Make room for nature

What if we made ourselves aware of how we relate to the world? What if this helped us change our posture and our practice? In 2021 alongside panellists from architecture and construction, we were invited to “Make room for nature” by discussing questions of the circular economy and building with natural resources. The invite prompted the following reflections on how we relate to nature, to each other and to ourselves. And it led us to turn our allocated 7-minute speaking slot into a guided meditation.

The invite for the event read ‘Make room for nature’. Organised by one of our favourite architecture practices in London this sparked our curiosity. What does this mean? If we feel the need to make room for nature, then we are starting from an assumption that at present there is no room for nature or at least not enough. It also means nature is something other than us but are we clear what we actually mean by ‘nature’?

How we relate matters

Preparing for our 7-minutes slot, these initial observations gave rise to some fundamental questions.

How do we relate to nature, how do we relate to each other and how to ourselves? Do we see ourselves as masters of nature, as part of nature or as stewards of nature? What kind of relationship with nature and its human and non-human inhabitants do we strive for? Is it symbiotic or extractive or of any other quality? And, are we aware of our own perspectives and underlying assumptions that frame our world view?

From net zero to regenerative

'Net zero' is only a first milestone but what we're really striving for is not very well defined.

The world around us is now widely accepting the requirement of ‘net zero’ and ‘net zero whole life carbon’ is becoming part of the debate with developers in the social housing sector. However, most of us know that this is only a first milestone, a half-time score.
What we need to create to “save the game” is a regenerative culture, one that helps restore and replenish ecosystems and that sees us thrive in socially just societies within planetary boundaries.
You may call this a quest for abundance in sobriety. To look at this more closely, I’d like to invite you to an experiment.

Time for contemplation

Take some time to breathe and centre yourself as a means of preparation for the following exercise.

Have a look around you. Notice where you are and how you feel. Are you comfortable? Are your feet firmly on the ground? Is your head pointing upwards? Are you aware of your breath? Relax and breathe in your own rhythm, at your own pace. As you notice any distractions, welcome them and let them fall into your open hands. Continue breathing.

When you’re ready, imagine a beautiful place in nature. Find the spot where the soil is soft. Place all that distracts you into the soil. Trust nature to take care of it. Leave the place and open your mind to new things that might emerge as we’re moving through a set of questions.

I invite you to suspend judgement and embrace curiosity. Listen deeply and let your imagination run as you read the following questions:

  • In the light of uncertainty, fragile ecosystems and social division, how can we adopt a 7-generations mindset in our practice, one that ensures future generations can prosper on a healthy planet?
  • What are our guiding questions to develop solutions to the complex challenges we face in our industry and across society?
  • What does a regenerative culture look like that enables us to co-create regenerative places that can serve today’s as well as future needs ?
  • How can we make the process of planning, designing, constructing and maintaining the built - environment regenerative in itself?
  • How can we create regenerative places where we are, with what we have and with the people that are present?
  • How can we build less with less and still create beautiful homes for more people to thrive in?
  • How can we facilitate collaborative lifestyles through our design and placemaking processes?
  • How can we invite community members to contribute their skills, knowledge and passion to meeting community needs in our design and building process? How can we continue to do so throughout the lifecycle of a building or development?
  • How can we generate deeper trust and mutual respect between design and construction professionals as well as residents?
  • What role does intuition and new ways of social interaction play in this ?

Let these questions resonate with you. What feels most pertinent to you? What thoughts or questions have emerged for you as you read these lines? What question would you like to explore in your practice?

We’d be curious about your feedback. Please get in touch.


We were invited to participate in the panel discussion as social change experts with an understanding of the wood value chain and its industries in the UK.


  • Storytelling


Last adventures

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