Project Shaping is the term given to our methodology of working that is based on the concepts of Regenerative Design, an emerging field which has been developed to support balanced decision making and support project and community evolution towards a truly sustainable state. Michel Labrie and Matthew Woodruff have become leaders in this field as co-founders of the Regenerative Design Lab at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and through intensive industry collaborations have developed the in-house capacity at Local Practice to apply this discipline to all of the firm’s projects.
Regenerative Design views each unique site as a piece of a larger whole, and prioritizes consideration of the following project aspects:
CLIMATE + LIVING WORLD
Intensive siting and ecological assessments are a critical component of understanding the regenerative design process. The climate and surrounding living world guides much of the decision making for project choices including analysis of sun paths, soil types, views, wind, flora and fauna, and much more. Sites each have unique climatic challenges and opportunities, and play roles in affecting the health and balance of both small and large ecosystems, and we often work with ecologists or regenerative design experts to help enhance and restore the existing systems.
RELATIONSHIP TO TIME
Each place has a history; of climate, inhabitants, uses and functions. We believe that understanding the history of a place leads to recognizing opportunities the project may have to respond to present needs. It is also important to understand what role the project will play over time, and the impact it may have in the future on its surrounding environment. These considerations manifest themselves in decisions regarding energy use, durability and recyclable materials, and performing life cycle analysis to determine long-term costs, economically and ecologically.
From the local neighbourhood to the city to a country or the entire planet, our design decisions respect a consideration of social responsibility. Decisions made consider the community through the inclusion of local trades, existing materials, sharing of resources, and a community’s social needs.