process requires contin-
ual, thoughtful and caring engagement. We can best
engage in healing in the places we inhabit. Our commu-
nities and land are where we can learn about what
makes life possible on a continuing basis. Concur-
rently, with our approaches to efficiency we need to
become local biologists, ecologists, and community
systems thinkers. Regeneration of the health of the
humans and local earth systems is an interactive
process each supports the other in a mutually ben-
eficial way. This awareness or consciousness of vital
and viable interrelationship is the beginning of a
whole system healing process.
Both planetary scale and place-based approaches are
not mutually exclusive. The process of developing a
regenerative relationship cannot abandon the efforts
of large-scale system approaches and the quantitative
measurement of smaller scale systems that address pla-
netary concerns – such as energy, persistent toxics,
global warming, etc. But the process of place-based
engagement can frame and integrate these planetary
issues in manageable, meaningful and, literally,
grounded context.
As noted above, to make this shift it is necessary to move
from Learning Level I, doing the same things in a better
way (efficiency) to Learning Levels II and III, which gen-
erate new levels of systemic understanding. If the
process of transformative change is the greatest barrier
standing inthe way of achieving a sustainable condition,
it seems the aspect of ‘how one changes’ should be of
great interest to the design and building community.
The following section gives an overview of a Learning
Level III process a regenerative approach to design.
This approach requires a level of commitment from a
client to break out of the conventional, linear design
management process and reconsider the opportunity
of design as an opportunity for learning. This co-
learning process requires the design team to engage
deeply, to participate, and to be conscious of the earth
systems and human systems that are essential to the
long-term health of the place. In effect, the design and
client team become a learning organization.
Realizing regeneration
Regeneration is a Learning Level III process a deep
search for the nature of relationship between human
and earth systems. This moves our frame of discourse
from ‘doing things TO nature’ to one of participation
as partners WITH and AS nature:
The idea that we live in something called ‘the
environment’ ... is utterly preposterous. ...
‘Environment’ means that which surrounds or
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encircles us; it means a world separate from our-
selves, outside us. ... The real state of things, of
course, is far more complex and intimate and
interesting than that. The world that environs
us, that is around us, is also within us. We are
made of it; we eat, drink, and breathe it. ... No
settled family has ever called its home place an
‘environment’. ...The real names of the environ-
ment are the names of rivers and river valleys;
creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities;
lakes, woodlands, lanes, roads, creatures, and
(Berry, 1992, p. 34)
Regeneration is not simply about making a landscape
and local habitat more productive and healthy. Effec-
tive regeneration requires that we engage the entirety
of what makes a place healthy. This may be our
home community, a corporate campus, a small lot, or
a building. When we start from a whole systems under-
standing, any of these entities is an entry point into the
whole system. Each is an integral part of a living system
and a key role can be found for anyone and any system
within the smallest to largest physical footprint. The
footprint is not the limiting factor as long as a sense
of conscious engagement can be realized by the
people who are part of it.
Aspects of a regenerative approach to design
There are three essential aspects to catalysing a regen-
erative condition. These are not necessarily steps but
more like an evolutionary spiral because the process
continually evolves in a gradual unfolding or emer-
gence as the field changes. The process needs to con-
tinue intentionally long after the design leads and
consultants are gone. If not, the relationships that
have been established can be forgotten and the poten-
tial for new, healthier, and more vital relationships
left undiscovered.
The three aspects are as follows:
.understanding the master pattern of place
.translating the patterns into design guidelines and
conceptual design
.ongoing feedback a conscious process of learning
and participation through action, reflection and
Understanding the master pattern of place
The first task in the process is to determine the most
appropriate health-generating pattern of relationships
for a particular project in its place. It requires that
the team develop understanding in two areas: the
human aspirations the project hopes to realize and an
essence, or core, understanding of the unique character
of the place the project seeks to inhabit. This level of
understanding is in contrast to conventional planning
and design. Conventional processes start with gather-
ing discrete packets of knowledge from experts in
water, energy, soils, etc. Without an integrative sys-
temic context, such knowledge can be both fragment-
ing and misleading.
Setting the stage ^ understandingand aligning human
aspirationsof a project. To understand the objectives
of a project, it is necessary to elicit from the partici-
pants the aspirations they have about this project and
locale. Questions about what is driving this project,
what is important to the client and design team are eli-
cited in a group dialogue. An aspiration is a deeper,
heartfelt purpose that, if elicited in the course of the
design process, becomes a fundamental aim of the
project expressed in qualitative and process terms.
The aspirations open up the possibilities of rich and
fruitful dialogue with the participants as opposed to
laundry lists that fragment and pit sides against each
With the fundamental or core aim understood by the
participants the way is open to begin exploring how
this aim, and its underlying aspirations, can be met
within the opportunities and limits of the Nature of
the Place.
Learning about the place. In order to address the
health of an ecosystem and our role in it (how our
aspirations can support and be supported by the
system), we need to understand how it works and
why. One way is to study the historic and present pat-
terns of human and earth system interrelationship. By
understanding the patterns of evolution and health in
a watershed, the relationships between the systems
(human, plant, animal, hydrology, meteorology,
geology, etc.) can be understood with a good level of
approximation. When did life express itself more
fully than other times; why; what occurred to change
these relationships; etc?
Regenesis (2005) notes that:
Careful reading of the landscape of place (biotic
and cultural) enables us to develop mental maps
of the leverage points, those key intersections
where small interventions can energize the
system as a whole. The aim is to ensure that the
considerable investment represented by develop-
ment yields more than just physical stuff (which,
being subject to entropy, immediately begins to
deteriorate). It also initiates ongoing processes
that continue to work to realize the full potential
of place, and does so in a way that enables
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greater and greater spheres of influence. This
requires a firm grounding in the specifics of the
place, and how that place is nested in, and influ-
ences and interacts with larger wholes. The
essential guiding questions are: ‘What wants to
emerge out of the integration of this project
and this place? Therefore, who are we required
to be and how do we become that?
Developing the story of place. By expressing these
relationships in the form of a ‘story of place’ it is poss-
ible to engage more quickly the layperson in an under-
standing of the complex relationships in an ecosystem
and their role within it. It functions as a metaphor to
communicate these ideas quickly and powerfully. The
story of place as a context serves multiple purposes.
First, history has shown that we will not sustain the
will needed to make and maintain the needed
changes, day after day, without evoking the spirit of
caring that comes from a deep connection to place. A
clear cultural narrative is needed to convey the connec-
tion to a particular place.
Second, discovering the story of a place enables us to
understand how living systems work in a particular
place, and enables us to bring greater intelligence to
how humans can then align themselves with that way
of working to the benefit of both.
Third, the story of place provides an integrative
context that helps maintain the spirit and vitality of
holding a collective and meaningful purpose.
Finally, the story of place provides a framework for an
ongoing learning process that enables humans to co-
evolve with their environment.
Design framework/guidelines and conceptual design
Once the desired ‘master pattern’ of relationship is
defined, the second task is to translate it into a concep-
tual design and a set of design guidelines. This serves
as the framework or container for decisions made in
the subsequent stages – design, selection of appropriate
green materials and technologies, construction, oper-
ations, and long term operation and maintenance. In
design charettes, the client and the design team draw
on the insights and understanding developed out of
the first phase of work to generate collectively a develop-
ment concept that integrates human needs and aspira-
tions in a reciprocally beneficial relationship with the
living systems of the site and surrounding contexts.
Marrying story of place with aspirations for
future. This is the point where conceptual design
can begin. Building on the foundation established, the
design team can respond to real issues of the environ-
ment and the aspirations of the people in relation to
the opportunities in and natural limits of the place as
a living system. This stage requires significant dialogue.
Through truly listening and learning, we can collec-
tively change our worldview. We shift into Learning
Levels II and III and reconceptualize our place in this
place and the world.
At this point, it is essential to form a Core Team to hold
the aspirations in relation to the health of the place and
project. This team’s responsibility is not in day-to-day
activities but to remember, hold, and promote the core
aim and higher aspirations of the project to hold the
core which energizes the design process and on-going
resiliency of the Place. The work of the Core Team is
essential to realize a regenerative process. Without a
team holding the aspirations and understanding of
the place, the process will revert back to old patterns.
When the initial design team disbands, remaining key
participants will need to sustain and evolve the think-
ing and feedback process into the future.
Identify indicators. Once the desired patterns of
relationships, and keystone species and key systems
are generally understood, metrics and benchmarks to
measure levels of improvement can be established.
No one can be sure that the understanding of the eco-
system is correct or that the people engaged with the
system will interact in the assumed way. Monitoring
the work is essential to receive the feedback necessary
to allow a system (human and earth systems) to
evolve. The feedback process supports the develop-
ment of conscious engagement and deeper relationship
between people and place as time moves on.
Integrative design/construction process. All the
design work should support the establishment of the
health of the whole as well as other non-conflicting or
at a minimum, neutral to the system, objectives. The
process of optimizing each system and part in relation
to the whole requires more than a few iterations of
thinking. Since we work within the framework of
time a linear process we need to approximate the
simultaneity of the whole by rapid and frequent iter-
ation of ideas. This is the basic process of Integrative
Create a process of conscious learning and
participation ^ ongoing feedback
Continuous monitoring and measurement also
involves engaging the ‘community’ as participants as
the place evolves. This is practically achieved through
an on-going Core Team that holds the long term
aspirations for the project/community, and supports
and facilitates the iterative cycles of action, reflection,
dialogue as a means of deepening place connections
and growing understanding and mutual caring.
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By seeing the ultimate aim of all our work as the
regeneration and evolution of increasingly vital,
viable and inspiriting places, we can reverse this
loss [of our places]. The good work we can do
needs to be done inplace, where we can experience
ourselves as being connected with and relevant to
the natural and social world in which we live, as
playing a meaningful role as co-creators.
(Leaf Litter, 2006)
This way of working can deliver not only more holistic
and effective projects, but also a higher level of satisfac-
tion. We experience ourselves as part of a larger whole
and adjust our needs, aspirations and values. We are
increasingly able to play a meaningful role, one that
evolves us at the same time that it evolves the living
communities we are an integral part of. Inevitably
this results in a deep sense of caring, appreciation, con-
nectedness for all who choose to engage in a regenera-
tive level of work.
It is useful to note that the ‘story about place’ is not a
new one. Rykwert (1976, pp. 66–68) wrote about
the rituals of the Romans that helped maintain the con-
nection of city to place:
The city was constituted publicly, its order was
accepted and acted out by the whole people in
the rites of foundation, and reiterated for them
through festivals and the accounts of annalists.
It could be inspected daily on those monuments
of the town which recalled a legendary past, so
that citizens never forgot the connection
between the topography of their city and the
rite by which its order had been first established.
This is analogous to epic poems, aboriginal song
stories, and narrative histories used as the memory of
a culture in oral traditions. As is the case with many
of the current local and global environmental and
resources issues facing human society, a reconnection
to place and to the rituals of place would help foster
the shift from sustainable design to restorative and
regenerative design.
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Lyle, J. (1994) Regenerative Design for Sustainable Develop-
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... In response to the fatigue towards corporate sustainability, a different systemic approach has been rising to prominence in recent years, which is the regenerative approach (Ateljevic, 2020;Dredge, 2022;Hahn and Tampe, 2021). This approach stems from an ecological and living systems worldview where the goal is to promote the conditions for all life to renew and restore (Hahn and Tampe, 2021;Mang and Reed, 2012;Reed, 2007). Moreover, it aims at moving from the traditional "doing less bad" sustainable approach to a "doing more good" regenerative approach (Hahn and Tampe, 2021). ...
... This regenerative approach has been applied, especially by practitioners, in fields including agriculture, architecture, landscape and urban design (Newton et al., 2020;Reed, 2007;Roth and Zheng, 2021;Zari, 2009). Regenerative agriculture, which focusses on the conservation and restoration of soils, provides a good exemplification of this concept. ...
... The regenerative approach can therefore be conceptualized as going beyond commercial logic to implement a system approach to derive business strategies from the logic of social-ecological systems, allowing businesses to enhance and thrive through the health of social-ecological systems in a co-evolutionary process (Hahn and Tampe, 2021). The core concept at the basis of the regenerative approach is to be place-based, meaning that firms need to understand their stakeholders and how their living systems are embedded (Reed, 2007). Thus, this could help them to deal more effectively with such thorny issues as social justice, global climate change, alternative energy and economic inequality (Guthey et al., 2014). ...
Purpose The concept of “regenerative business” is thriving in current business literature. The present study seeks to contribute to the current academic debate by investigating the nature and scope of regenerative hospitality, here seen as a steppingstone of regenerative tourism. Design/methodology/approach Exploratory in nature and with the goal of understating the nature and scope of regenerative hospitality, nineteen semi-structured interviews with academics, consultants and self-proclaimed regenerative hoteliers were conducted. Findings Results provide a regenerative hospitality framework to move from the current sustainability paradigm towards local and systemic regenerative approaches in hospitality by applying place and people intelligence. Originality/value This research contributes to the current academic debate about the future of travel, particularly focussing on the future of hospitality in relation to the multidisciplinary field of regenerative economy. Particularly, the paper has been designed to contribute to the current discussion in the Journal of Tourism Futures about the transformation and regenerative future of tourism.
... Urban development continues to promote the separation of humanity from non-human life [8][9][10][11][12], reflecting dominant socio-cultural paradigms derived from Eurocentric, 'mechanistic' perspectives [9,13]. Many critics argue that mechanistic perspectives have also led to improvement strategies that only incrementally reduce harmful practices, without addressing the damage that has been done [13][14][15][16]. ...
... Many articles present the differences between these paradigms and the worldview they are informed by. Others see both paradigms existing within a continuum [14,15,66]. In contrast, while messages of scarcity and sacrifice are implied within sustainable discourse [93], regenerative design approaches offer hope by engaging, empowering, and activating communities to participate in and coevolve with the living systems of their place [14,83]. ...
... Regenerative design theorists and researchers consistently emphasize the vital necessity of making the transition from mechanistic concepts to embrace ecological knowledges [15,34,109]. Several authors acknowledge that this transition is in progress [14,75]. ...
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While sustainable design practice is working to reduce the ecological impacts of development, many of the earth’s already damaged life support systems require repair and regeneration. Regenerative design theory embraces this challenge using an ecological worldview that recognizes all life as intertwined and interdependent to deliver restorative outcomes that heal. Central to regenerative design theory is the mutually beneficial and coevolving ‘stewardship’ relationship between community and place, the success of which requires local ecological knowledge. However, there is a lack of understanding about how—within the design process—practitioners are integrating ‘innate knowledge’ of place held by local people. This rapid practice review sought to collate and evaluate current ‘regenerative design practice’ methods towards ensuring good practice in the integration of place-based ecological knowledge. A comprehensive online search retrieved 345 related articles from the grey literature, academic book chapters, and government reports, from which 83 articles were analyzed. The authors conclude that regenerative design practice is emergent, with the design practice of including community knowledge of ecological systems of place remaining ad hoc, highly variable, and champion-based. The findings have immediate implications for regenerative design practitioners, researchers, and developers, documenting the state of progress in methods that explore innate ecological knowledge and foster co-evolving ecological stewardship.
... The second strand thus integrates human designs and ecology to "restore biodiversity or the health of ecosystems" (Pedersen Zari et al., 2020, p. 5). Ecological approaches such as regenerative design (Reed, 2007;Wahl, 2006Wahl, , 2016 and permaculture (Gremmen, 2022) are inspired by, imitate and integrate the lessons of biology and ecology looking beyond form and process at the level of ecosystem (Kennedy et al., 2015) in order to make human designs less impactful on the environment and an integral and functional part of the ecosystems they are part of. 8 There are of course many bio-integrated approaches that do not aim at imitating nature, manipulating biological materials to fit particular purposes or creating novel biomaterials; "integration" here is meant to capture only those approaches that employ biological materials and organisms or embed technical designs in ecosystems with the aim of reproducing some of the functional principles of the natural models. ...
... Bio-integrated innovations that focus on reconnecting with the ecological structure of a landscape integrate nature into design and design into nature in order employ nature's capacities in the service of humans while also ensuring that such projects benefit the surrounding ecological community. It comprises approaches such as regenerative design (Reed, 2007;Wahl, 2016), Todd's eco-designs and "living machines" (Todd & Todd, 1994), and practices such as regenerative agriculture (Gremmen, 2022;Jackson, 2011). ...
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In an effort to produce new and more sustainable technologies, designers have turned to nature in search of inspiration and innovation. Biomimetic design (from the Greek bios, life, mimesis, imitation) is the conscious imitation of biological models to solve today's technical and ecological challenges. Nowadays numerous different approaches exist that take inspiration from nature as a model for design, such as biomimicry, biomimetics, bionics, permaculture, ecological engineering, etc. This variety of practices comes in turn with a wide range of different promises, including sustainability, increased resilience, multi-functionality, and a lower degree of risk. How are we to make sense of this heterogeneous amalgam of existing practices and technologies, and of the numerous promises attached to them? We suggest that a typology of biomimetic approaches would provide a useful hermeneutic framework to understand the different tensions that pull this variegated landscape in different directions. This is achieved through a critical analysis of the literature in different fields of biomimetic design and the philosophy of biomimicry, in order to derive conceptual and normative assumptions concerning the meaning and value of the imitation of nature. These two dimensions are then intersected to derive an analytical grid composed of six different biomimetic types, which enable the classification of existing and possible biomimetic approaches, practices, and technologies according to their specific conceptual assumptions and guiding norms.
... Cette compréhension génère de nouveaux types de conceptions permettant la régénération des systèmes socio-écologiques (c.-à-d., favorisant une capacité inhérente de vitalité, de viabilité et d'évolution) plutôt qu'un épuisement des ressources et des systèmes qui les soutiennent (Mang et Reed, 2012). La vision régénérative s'inscrit ainsi dans une perspective plus large que le DD, dans laquelle l'objectif final de la trajectoire menant à la « durabilité » des sociétés humaines est la « régénération », passant progressivement par divers modes de fonctionnement : de « conventionnel », à « vert », puis « soutenable », « restauratif » et enfin « régénératif » (Figure 3) (Reed, 2007). ...
... On traduit ensuite cette connaissance en lignes directrices avec des objectifs à long terme, pour ensuite mettre en oeuvre le projet. La troisième composante est transversale, car il s'agit de mettre en place un processus de conception et d'apprentissage participatif qui engendre une rétroaction en continu; le dialogue; ainsi que le développement de compétences par l'action (Mang et Reed, 2012;Reed, 2007). ...
... The approaching of earth limits and the many threats to human and non-human species imply an urgent action to redesign our presence on the planet earth and to live, together in harmony, in a truly balanced ecological system (Meadows et al. 1972;Abegão 2019). Many scholars have devoted attention to the need to move beyond sustainable discourse to a regenerative one, namely, in the field of cities and urban planning (Girardet 2010(Girardet , 2014Crowley et al. 2021), in communities (Reed 2007), and in planet and cultures (Wahl 2016). Sustainable development is based on the premise of do not damage the environment without developing new resources for future generations (Reed 2007). ...
... Many scholars have devoted attention to the need to move beyond sustainable discourse to a regenerative one, namely, in the field of cities and urban planning (Girardet 2010(Girardet , 2014Crowley et al. 2021), in communities (Reed 2007), and in planet and cultures (Wahl 2016). Sustainable development is based on the premise of do not damage the environment without developing new resources for future generations (Reed 2007). On the other hand, regenerative one goes far beyond and proposes a holistic approach where humans actively participate in nature design, restore nature-human connectedness, and, most importantly, learn to live with nature (Mang and Reed 2013;Wahl 2016). ...
... In other words, a systemic view of the human-nature relationship considers (external) effects inherent to the system (Vatn and Bromley, 1997), relating them to its structure which accommodates a specific configuration of interconnections, ultimately reframing the notion of sustainability and shaping its normative goals (Gibbons, 2020). The fundamental premise of policymaking is to intervene in the system (Meadows, 2009) in such a way that the flow of information and materials ensure "sustaining life-enhancing conditions" (Reed, 2007) rather than achieving specific targets in different domains (Du Plessis and Brandon, 2015;Robinson and Cole, 2015), that often do not work or produce unexpected outcomes. ...
... It also implies care for relations, between individuals, groups, and society, and between the local and the global, that are fair and just. This motivation represents the strive towards posthuman design, where the environment is a true stakeholder in a more-than-human world with restorative character, where humanity and the planet 'flourish' together [39][40][41]. ...
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The smartphone industry is undergoing a slow transition towards sustainable design and circular business models in response to mounting social and ecological concerns. This paper discusses a smartphone concept regarding sustainable value creation over its entire lifecycle—thereby urging the creation of alternative designs and future-fit businesses. Hence, drawing inspiration from existing start-ups seeking to establish a sustainable smartphone market, a speculative business proposal is synthesised. It employs an analytical framework, with the three layers ‘agent-situation’, ‘product system’, and ‘business/venture’, custom-made to explore value creation in smartphone design, production, and consumption for both existing businesses and this study’s case. Through the simultaneous consideration of designing and business modelling, this case exemplifies a sensible navigation between sustainability values, regardless of whether trade-offs or even synergies emerge. The resulting cross-fertilisation of the two fields contributes to stretching notions of what is possible and desirable in an advanced circular society future.
... Mindset terkait dengan kepercayaan tentang usaha, tujuan pencapaian, serta kecenderungan bersikap seseorang (Molden & Dweck, 2000;Dweck, 2002). Untuk melakukan perubahan eksternal dalam skala besar, hal pertama yang perlu dibangun adalah keingingan untuk merubah diri sendiri secara internal melalui perubahan mindset (Reed, 2007;Scharmer, 2009;Buchanan & Kern, 2017). ...
Conference Paper
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A new narrative and approach to address the unprecedented challenges faced by society on a global scale is urgently needed. The concept of sustainability is deemed inadequate, and a shift towards regenerative design and development processes is proposed. Regenerative Design (RD) is presented as a systemic and ecological action that seeks to co-evolve with nature and reverse the degeneration of the earth's natural systems. The article proposes a new interdisciplinary engineering and design education program from a regenerative approach at Tecnologico de Monterrey, which involves community participation, ethnographic tools, and design charrettes. The program, in a minor degree format, aims to co-design human structures and systems that can co-evolve with living systems, value the relationship between human systems and the natural ecosystem, and create positive and abundant futures. Success cases are presented to exemplify the application of the methodology.
Within the past decade, the Singapore government has completed four integrated community hubs around the island. These nodal developments leverage their urban context and programmatic offerings in a bid to generate a sustainable hub ecology for the city. A manifestation of the whole-of-government, and now whole-of-society approach, these large-scale communal architecture plays a significant role in rejuvenating the heartlands, advocating citizen engagement and advancing civil society. The vision behind this emergent typology is in the creation of synergistic and generative environments. This paper seeks to investigate the potential of this shared urban model of integrated communal architecture as testbed for better-than-sustainable concepts, to advance policy agendas and support wider collaboration to establish and achieve district-based targets in regenerative outcomes. Using Our Tampines Hub and Bukit Canberra as case studies, the paper looks at the complexities of synergistic operations, and analyses specific design strategies and the participatory approach to support an urban-social-natural regeneration framework. It examines not only economic value in land and space optimization, but new synergies produced for circular mind-shift, closed-loop environmental outcomes and social impetus.
Discusses current thinking about learning organizations, including the theories of C. Argyris (1982), M. Pedler et al (1988), and B. Garratt (1987, 1990). The limitations of these theories are addressed in light of G. Bateson's (1973) notions of levels of learning. It is argued that a better understanding of Bateson's Level III learning (the spiritual dimension) is necessary, both to increase the quality and depth of double-loop learning and to bring the spiritual dimension into organizations, so that organizations can develop a sense of purpose that transcends mere survival. A vignette involving a religious caring organization illustrates the need to engage in Level II thinking about changing the organization and for managers and the consultant to enter Level III thinking to determine the future of the organization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Estudio sobre la ciudad romana, vista como una obra de arte y un modelo simbólico creado deliberadamente y disfrutado por sus pobladores, cuya forma y estructura estaban fundamentadas en rituales y creencias.
Interview: Leaf Litter Talks with Pamela Mang. Leaf Litter, spring (available at: http://
Leaf Litter (2006) Interview: Leaf Litter Talks with Pamela Mang. Leaf Litter, spring (available at: http://
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